NEW! Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm & Cleansing Mitt

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm Review

When it comes to my beauty routine (skincare, makeup and hair), I usually have a propensity for laziness with regards to certain steps in my routine.  Makeup?  No-makeup makeup looks are top of my list most days using the least amount of products (although I do like a good glam session for special occasions).  Hair?  My hair is in a clip or ponytail at least 4 out of 7 days of the week.  But skincare…?  Now that’s something I don’t like to cut corners on because let’s be real, we don’t get a ‘do-over’ when we reach the ripe age of 40 or 50 (and we look like we’re pushing 60).

I’ll be honest, during my 20s I didn’t invest much time or money in my skincare routine.  Back then I didn’t know what I know now (i.e. taking care of your skin is incredibly important!) and, for the most part, I thought I was invincible: “My granny had beautiful plump skin, so I must have inherited the same generous genes…right?”  WRONG!  Well, slightly wrong.  Even though I probably did inherit some of her amazing genes, it’s important to remember that the world we live in now isn’t the same as the 1940s or 1950s.  Pollution and a depleting ozone layer are serious issues in our current day and age, plus as modern human beings we’re always in a rush & trying to do things quicker, faster and more efficiently.  According to a study conducted by the International Dermal Institute, most people spend about 20 seconds washing their faces using a surfactant cleanser, leaving behind oil-based debris.  During the past 3 to 4 years I’ve come to realize that washing my face with a normal water-soluble cleanser just isn’t enough anymore.  Before I started taking my skincare routine seriously, I was dealing with acne / breakouts, textured skin, and a super oily complexion.  Since adding a cleansing oil (as a first step) and facial oils to my routine, my skin is so much healthier & plumper, plus my skin isn’t nearly as oily as it used to be.

I’m not saying double-cleansing will fix ALL your skin woes but take my word for it: Adding just one extra step to your cleansing routine will allow serums, moisturisers and overnight treatments like retinols to penetrate and work their magic much more effectively.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm And Mitt Review

What is double-cleansing?  Double cleansing involves using a cleansing oil / balm to break down makeup, sunscreen, and other oils on the surface of your skin first, and then following it with a deeper water-based cleanse.  A second round of cleansing will clean much deeper into the pores to remove any impurities, bacteria and old skin cells.

Top Tip: Applying a cleansing oil with dry hands is very important!  If your hands are even slightly damp, you’ll emulsify the oil too soon, and it won’t be as effective.

Why should you double-cleanse?  A cleansing oil removes the initial layer of makeup and grime, lifting those pore-clogging nasty bits and allowing your everyday face wash to really get in there and do its job properly.  I have found it’s also a much gentler way of removing makeup – makeup wipes have never worked for me, because it often feels like I’m just moving and pressing the makeup products deeper into my skin (instead of removing them completely).  And sometimes rubbing my eyelids with a cotton pad or some other abrasive material (makeup wipe) makes the skin around my eyes feel even more sensitive.  ‘Oil dissolves oil’ and ‘like attracts like’, so the oil molecules in your skin or makeup bond to the oil molecules in the cleansing oil, allowing you to rinse them off quicker and easier.  The water molecules in a gel-based cleanser simply can’t dissolve the oily bits on your skin as well as a lipid solution.

Double-cleansing has been part of my skincare routine for a long time.  If you’re a long-time reader of Pink Peonies blog, then you might remember I featured 2 of my favourite Dermalogica products in this blog post.  The one product was (and still is) Dermalogica PreCleanse – a lightweight cleansing oil that really packs a punch!  I highly recommend you head over to read my ‘Two Skincare Must-Haves From Dermalogica’ blog post – the exfoliator I featured is my #1 BFF…the macaroni to my cheese…the peanut to my butter…and the glaze on my doughnut!  Anyway, so the original PreCleanse recently got a baby sister called ‘PreCleanse Balm’ and in today’s blog post I’ll be telling you a bit more about this new product, plus I’ll chat about the differences between the two products.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm


Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm shares the same skincare goals as the traditional PreCleanse, it thoroughly melts layers of excess sebum (oil), sunscreen, waterproof makeup, environmental pollutants and residual skin products that build up during the day.  This deep-cleansing balm-to-oil cleanser appears solid at first, but transforms into a rich, skin conditioning oil that gently lifts product build-up without compromising your skin’s barrier or clogging pores.  Then just add water to transform this hydrophilic (water-loving) formula into a milky emulsion to deconstruct makeup and other oil-based debris, allowing them to easily rinse away from the skin’s surface.  It is safe for use around the delicate eye area and is formulated without artificial fragrances or colours.

There are 2 sizes available – a full size 90ml balm which will apparently last for about 82 uses (if used sparingly) and a travel size 15ml balm which should last you for +- 4 weeks.

PreCleanse Balm (both full size and travel size) also comes with a handy-dandy cleansing mitt which is included in the box for mild exfoliation.  The ergonomically designed double-sided silicone mitt applicator assists PreCleanse balm in offering a gentle yet effective cleanse.  One side has smaller, shorter silicone bristles, and the other side has larger, thicker silicone bristles to help customise your cleansing experience.  I love that the mitt is super easy to dry and store, just fit it over the tube.  The travel sized cleansing mitt is one-sided but also has two types of bristles for on-the-go cleansing.  It’s fitted with a suction cup to attach to the travel sized PreCleanse Balm or a flat surface.

PreCleanse Balm contains the following hero ingredients:

♥  Apricot Kernel Oil – A nourishing lightweight oil that soothes, tones, firms and enables the skin to maintain its moisture balance.

♥  Natural Biolipid Complex – A combination of Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Glycine / Soja Oil and Glycine Soja Sterols that help reinforce the skin’s barrier function while decreasing water loss to preserve skin hydration.

♥  Invigorating Essential Oils – An invigorating combination of essential oils refresh the senses and helps deliver the state of clean that is traditionally experienced in the professional treatment room (it smells like a Dermalogica facial).

Here’s what makes PreCleanse Balm unique from the original PreCleanse:

♥  It’s ideal for normal to dry skin, although all skin conditions can benefit (original PreCleanse is most suitable for normal to oily skin types).

♥  It’s more travel-friendly due to its solid form.

♥  A soft-touch, double-sided mitt applicator is included in the packaging to help ensure a more thorough, professional level of clean (gentle exfoliator).

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm Reviews


Squeeze the PreCleanse Balm tube to dispense a small grape sized amount onto the cleansing mitt or directly to your dry hand.  Massage the balm into dry skin using circular motions to start dissolving makeup & other oily debris on the skin.  Add water to emulsify, and rinse with warm water.  Then follow with your favourite facial cleanser to complete your double cleanse.

PreCleanse Balm dissolves any makeup – even the densest, darkest waterproof mascara and longwearing foundation.

It’s important to note that modern cleansing oils (like Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm) have a major advantage over pure oils (like coconut oil) because they contain a type of ingredient known as an emulsifier.  This allows the oil to mix with water and form a milky emulsion, making it easy to rinse off instead of leaving a greasy residue behind.


Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm retails for R210,00 (travel size) or R660,00 (full size) and is available at Dermalogica Concept Stores (click here to find your nearest one), the Dermalogica South Africa online store, and at selected beauty salons (i.e. Sorbet).

Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Dermalogica South Africa.



  1. wilma
    23 October 2017 / 16:42

    Love the photo of you, Luzanne. Your skin looks so good. 🙂

  2. ronel verbeek
    23 October 2017 / 16:44

    Sjoe, ek wil hierdie reinigings balm vir my kry. Dit klink asof dit verskriklik lekker op die vel sal wees. x

  3. 24 October 2017 / 14:30

    Ah you have such beautiful skin! Dying to give this a bash!

  4. Ayesha
    25 October 2017 / 08:59

    How would you compare this product to Clinique Take the Day Off balm?

    • Alexa Pohl
      28 October 2017 / 14:23

      Was wondering the same as the Clinique TTDO balm is my favorite! My skin doesn’t usually like any essential oils, wonder which are in the PreCleanse Balm…?

  5. 25 October 2017 / 11:24

    Wow Luzanne…your skin looks amazing! I’m such a fan of the pre-cleanse. Seeing as I have combination/oily skin, best I stick to that one I assume?

    I’ve learnt SOOOOO much from your blog over the years!

  6. sonja V
    30 October 2017 / 17:24

    I bought the balm this past weekend, and its amazeballs!!! Thanks, Luzanne

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