Alpha-H Essential Cleansing Balm - review


As you may know, I did an unboxing post for my Alpha-H The Essentials Collection not long ago (see here) and I'm back today to review the first item in the set.

Even though my unboxing post was around three weeks ago, I'd actually opened and started using the set around a month before that - so I've been using this product for a good while and it's definitely time to review it (indeed, I used my last application this morning).

Long story short, I do like it but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it over other cleansing balms that I've tried: it's fine but it's not perfect. More on that below.

Alpha-H claims/product details:

  • Containing a cocktail of essential oils (sea buckthorn, rose hip and geranium), this nourishing balm will cleanse the skin while replenishing much-needed moisture
  • This 4-in-1 cleanser, toner, makeup remover and soothing balm melts away makeup and impurities, leaving the skin clean and satin soft
  • Repairs and strengthens the skin’s protective acid mantle
  • Alleviates discomfort, tightness and irritation on super-sensitive skins
  • Can be used as a pre-cleanse balm and followed by an alternate cleanser
  • Recommended for use as a balm overnight, for intense nourishment for dry skins
  • For normal, dry and mature skin
  • RRP $45 AUD for 50ml, but do shop around


I've mentioned before that I don't think Alpha-H's cleansers are its best products, and the same holds true for this one - or at least, that's my opinion. It's not that it's a bad product, it's just that I've used better and I wouldn't buy it again.

It's a standard cleansing balm in texture, although it's a little thicker than most and it doesn't melt or spread across the skin as well as I would I like. What this means in practice is that I use more of it per application than I would like, which of course means that it's not as good value when you consider its price on a cost-per-use basis.

It smells good (like a fresh floral) and I do enjoy putting it on my face because it feels nicely hydrating. While I haven't tried it as an overnight treatment, I have tried it as a kind of mask (I whack on in the morning for half an hour while I'm rushing around getting the kids organised). It keeps my dry skin feeling hydrated when used in this way, so I do think that it would make a good overnight treatment if that's how you wanted to use it.

I have two main issues with this product, the first being that it doesn't remove makeup as well as I would like, and the second being that it's quite hard to remove so it leaves behind a residue that won't come off (even with a damp face cloth).

So although it does work reasonably well on normal makeup, it doesn't stand a chance against things like mascara and eyeliner (even my brow pencil) - meaning it's not the right cleansing balm for me personally. Do note that I'm not the first person to have mentioned this aspect, so it's something to keep in mind.

And although I normally use my cleansing balms for a first cleanse anyway (whether in the morning or evening), I don't like a balm that doesn't come off easily. All this means for me in practice is that my second cleanse is dealing with the residue of this product, rather than removing the last bits of grime from my skin.

Overall I don't dislike this product and indeed it's one that I enjoy using, but I don't think it's very effective and I've used other similar cleansers that I prefer. For example, I recommend Oskia's Renaissance Cleansing Gel (reviewed here), Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (reviewed here) and Bobbi Brown's Soothing Cleansing Oil (reviewed here) over this product any day.

Nice to use but not super effective.

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