Every brand has a calling card. That one product that they’re known for. Etude House has it’s comprehensive library of lip tints, Peripera’s is the Airy Ink line, say Innisfree and you think of volcanic pore clay masks and Jeju, and Clio’s is the KillCover foundation. For Banila co., the calling card is Clean It Zero cleansing balms, in all their pastel, reformulated glory.
I’ve managed to go a really long time without purchasing one of these almost cult-Kbeauty products. They’ve been a staple in Banila co.’s product line up since its debut in 2008, but a little sample of the ‘original’ cleansing balm – I received it when I purchased a primer near the end of last year – swayed me into getting a full size version. It’s a hero product for a reason. Allure reports that a tub is sold every three seconds.
Also, the original formula (along with the original look and branding of banila co., ) has been reworked. Gone are the microbeads, so I thought it was high time to see what all the fuss is about.
Ahhh such beautiful packaging. Clean it Zero is an oil cleansing product that is advertised as being able to melt away even stubborn makeup, as well as dead skin and nasties that are hiding in your pores, without stripping the skin’s natural oils. That means that it should be used in a double cleansing routine to make sure that the excess oil is removed. It comes in a balm form; solid at room temperature and starts to melt once it comes into contact with the heat from your skin. The Banila Co. copy says that it’s a ‘sorbet’ consistency, and some other kbeauty bloggers describe it as ‘sherbet’, but I’d say it’s comparable to a less grainy coconut oil with a lower melting point. It goes on very smoothly, and melts very quickly.
The Clean It Zero line features four cleansing balms: the original (pink), nourishing (yellow), purifying (purple), and revitalising (green). As you can see, the one that wound its way into my stash is the revitalising balm, also referred to as resveratrol.
The balm itself is really easy to use: scoop a bit up, massage it into the skin and watch everything melt away.
It’s very effective at getting rid of even the most stubborn of lip tints, and mascaras. For extra oomph, I like to use this with my Daiso Silicone Sonic Cleansing brush, as I can be really lazy with cleansing my face, and that takes a lot of the massaging work out.
As it’s a cleansing balm, a little goes a long way. There’s also minimal oil-cleansy mess with the product running down your face (only me?) or trying not to drop any so as not to waste product, considering it only starts changing into an oil when it comes into contact with the heat of the skin.
Packaging. Beauty of it aside, the product comes in a glossy cardboard box (recyclable) that matches the product type. All banila co products have a authenticity sticker on the packaging, as well as a little authenticity pamphlet inside, which really helps if you’re purchasing kbeauty products – especially famous/sought after kbeauty products – on reselling websites.
The balm comes in a screw top container of 100ml (3.3fl oz.) that has a security seal to prevent tampering. There is also a small, transparent, plastic spatula to use to scoop the desired amount of balm out of the pot to avoid contamination from your hands.
The clean it zero line is formulated without parabens, sulphates, phthalates, mineral oil, alcohol, or artificial colorings. Each different type has extra ingredients added to give it a little zing. For example nourishing (yellow) adds Ginseng Berry and Royal Jelly for intense moisture, and purifying adds 7 natural herbs to the original formula to help keep problem skin balanced and irritation free.
Revitalizing adds Resveratrol and Grape Seed Oil to help protect skin from environmental pollution and combat the first signs of aging.
The pollution protection was what drew me to the revitalizing balm in the first place; Seoul’s air pollution problem is terrible, hardly on the mend due to consistently blaming China for the bulk of the issue instead of admitting fault and tackling the issue at hand, and I shall be damned if that becomes apparent on my skin. So I am here for anything that helps me take the pollution off my face at the end of the day.
Resveratrol here is utilised for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It exerts its effects by scavenging free radicals and preventing the formation of new free radicals, which helps protect the skin.
Grape Seed Oil is commonly used for its moisturising properties, as it has the benefit of being non-comedogenic. But it also has a whole host of other benefits when used in skincare.
I like how easily the product emulsifies and can be massaged into the skin. It holds up to the company’s claim of easily removing stubborn makeup, even the toughest of waterproof mascaras. I am also really happy that it doesn’t sting or irritate my eyes at all, and I’ve found that to be a problem with other oil cleansers that I’ve really liked in the past (see: The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Milk and The Face Shop Rice Water Cleansing Oil), as the need for separate cleansers is frustrating.
After using I do feel that my face has been thoroughly cleansed of the grime that was on it previously, the first time. Which is great, as with some other cleansers I have tried it can take one or two applications to feel as though everything has been removed effectively. It also doesn’t leave my face feeling dry or tight after use, but then again it is an oil cleanser and does leave a residue, so it feels a little greasy.
When I use this cleanser, I do really like the way it leaves my skin feeling: clean, refreshed, and ready for the rest of my skincare routine. I have noticed that my skin has maintained its current clear status, and seems more moisturised, though I can’t comment really on any anti-ageing properties.
It’s an oil cleanser so I use this in tandem with a water based (foaming) cleanser. Which does add an extra step and if you’re lazy like me, that extra step does sometimes make me swerve away from Clean it Zero and towards the cleansing waters. I know they’re not nearly as effective, but I value those four minutes of extra time.
Some of the Clean it Zero types are fragranced, which can be a cause for concern for sensitive skin. I do have sensitive, eczema prone skin and so far the revitalizing balm has not irritated my face.
Finally, I think the price point could potentially be a downside? The Korean retail price is 22000₩ for revitalizing, purifying, and nourishing, 18000₩ for the original, which is higher than other roadshop brands. Banila Co. products do tend to occupy the mid-price range in Korean cosmetics, so for those on a budget it might not be the most purse friendly, especially when considering import and reselling price hikes.
Ok, Ok, I thoroughly slept on this cleanser and it does deserve a lot of the hype surrounding it. It breaks down makeup effectively, doesn’t require a lot of work or rubbing to do that, looks nice on the countertop for perfect #shelfie’s… I can see why people tout it as a holy grail product.
There were concerns voiced when Banila Co. announced a reformulated version of Clean It Zero to remove the microbeads, especially about the propensity to irritate highly sensitive skin due to the addition of fragrance, but I haven’t had any problems personally. However, everyone has different skin types and different skin concerns, so please keep that in mind.
Overall, I really like this cleanser and how it treats my skin when I use it. I will probably be repurchasing, perhaps the nourishing or purifying versions.
Have you tried Banila Co.’s Clean it Zero cleansing balm before? If you have, what are your thoughts on it? And if you have tried the original formula and the reformulated versions, how do they compare? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below. 🙂