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CBD Purifying Gel Balm Cleanser

4.00 fl. oz. for $ 34.00
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Brand Overview

Cannuka's Purifying Gel Balm Cleanser has a couple of key issues that hold it back from being on par with the best cleansing balms out there.

Dispensed via squeeze tube, the rich balm texture is typical of this type of cleanser, but the downside is that it doesn’t rinse as cleanly as most. This is especially evident when used in the eye area to break down mascara, eyeliner, etc., as the filmy residue left behind blurs vision for a few seconds after rinsing. It’s also not as adept at removing long-wear makeup when compared with other cleansing balms we’ve tested.

The other issue is the fragrant grapefruit oil, which poses a risk of irritation, particularly in the eye area. (Not only can it sting, there are other repercussions for skin that we discuss in the More Info section.) Ultimately, that goes against the soothing effect of the hemp seed oil and sea buckthorn oil in the formula, counteracting their potential skin-calming properties.

As for Cannuka’s claim that this cleanser was formulated with their, “signature combination of CBD and Manuka Honey,” it’s difficult to tell from the ingredient list whether they’re using legitimate CBD. Their other products clearly call out “CBD isolate” on the ingredient list, along with the amount in milligrams, but Purifying Gel Balm Cleanser’s ingredient list only mentions Cannabis Sativa (hemp) seed oil and extract on the product’s ingredient list, and then elsewhere on the box packaging they indicate they’re using 120 milligrams of CBD isolate.

It’s sort of a moot point anyway, because even if they’re using legitimate CBD, the limited contact time with skin means you’re not reaping the full benefit of what CBD has to offer.

All told, there are better cleansing balms out there. Peruse out best cleansers list to find  superior options.

  • Contains soothing hemp seed oil and sea buckthorn oil.
  • Formulated with irritating grapefruit oil, which is particularly bad news for the eye area.
  • Not as adept at removing makeup compared to other cleansing balms.
  • CBD claims are iffy in this formula.

More Info:

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice.

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for it to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:
Annals of the Brazilian Journal of Dermatology, July-August 2017, pages 521-525
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Cannuka's Purifying Gel Balm Cleanser is a light and fluffy face cleanser that gently removes even the toughest makeup and impurities, while infusing rich moisture into your skin for a younger-looking glow. Made with our signature combination of CBD and Manuka Honey, this bouncy gel balm transforms into a silky lather that soothes the skin, leaving it blissfully soft and supple without any residue.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Water/Aqua, Sucrose Laurate, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Oil, Sucrose Stearate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Sucrose Palmitate, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Extract, Honey (Mel).

Cannuka’s backstory is that it was started by a husband and wife team who had a passion for legalizing industrial hemp and in that process, they discovered the benefits of topical CBD for skin. The wife (Kelly Bumgarner) also happens to be dermatologist.

According to Cannuka’s website, their products are, “simple, natural and only include essential beneficial ingredients.” At the heart of the brand you’ll find CBD plays a role in every formula, joined by manuka honey—both of which are an amalgamation that comprise the brand’s name. In terms of CBD, they’re sourcing legitimate cannabidiol, which delivers potent anti-inflammatory properties. Their manuka honey has a complementary effect by adding to the skin-calming and antioxidant properties.

Unfortunately, things go downhill from there as Cannuka’s formulas tend to get off track with fragrant essential oils and citrus-based ingredients that pose a risk of inciting skin-irritating inflammation. Furthermore, some products come in jar packaging, ultimately compromising the stability of many of their beneficial light- and air-sensitive ingredients.

Learn more about Cannuka at

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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