Derma E Universal Cleansing Balm–Dissolve Stubborn Makeup Instantly

I can be pretty stubborn sometimes. One thing I was stubborn about for a long time, was not wanting to double cleanse on days I wore makeup. I didn’t see the point when my face wash removed my makeup. But you know what else can be pretty stubborn? Makeup. I don’t know if I was in denial, or just didn’t notice for a long time, but eventually I realized that I was missing some makeup with my face wash. I was having an especially hard time removing all the makeup around my eyes and from either side of my nose. 

One of the most popular types of product used in a double cleanse routine is cleansing balm. They claim to dissolve stubborn makeup instantly, which sounded pretty amazing. I was skeptical of cleansing balms for a long time and thought they sounded too good to be true. Since I enjoy trying new skincare products, I thought I’d give one a shot and see what all the fuss was about. A lot of cleansing balms have very mixed reviews. The Derma E Universal Cleansing Balm received great reviews and is also affordable, so I decided that was the one. I’ve been using it for just over a month now and I really wish I hadn’t waited so long! Continue reading for my full review. 😉

Product claims directly from

This luxurious cleansing balm melts on contact and transforms into lightweight cleansing milk that instantly dissolves all makeup, dirt and excess oil buildup without overly drying the skin, leaving the skin supple, smooth and ultra-hydrated. Enriched with soothing extracts and nourishing vitamins for a deep, yet gentle cleanse.

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Other product details

  • Price: $15.00
  • Net weight: 3.5 oz.
  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Free of gluten, soy, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petrolatum, sulfates, mineral oil, artificial colors, and artificial fragrances
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Where to buy: or
    • Derma E unfortunately only ships within the United States.
    • ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
  • Overall rating: 9.0/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 9/10
    • Cleansing: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 8/10
    • Ease of removal: 8/10
    • Price: 10/10

Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.

Packaging/ease of application

This cleansing balm is packaged in a plastic jar. A small spatula is provided to hygienically scoop the product out of the jar. Some cleansing balms that include a spatula have it magnetized to stay affixed to the lid, or some other type of design feature to hold it in place. This one doesn’t have anything like that, so unfortunately it would be very easy to lose the spatula. I’ve managed not to lose mine yet, as I always set it on top of the jar when I’m finished using it. I appreciate that the spatula was provided, but I really wish Derma E had provided a storage solution to keep it with the jar. 

The cleansing balm itself is extremely easy to apply! It looks like a soft wax coming out of the jar, but as soon as it reacts with the warmth of my skin, it melts down to an oil, or cleansing milk as Derma E calls it. That cleansing milk spreads easily over the skin and a little goes a long way.

One thing I really like about this cleansing balm (and this may be true for all cleansing balms) is that it applies very well to dry skin. Derma E recommends adding water to activate, but I don’t find that to be necessary. It’s very effective without water until it’s time to wash everything away.


Once this cleansing balm has melted on my skin, it instantly starts to dissolve my makeup. The first time I used it, I thought “wow this is magic!” It breaks down all makeup very easily, whether it’s very light tinted moisturizer, full coverage foundation, or even a full eye look with mascara. Once I’ve massaged it into my whole face, all makeup has been dissolved and it’s ready to be washed or wiped away. I am very happy with how quickly, easily, and thoroughly this cleansing balm breaks down every trace of makeup on my face.


When I decided to seek out a cleansing balm, I wasn’t expecting to find one with many skincare benefits. I thought they were just designed to remove makeup and that was it. I don’t know about others out there, but Derma E Universal Cleansing Balm contains several skin-loving ingredients!

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Vegetable Derived), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lauryl Laurate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glyceryl Stearate Citrate (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Alcohol (Vegetable Derived), Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Camellia Olefera Seed Oil, Retinol (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Polysorbate 20, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Orange Sweet Oil, Natural Fragrance Oils

I’m not entirely happy with the ingredient list for this product, but there are a lot of ingredients I was pleased to see on it. I’ll get to the not-so-good ingredients after going over the good ones! 

  • Safflower Seed Oil
    • Contains nourishing fatty acids and antioxidant vitamin E
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
    • Improves damaged or irritated skin barrier
    • Loaded with fatty acids
  • Cocoa Seed Butter
    • Rich emollient that’s highly moisturizing and nourishing
    • Contains fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols
  • Shea Butter
    • Emollient moisturizer
    • Skin-soothing
    • Antioxidant-rich
  • Rosehip Oil
    • High fatty acid content
    • Has antioxidant and skin-regenerative properties
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
    • Stable form of vitamin C
  • Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil
    • Emollient and moisturizing
    • Rich in fatty acid, oleic acid
    • Contains vitamin E
  • Retinol (Vitamin A)
    • Most proven anti-aging ingredient available OTC
    • Smooths skin and reduces wrinkles
  • Tocopheryl Acetate (most common version of vitamin E)
    • Antioxidant
    • Skin-strengthening
    • Not as well absorbed as pure vitamin E

Impressive, right? I was especially shocked to see retinol included on the list, as it’s usually only used in leave-on products. I’m happy to see it since it is an effective anti-aging ingredient! 

The only ingredients I was disappointed to see are the last three ingredients on the list: Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Orange Sweet Oil, and Natural Fragrance Oils. These fragrance oils are all possible skin irritants. Plus, we have no way of knowing which oil(s) are included in “natural fragrance oils.” Fortunately, that is the very last ingredient on the list. I wish Derma E had made this cleansing balm fragrance free by leaving out the last three ingredients, but I am glad that they did put them at the bottom of the list so they have small concentrations in the formula. They would be much more likely to irritate sensitive skin if they were further up the list.

All other ingredients in the formula are “neutral” things like emollients and emulsifiers. Nothing to worry about from those. 🙂

While I’m not thrilled to see the fragrance ingredients included in this product, overall it’s a very impressive list of ingredients. That makes me even happier that I chose this as my first ever cleansing balm!

Ease of removal

This product is a bit heavy and very greasy due to the oils. Because of that, it isn’t the easiest product to rinse off. It can be removed with water alone, but I find that I have to work at it for a couple of minutes to get it all off. The easiest way to remove this cleansing balm is by wiping it off with a damp washcloth. Once I’ve done that, my skin feels clean. To be sure everything is truly removed from my face, I follow up with my Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser and then I can move on with the rest of my skincare routine.


Derma E offers many affordable skincare products and some that I think are a little overpriced for a drugstore brand. Fortunately, this cleansing balm is one that I feel falls into the affordable/fairly priced category at $15.00 for 3.5 ounces. Until I started searching for a cleansing balm, I had no idea how expensive some of them are. Many of the high-end cleansing balms are $30+, and frankly I think that’s crazy since it’s a product that doesn’t stay on the skin for very long. There aren’t very many drugstore brands that offer cleansing balms. I found one from Milani that is $13.99, but it’s only a 1.59 ounce jar! I am happy to pay $15.00 to Derma E for more than twice the amount of product!

Like I said in the intro, I wish I’d tried this cleansing balm much earlier than I did. It’s very pleasant to use, smells amazing, I appreciate the great skincare ingredients, and I’m always happy to see how effectively it dissolves even the most stubborn makeup.

I think Derma E Universal Cleansing Balm would work very well for any makeup-wearer, possibly with the exception of those that have sensitive skin. There’s always some risk with fragrant oils, but thankfully the risk with this product should be fairly low since those oils have the lowest concentrations of all the ingredients.

Do you use cleansing balm to remove your makeup, or do you prefer to use a different type of product? Please share your favorites in the comments below!


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2 thoughts on “Derma E Universal Cleansing Balm–Dissolve Stubborn Makeup Instantly

  1. Hi Lauren, I have never used a cleansing balm before but would like to try one. I do notice at times that after cleansing I still have traces of makeup remaining on my skin. This sounds like a really good product and I am looking forward to trying it. Thanks for another informative review!

    • Hi Tammy! You will never have that problem again once you start using cleansing balms, or at least this one. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the product review!


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