i'm going to go ahead and preface this review with a disclaimer: this review is the result of the completion of the discussed product. that's right, i've used it in it's entirety. the product took about 3 months for me to finish with regular use. these are my complete thoughts. thank you.
cleansing is hands down my favorite skincare step. the ritual of concluding your day by removing its remnants from your face is therapeutic. i’m a cleansing enthusiast, which is why, of course, when this product launched i knew i was going to have to give it a go. for science.
TIMY living cleansing balm ($38) is an olive fruit and grapeseed oil based balm cleanser (hooray for being coconut oil free) that claims to be luxurious and nourishing. the brand is cruelty-free, vegan, and excludes mineral oil, alcohol, silicone (bless), parabens, artificial coloring and synthetic fragrances from their formulations which earns them som major dope points with me.
the TIMY site describes the texture of this balm as “sorbet-soft” and I will 100% agree with that statement. the color, texture, appearance, even somewhat the smell is reminiscent of sorbet to me which, in my opinion, lent a unique cleansing experience a la, have you ever wanted to rub a dessert on your face vibes.
for me, experience is the most important aspect of a higher-end cleansing product. with cleansers, i don’t expect to see anti-aging results, it doesn’t sit on my face that long. no, if i’m going to invest beyond basic level bucks on a product i’d like to see, smell, and feel where that extra coin is going.
visually the cleanser is stunning. the packaging, although plastic, feels sturdy, there are no labels affixed that may go soggy, no laser printed or etched lettering to flake or be scratched off, it’s appropriately premium by mid-tier standards. the cleanser itself is a gorgeous, inviting, dare i say mouthwatering color that is reminiscent of mango sorbet.
the cleanser’s scent is pleasant, not too strongly scented, just enough to stimulate the senses and provide a pleasant aura of juicy notes that enhance your cleansing experience.
texturally, i’m split. from jar to hand, the living balm cleanser feels surprisingly soft, like ice cream that’s been out on the counter for a bit. it glides out of the jar rather than chunking or flaking away from the remaining product. the act of physically scooping a bit of this cleanser from the pot is a notable experience all by itself. however, i personally find that once applied to the face, there isn’t as much slip as i’d like and in order to get adequate glide, you have to use more product than i’d like. i did find that often times, i would pull what i thought to be an adequate lump of product from the jar and yet would still experience light tugging.
i don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease in my cleansing routine, so consider that position in this section. this cleanser doesn’t instantly melt away mascara, so if you are looking for something super quick this may not be a product for you. i find that you really have to work this balm into the skin, twice actually. give it a good massage while still oily and add water for an additional round of cleansing action to emulsify, this second step is where i see the bulk of the magic happen. even after a thorough work over, i still have found remnants of mascara leftover that required a second round of cleansing to remove entirely. again, this isn’t something that bothers me but when i write this all down and read it back to myself, i can see where this would be a major deterrent for heaps of consumers.
i personally think that the work is worth the nourishing finish this cleanser imparts. if you are dry or dehydrated, you know how stripping some oil or balm cleansers can feel, i can assure you this is not the case with this guy.
now this is where the balm really falls flat for me.
the balm emulsifies, bless, however, i find that the film left behind after a reasonable rinse is one that i could never be satisfied leaving behind on my face and i feel it’s necessary to follow with a second cleanse.
double cleansing is dope, don’t get me wrong, i love it. that being said, if i’m getting into mid-tier pricing on a product that is literally being washed down the drain, i’d like it to be capable of performing solo if you feel me.
while the finish is nourished, the film feels somewhat occlusive and i worry it would interfere with actives applied post-cleanse if not chased with another product.
who is this for?
i would recommend this product to someone who is staunchly in camp balms4life and is looking for a cruelty-free option, free of most industry standard “nasties”. if you want something instagram worthy, super soft, and pleasantly scented and you don’t mind using a little more product per wash, following up with a second cleanse or polishing off with a hot towel, you’ll be into this and i wouldn’t blame you.
ultimately, this is a lovely moisturizing cleansing balm, but for the price, I expected a little more. where it hits its marks in appearance, scent, and texture straight out of the jar, i find the cleansing process to be slightly less silky, slightly more tuggy, than i’d like and i’m not a fan of the film left behind after rinsing with water.