SKINCARE REVIEWS || Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original

It's been a hot minute since I last blogged, but I intend to get through a huge backlog of posts that have been building up! ...

Popular Korean Kbeauty Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Review

It's been a hot minute since I last blogged, but I intend to get through a huge backlog of posts that have been building up!

Korean and Japanese skincare has scaled new heights of popularity in the UK recently, ironically at a time when getting hold of them has become little more difficult and expensive due to Covid-19. But it seems as though people are developing more of an understanding beneath the hype that surrounds Asian Beauty.

I've found over the past couple of years I'm getting more and more questions on Twitter and Instagram about particular products, and it started to get a bit much, to the point where I can't respond to everyone, so it makes much more sense to put my thoughts up in a blog post, and just direct people here!

So to kick it all off, I thought I'd go with the outrageously popular Clean It Zero cleansing balm from Banila Co. In fact, it's so popular, it's even made it to the Morphe website. Its a bit expensive there, but more on that later...

I came across Clean It Zero when I first embarked on my Asian beauty adventures after visiting Japan. I experienced some amazing results from Japanese products, and heard that Korean skincare products were every bit as good as their Japanese counterparts. From scouring the internet, one product kept coming up over and over again, and that product was Clean It Zero, so I just had to get my hands on it, and I've never looked back since.

At that time, the formula was a little lumpy, but these lumps would melt away in the summer, think coconut oil! It still did the job of course, and it wasn't unpleasant, but the lumps were noticeable. The new formula has moved away from mineral oil to another type of oil that's an emollient which gives richness to the formula, and makes it milder and much more pleasant on the skin.

Banila Co Clean It Zero cleansing balm review


First thing's first. The packaging, is an aesthetic dream. When I first used it, the packaging was pretty garish though, really outdated and looked like it was straight out of the 90s, and not in that good retro kind of way. But, as I mentioned above, they reformulated the product, and as part of that, introduced new packaging to fit in with the pastel dream aesthetic of their stores. Now, it really is a thing of beauty.

So what actually is Clean It Zero? 

Well, it's one of the first cleansers that K-beauty newbies pick up on, just because of its popularity and the rave reviews it tends to get. They actually have a whole range of cleansing balms - there are Revitalising, Nourishing and Purifying editions, but the one I'm looking it is the original.

To summarise, it's a cleansing balm. Banila Co describe it as a 'sherbet' that transforms into an oil, but I'm not sure what they mean by sherbet. I'd describe the texture as more of a sorbet, but when it's applied to the face, or comes into contact with warmth, it melts down into an oil. 

And when it's time to rinse off, you just add a couple of drops of water, the oil starts to turn a milky colour and it emulsifies, making it easy to rinse off, ready for your second cleanse. If you're not a fan of emulsifying though, you can just use a damp muslin cloth to wipe it off.

Banila Co Clean It Zero kbeauty cleansing balm texture

So why the cult status?

Quite simply, it does the job. It removes pretty much any makeup with ease, even waterproof emulsion paints, and it takes off layers of sunscreen. But if that wasn't enough for you, it manages to do all this without giving that horrible stripping feeling you can get on your face with some cleansers. It actually feels pleasant to use, the texture is soft and buttery, and they've added the likes of Vitamin E and Acerola extract, which is exfoliating and rich in vitamin C.

Personally, I'm always layering on sunscreen, and I can go pretty heavy with the makeup too. If you've ever seen my Instagram, you'll be aware that I post creative looks quite frequently, often featuring glitter and cosmetic emulsion paints, which can all be quite tricky to remove. Not for Clean It Zero though, it just melts off almost effortlessly, without any tugging on the skin at all.

To add to that, the area around my eyes become quite sensitive in summer in particular, yet somehow this doesn't cause any irritation or stinging in that area. It also requires only a small amount of product to cleanse your face, even for the must stubborn makeup, so a single tub will last you a long time.

Banila Co Clean It Zero cleansing balm texture

Anything else I need to know?

Fragrance - there is a slight fragrance to the product, though in truth, I'd never really noticed it until I came to write this review, and I've been using it for years! I've used the Elemis pro-collagen cleansing balm in the past, which has a really heavy fragrance to it - Clean It Zero is nothing like that at all. However, if fragrance free is what you're after, the Purifying Clean It Zero (the baby blue tub) is fragrance free, it also contains additional beneficial ingredients for the skin, such as the calming Centella Asiatica and brightening Licorice. 

Cruelty Free - it's complicated. They do sell in China, but they state that they don't test on animals as part of the product development process, and the product is also vegan. But if that isn't satisfying to you, there is an almost identical Korean product that has been confirmed as cruelty-free. The brand is called Heimish and the product is called the All Clean Balm. It's quite popular in Korea, but not on the same level as Banila. The ingredients in that one are superior and it does basically the same thing. I'll review that in a later post.

So where can I get it from?

Ah, the golden question! I bought mine from the Banila Co store in Seoul as part of a set back in March 2019, and I still haven't finished both of the tubs that came with it, which really does go to show that it lasts.

You can either purchase the Jumbo tub at 180ml or the regular at 100ml - either will last you quite some time. The number of places in the UK selling K-Beauty is starting to increase now, with the likes of Selfridges and Morphe starting to cater to the demand, both tend to hyper-inflate the prices, but if you want it now, then they serve their purpose.

Personally, I get all of my K-beauty from YesStyle, Stylevana or eBay. I've heard rumours of fakes doing the rounds on eBay, but to counteract that, if you're going to buy K-beauty or J-beauty from eBay, make sure the seller is located in Korea or Japan. If they're based in China for example, the risk of buying a fake is far greater. In fact, the only fake Korean beauty product I've ever came across was purchased from a UK based seller on eBay. 

The plus side, is when you do find a Korean or Japanese seller you can often get the products cheaper on eBay, so my advice on purchasing from eBay, is to buy from a seller based in the country of origin of that product. But if you'd rather not take the risk, Stylevana or YesStyle have got your back.

Note that all of the links below are affiliate links, and I will get a small commission if you purchase through these, but please feel free to do your own research and purchase elsewhere if you prefer:

eBay - 100ml £11.48 + free postage (shipped directly from South Korea) 

eBay - 180 ml £17.94 + free postage (shipped directly from South Korea) 

YesStyle - 100ml £14.24 - free shipping if you spend over £43

YesStyle - 180ml £24.37 - free shipping if you spend over £43

Stylevana - 100ml £13.69 - free shipping if you spend over £39

Stylevana - 180ml £19.39 - free shipping if you spend over £43

If you do decide to give Banila Co's Clean It Zero a try, I would love to know how it works for you!

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