RAFRA Balm Orange Facial Cleanser - review


We received this cleanser in our recent edits from Maslow & Co (unboxed here).

It was the first item I opened from the box and I expected to love it because with dry skin, I almost always love cleansing balms - but for some reason this one hasn't grabbed me. 

I just don't like it as much as the other cleansing balms I've used and there's also something a little fake about it that doesn't appeal. More on that below.

RAFRA claims/product details:
  • A multi-functional balm that serves as a makeup remover, facial cleanser, massage cream, exfoliant and facial mask
  • Thoroughly removes impurities from the pores and promotes smooth, luminous skin
  • Crafted with powerhouse ingredients including essence, hyaluronic acid and collagen
  • Gently emulsifies makeup and impurities to wash away the day’s grime 
  • Bursting with the scent of zesty citrus
  • Skin is left cleansed, supple and radiant
  • RAFRA's top-selling product
  • Free of artificial fragrance, colouring, mineral oil, preservatives, petroleum surfactants, parabens and alcohol
  • RRP $55 AUD for 100g

Below I've photographed the product and you may notice the fingerprint mark on the balm's surface.

This happened because, when I opened the tub, it looked as though it had one of those little plastic 'dishes' on top that I needed to pull out before photographing it. 

I was wrong. That's just what the balm looks like and there is indeed something 'plastic-y' about its look and consistency.


I don't hate this product but I don't love it either and it's not one I would buy.

It's an orange-tinted, clear balm that smells strongly of fresh oranges. I do like the scent but it's rather overpowering so I'm sick of it already, even after only two weeks of use.

As mentioned above, there's something a little fake about this balm. It's hard to put my finger on it, but everything about it - from the look to the feel to the smell - feels over-processed and plastic-y to me. I mean, that's why I accidentally stuck my finger in it: I thought there was a plastic covering over the top, but there wasn't. That's just how it is.

You take some product and warm it in your hands before application, and I definitely suggest warming it first - otherwise you'll use too much. Mind you, I do tend to use a lot anyway (even if I warm it first) because it doesn't melt and 'thin out' as well as other balms I've used. This makes it bad value on a price-per-use basis.

However the main reason I don't love the product is this:

You may remember that I always apply a cleansing balm to my dry skin first thing in the morning, then I leave it there for twenty minutes or so to keep my skin feeling comfortable while I change nappies/get the kids breakfast etc, then later I'll add water, massage and remove it, following up with a second cleanser etc.

With every other cleansing balm I've tried, my dry skin feels happy and comfortable while I'm running around doing things for the kids. With this, it doesn't. For that twenty minutes, my poor face feels awfully dry and tight underneath the balm, so I can tell it's not hydrating my skin but instead sitting on top and doing not much. Sure, this is a cleanser and not a moisturiser - but it does market itself as being multipurpose (so you can use it as a mask) and it absolutely does not do that for me.

Worth noting: this morning I applied this product to half my face and another balm to the other half. The side with the other balm felt happy, hydrated and comfortable while I left it on, whereas the side covered in this product felt horribly dry and tight. Indeed, this is the only balm cleanser I've used that hasn't worked for that 'slap on and leave as a mask while caring for the kids' spot. I find that surprising.

In other news, this does dissolve makeup well (not waterproof mascara) so you can certainly use it for makeup removal if you want to, and it does make a reasonable cleanser although I definitely do need a cloth to remove it. It's not the most effective balm cleanser I've used but it does the job well enough.

Overall, I don't love this product and I can't recommend it. It's fine, but it's not the right cleansing balm for me. Mind you, every other review I've seen so far has been glowing so perhaps it works for many but it just doesn't suit my needs.

It's not cheap either.


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