The other day, I was talking on the phone with my friend, and NewBeauty Brain Trust member, OMGBart. As we debated if either of us really needed more cold brew, I spotted a couple of leaves falling outside.
“Summer is over,” I confidently proclaimed, while coincidently deciding that was the sign I needed that more coffee was in order.
“It is, but it was a really good summer,” Bart responded back. “Especially for cleansing balms.”
Skin-care poetry, perhaps, but also a simple truth from someone who really knows (and tries a ton of) skin care.
In a world that’s beyond inundated with fancy beauty launches daily, the standby product did seem to have a moment over the past couple months. Here’s what made our “must” list between the copious amounts of caffeine.
The balms that ran this summer’s skin-care circuit
This is the fancy one—the super luxe, late-summer launch from the beloved brand that, yes, Meghan Markle uses. It’s fragrance-free, ridiculously soft, and, for lack of a better descriptor, “like butter.” It also has a pretty cool origin story, as it employs time-tested Japanese Indigo to protect and heal the skin from internal and external stressors.
Earlier this summer, BABOR re-formulated its range of iconic face cleansers and added a cleansing balm that Bart tells me may be his “all-time favorite” one to date. “Its dreamy texture is made possible by a medley of nourishing plant oils that are infused with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid to ensure that after every speck of tinted sunscreen is melted away, my complexion feels remarkably soft,” he shares. “I’m talking can’t-stop-touching-my-face kind of soft.”
Bakeup Daily Meltdown ($32)
I’m admittedly cheating on the date with this one because it came out in the spring, but it somehow fell under my sink until I found it in June (sorry, Jo Baker, I have a small apartment!). Nevertheless, it is nothing but, literally, solid—a simple, pink-hued, ridiculously moisturizing formula that works whether you’re wearing a ton of makeup or keeping it simple with sunscreen. And, for bonus points, we hear it’s been tested on a bunch of celebs after wrapping up the red carpet.
A new iteration of the classic Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, this limited-edition rendition of the brand’s best-seller hit shelves right after Memorial Day in a major way. Formulated with strawberry seed extract to help improve skin’s softness, the scent is, succinctly put, divine. Plus, it works double-duty as a very gentle exfoliator thanks to enzymatic papaya extract.
With a brightening and barrier-supporting blend of marshmallow and licorice roots that’s mixed with zingy orange peel, this mid-summer launch is just lovely. Like a good balm should, it melts away makeup—all while encouraging you to take a minute for yourself.
While not technically a balm, the latest from Votary is another Bart-approved favorite that will perform as such when applied to dry skin. “Part of the sensitive skin-friendly range and infused with the brand’s proprietary blend of 21 Super Seed Oils, this fragrance-free formula is as posh as it is gentle,” he shares. “And since my skin can get reactive during summer travel or after prolonged exposure to the sun—the many outdoor brunches are to blame—this superb cleanser has been in constant rotation since its June launch.”
Dezi Skin Skin So Balm ($39)
This early-August addition to the mix is unique because it comes in a tube (as opposed to the jar), which makes it extra easy to use. Sure, it’s rich, but it’s also ridiculously effective at dissolving even the most stubborn waterproof makeup.