Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm
Cleansing balms aren’t a new idea by any means (think Pond’s Cold Cream), but they’re gaining popularity as the category of facial cleansers expands. Farmacy’s Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm has potential but is undone by unfortunate ingredients and packaging.
Like most cleansing balms, this starts out semi-solid, then “melts” when it contacts the warmth of skin. It’s easy to spread and is effective in removing makeup, including longwearing and waterproof formulas.
While its basic performance is good, many of the ingredients included are not. Among them are lime, bergamot, and orange oils, all of which smell refreshing put skin at risk for irritation (not to mention the potential irritation they can cause in the eye area). Even though this product is rinsed off, the issue remains, particularly if you’re using this daily (see More Info for details).
Another issue is that this is packaged in a jar. It’s unhygienic and can introduce bacteria into the product (More Info has the scoop on that as well).
In the end, it’s simply better to select one of the superior, gentler options you’ll find on our list of best makeup removers.
- Easy to spread and effective at removing makeup.
- Removes longwearing and waterproof makeup formulas.
- Contains citrus oils that put skin (and eyes) at risk for irritation.
- Packaged in a jar, which can cause hygiene issues.
Jar Packaging: Jar packaging is rarely ideal, but if a product lacks antioxidants, soothing and nourishing plant extracts and oils, and skin-repairing and skin-restoring ingredients, it’s not as much of a problem because the product doesn’t contain any of those beneficial ingredients that will break down when exposed to air or light. On the other hand, jars are still unsanitary because you dip your fingers into them with each use, contaminating the product—especially water-based formulas.
So, generally, it’s best to buy products in airtight or air-restrictive packaging. But, if it’s a ho-hum ordinary moisturizer, it’s not the worst thing we can think of, although your skin deserves better than just ordinary!
Reference for this information:
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
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
This nourishing makeup remover + cleansing balm gently melts away stubborn makeup and impurities caused by pollution, without stripping skin. Cleanse effortlessly and indulge your senses with this balm-to-oil formula that smells like summer!
Farmacy is the creation of entrepreneurial businessman and self-described “plant geek” Mark Veeder. Due to a chance discovery, he was able to bring together his childhood background on a farm and his experience as a marketing and public relations expert to create a skin care brand focused on farm-raised ingredients.
As the story goes, during his time as a marketing professional in New York City, Veeder still maintained a 7-acre farm 90 miles away. The chance discovery happened in 1999, when he noticed an unusual green variant of the normally-purple Echinacea Purpurea on his property. Excited by what this could mean, he sent the plant to a lab for testing. The test results showed that this version had 300 times more of the antioxidant cichoric acid than the usual strain of the plant. Veeder patented it, sold it to local nurseries, and named it GreenEnvy. Fifteen years after the initial discovery, he resolved to create a skin care company, Farmacy, with GreenEnvy as its star ingredient.
Before you get too excited: there’s little independent research backing the claims surrounding GreenEnvy’s potency (most of the research has been done on Farmacy’s behalf), though as with most plant extracts, it provides antioxidant benefits and may also prevent collagen breakdown, which is nice but hardly unique to this plant.
As for the products themselves, most have solid foundations (great, plant-based antioxidants abound) but some of them are undone by additions that make them less-than-ideal for skin. Many contain fragrant plant oils which, while natural, aren’t good for skin. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, puts skin at risk for irritation that can cause numerous problems. Frustratingly, many of the fragrant plants are, in fact, also brilliant antioxidants; however, plenty of natural ingredients also provide antioxidant benefits without risking skin irritation and other problems.
We like that Farmacy’s take on natural is to combine it with key lab-engineered (synthetic) ingredients. This approach is refreshingly honest and affirms the research-supported fact that just because an ingredient is synthetic doesn’t mean it’s bad for skin. The truth is there are good and bad natural ingredients as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients.
Farmacy’s other issue beyond fragrance is that several of the products are packaged in jars, which exposes their good ingredients to light and air that will eventually cause them to break down and lose effectiveness.
There is one mineral-based sunscreen that’s a standout, especially for sensitive skin, but because of the issues mentioned above, this line isn’t quite the farm-fresh merger of nature and science it’s made out to be.
To learn more about Farmacy, visit https://www.farmacybeauty.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.