Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm
Versed’s Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm offers those with normal to dry skin an alternative to liquid cleansers, but it isn’t the best choice. This cleansing balm does its job admirably, but its fragrant formula ultimately doesn’t do skin any favors.
Typical of this kind of cleanser, Day Dissolve Balm starts out as a solid balm which quickly “melts” and emulsifies upon contact with water. It smooths across skin easily, and does a great job removing dirt, debris, and makeup– even waterproof and longwearing formulas. It rinses easily, without residue, leaving skin softer and smoother.
The softening effect is thanks in part to its combination of non-fragrant plant oils oils, among them nourishing jojoba, avocado, apricot, marula, and sesame seed oils. Each of these has antioxidant properties as well, though because they’re rinsed from skin you’re won’t get the same benefits you’d get from using a leave-on product like a moisturizer or serum.
The not-so-good news involves the addition of fragrant eucalyptus and clove oils. Both are present in greater amounts than their beneficial counterparts (you can distinctly smell both of them) and fragrance, whether natural or synthetic (and even in a product that’s rinsed off), poses a risk of irritation– particularly in the eye area, where you’d typically use a cleansing balm to remove tenacious makeup. In addition, this contains the fragrance ingredients eugenol and limonene, which put skin at further risk for irritation (see More Info for details).
Adding to the problems is jar packaging. Though this type of packaging for a non-water based product isn’t as much of a hygiene issue as with aqueous formulas, it’s still a consideration.
Though this balm’s performance is exemplary, because of its irritating ingredients and packaging, it’s better to select an alternative from our list of best cleansers.
- Does a good job removing dirt, debris, and makeup (including waterproof and longwearing formulas).
- Contains several nourishing, non-fragrant plant oils.
- Contains irritating eucalyptus and clove oils.
- Includes fragrance ingredients that increase the risk for irritation.
- Packaged in a jar, which isn’t the most hygienic option.
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 your skin 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:
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
From the moment you twist open the cap, this cleansing balm smells like a spa. That’s the eucalyptus and clove leaf oil—not artificial fragrance. This face wash in balm form melts away makeup and impurities without stripping moisture from your skin (thank you, vitamin E). As you massage it into your skin with wet fingertips, the oil-based formula softens to create a light, gentle milk that rinses clean with no oily residue (the kind that may have turned you off from cleansing balms in the past).
Versed Skincare is the creation of Katherine Power, former West Coast fashion editor of Elle magazine and co-founder of the LA-based fashion company Clique Brands. Versed is positioned as the sister brand of the company’s Who What Wear clothing line sold at Target, and so Versed is sold there as well as other retailers.
Versed’s philosophy is straightforward: offer affordable, effective skin care products that are both vegan and, in the brand’s words, clean. “Clean” is an ambiguous phrase in the beauty industry that lacks a standard, regulated definition (it varies from company to company), but in this instance it means that there are no so-called “toxic” and “questionable” ingredients in Versed’s products.
While some of these ingredients – such as formaldehyde and artificial fragrance – are certainly best avoided, others are labeled as bad based on outdated research, poorly designed or inconclusive studies, or simply anecdotal evidence, and not on the conditions (or concentrations) in which these ingredients are actually used in real-world skin care applications.
That aside, Versed has an attractive aesthetic that goes along with this clean philosophy: pastel-colored packaging with plain type that explains what each product’s purpose is and calls out key ingredients in each. For the most part, Versed products are packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients; however, there are a few instances of clear and jar packaging, which compromise the benefits of some ingredients, particularly antioxidants.
The formulas from Versed are a mixed bag. Some contain a host of beneficial ingredients while totally avoiding irritants, others are good but basic, and some others include fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose a risk of sensitizing skin (and we should be clear – fragrance, both synthetic and natural, can irritate skin). It really is a situation where the products are best judged on a case-by-case basis, as the hit-or-miss nature of the line requires more scrutiny than simply choosing based on product claims and skin type.
Despite the extra effort needed, Versed does have some good products to offer, and the convenience of being available both online and in a major retailer like Target, will have a lot of appeal to a good number of people. You can learn more about Versed at https://versedskin.com/.
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.