Cleansing balms are very popular right now, but they’re also divisive. You either like slathering something reminiscent of margarine directly onto your face, swirling around the remnants of the day’s makeup and sorrows into a deliciously indulgent grease before washing it down the sink … or you don’t.
Natural-meets-clinical skin-care brand Drunk Elephant recently came out with their own take on the millennial version of cold cream: their new Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser, a gentle, fragrance-free balm that claims to remove water-resistant makeup and anything else you don’t want on your face. Six Cut staffers cracked open a tub to see if this actually is the case. Here’s our verdict.
Izzy Grinspan, Senior Editor
Drunk Elephant calls their new facial balm a “butter cleanser.” This description is true: It really feels like washing your face with (vegan) butter. The super-rich formula is made from a blend of five oils. You smooth it over your dry face to dissolve dirt and makeup, then rinse it off with water. As a cleanser, it definitely worked for me: It took off my waterproof mascara with no trouble, and my skin felt soft and moisturized after washing. But my skin is easy to moisturize; for me the challenge is always controlling oil, and this was way too thick for me. After a few days I started to break out, so I gave up. This might be good for some people, but I don’t think it’s for me.
Sarah Spellings, Fashion Writer
I’ve never actually smothered my face in Kerrygold butter or fancy olive oil, but I imagine it’s not dissimilar to using the Drunk elephant cleanser. The textural experience is magnificent, to me. It melts onto your skin and leaves an oily residue that — in my experience — washed off seamlessly. That’s probably the best part about this cleanser.
I didn’t notice if it was either significantly better than my Glossier Milky Jelly or worse than my Eve Lom balm. As a cleanser, it got the job done in terms of removing my admittedly light makeup and not making my skin break out. The magnetic top and spoon is a nice touch, too.
Lisa Ryan, Senior Writer
Please be patient with me right now; I’m working through something. I thought I loved the Drunk Elephant cleanser like it was my own child. My skin has been extremely dry lately due to the constantly changing weather. The cleanser soothed it. But then someone told me that the cleanser made them break out — which is when I remembered that I, too, have had far, far, far more zits than usual lately. My skin is typically quite clear, but my forehead has been an absolute mess of acne the past couple of weeks. I thought I was just drinking too much, but could it be because of this cleanser? The breakouts — and wine drinking — did occur around the time I started using it.
I’m so confused. On the one hand, I love how smooth this cleanser has made my skin feel. I love how it removes my makeup, leaving behind an oily residue my dry skin longs for. On the other hand, I really hate being broken out. I guess I need to go back to my old cleanser for a bit to see if the wine was the culprit after all …
Daise Bedolla, Social Media Editor
I’m ride-or-die for my usual cleanser by First Aid Beauty. It’s been so great for my skin that I get nervous about trying new cleansers. But I recently started a new medication that makes my skin insanely dry, and I’ve had to rearrange my skin-care routine to accommodate the dryness. This moisturizing Drunk Elephant cleanser was a godsend.
I didn’t break out like other people, but I think that mainly has to do with me starting with parched skin that was begging for more intense moisture. I haven’t been wearing much makeup recently since my skin is mad at me, but I did test the cleanser on my hand to take off some eye shadow I was swatching and it did a great job. The little magnetic spoon is also so fun, and you only need about a pea-size amount of product to cover your entire face.
Kelly Conaboy, Writer-at-Large
I love the packaging of Drunk Elephant “Melting Butter Cleanser.” I love its pretty green color, and I love how its little spatula is magnetically attached to its lid, and I love holding it in my hand. It has a very pleasant weight. I also love the experience of using it! It is indeed quite buttery and feels nice on my face, plus it removes my makeup quite well.
The only thing I don’t particularly like about it is that it made me break out, and “I don’t want to look like that,” as the Foo Fighters once sang. As I was using it I thought “this is extremely buttery and feels for sure like it’s going to make me break out,” but I had faith that a Drunk Elephant product never would. Alas, it did. I still sort of like it, though. In the future I’ll be sure to follow it with a normal cleanser — maybe that will do the trick.
Erica Smith, Beauty Writer
Cleansing balms and beauty products with magnetic packaging are my jam, so I had a feeling I’d like this and I was correct. The “melting” and “butter” descriptors are 100 percent accurate. When you go to scoop, it’s pretty thick, like fridge butter. But once you start to rub it in your hands, it instantly melts into this luxurious potion that feels as moisturizing as a face oil, but with way more slip.
This was one of the most pleasant makeup-removal experiences I’ve had. Other balms usually loosen eye makeup and then spread it all over the place. My brow liner, liquid liner, and mascara completely disappeared after a few minutes of massaging this one — I was just left with a glossy face. I removed everything with a wet cloth before doing a proper rinse and zero product showed up on the towel, which was a refreshing change.
It is very, very rich though, and balm-induced breakouts are always a fear in the back of my head, so I’ll probably save this for heavy makeup days.
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