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Dermalogica Precleanse Balm - By Megan Kelly

Dermalogica’s Precleanse Balm

Dermalogica Precleanse Balm - By Megan KellyFor months, I have been speaking about the often-unheard-of “step zero” in my skincare routine, from Dermalogica. Their Precleanse was one of the first products that made me realize just how different and innovative their approach to skincare is, and it still remains as one of my most favoured skincare steps.

What is Step Zero?

Your skin accumulates quite a bit of dirt throughout the day from pollutants in the air, sunscreen, makeup and your skin’s natural sebum, which can cause a waxy coating on the skin. For as long as I can remember, I have always been told that my skincare routine starts with step one, a cleanser – a soap-like product that washes away the day. Truth is, your regular cleanser won’t cut it, and your skincare regimen should begin at step zero; the precleanse.

On average, people only spend around 20 seconds washing their faces; a considerably short amount of time. So, of course, this approach leads to oil-based debris being left behind. Even if you were to cleanse two or three times with your standard water-based cleanser, it still won’t be enough to successfully remove that build-up and without a proper oil-based cleanser to remove that build-up, there is no amount of creams, serums or treatments to fix your skin.

So, healthy skin begins at Step Zero – a Precleanse. For the past year, I have been doing what Dermalogica has duped the “Double Cleanse” which is using their Precleanse before my usual cleansing routine. Dermalogica’s Precleanse is an oil-based formula which works to penetrate the layers of oil and sebum to liquefy the debris, leaving your skin completely clean and free of build-up.

It’s great, but it gets better…

But here’s the thing – as much as I love my Precleanse – it can be a bit messy, making it less than ideal to travel with (sort of like baby oil) and if it were to come open in your bag, it is likely to make EVERYTHING oily. So, Dermalogica has introduced another option to achieve the Double Cleanse approach, this time in the form of a luxurious balm.Dermalogica Precleanse Balm - By Megan Kelly

The new Precleanse Balm works the same way that the original Precleanse does, and melts away makeup, sunscreen and pollutants that build up on the surface of your skin. The balm-to-oil version appears solid at first but then transforms into a skin-conditioning oil that melts through your skin’s natural build-up. Much like the original Precleanse, you add water to the oil to transform and activate the formula into a milky emulsion, which breaks down excess sebum and pollutants.

The best part is that Dermalogica has also included a double-sided mitt applicator and exfoliator, to help ensure a more thorough cleanse. One side has smaller, shorter bristles, and the other side has larger, thicker bristles to help customise the cleansing experience.

Travellers Rejoice

Explorers and frequent travellers will be glad to know that Dermalogica has also included a travel variant of the Precleanse Balm, which is a 15ml tube that has enough product for about 4-weeks of travel. The balm-to-oil formula of their new Precleanse is more suited for travelling as it’s a solid product, which melts down into an oil, making it less messy for travelling. Of course, they have also included a travel-sized cleansing mitt which has two types of bristles for on-the-go cleansing, and is fitted with a suction cup to attach to the travel sized Precleanse Balm or a flat surface.

What’s inside?

The new Precleanse Balm is packed with active ingredients which include Apricot Kernel Oil to leave the skin feeling nourished and firm while helping the skin maintain its moisture balance. The combination of Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Glycine and Soja Oil helps reinforce the skin’s barrier function while preserving the skin’s hydration. Of course, Dermalogica didn’t skimp on the essential oils; a blend that refreshes the senses and provides the same deep cleanse that you can expect from their professional facials.Dermalogica Precleanse Balm - By Megan Kelly

What do I think?

I’ve been using my Precleanse Balm daily since it hit my beauty desk and here’s the thing; I thoroughly love my Precleanse Oil – it has featured on my hits a few times, and remains one of my best skin discoveries from Dermalogica, so when I heard that they had reinvented something that is already great, I kind of thought, “impossible.”

But they’ve managed just that!

I prefer the texture of the Precleanse Balm over the original oil and love the process of working the solid “blob” into my skin, watching it turn into a luxuriously thick oil that coats my skin and then seeing it emulsify when I add water, working to lift any makeup and dirt. The combination of using the Precleanse Balm with the mitt, leaves my skin feeling really clean but not tight or dry, rather nourished and hydrated.

A lot of people ask me if it is really necessary to include another step into your skincare routine. I feel that incorporating the Precleanse is essential to a skin regimen. As I had mentioned, your normal cleanser isn’t going to break through that debris caused from makeup, pollutants, and sebum which will lead to clogged pores and breakouts. So, if you’re wanting healthy skin, it really does begin at step zero – the Precleanse. Dermalogica has developed their Precleanse to be suitable for all skin types, especially for oily and acneic skin and leaves skin with zero makeup, zero irritants and zero residue.


The all-new Dermalogica Precleanse Balm has a suggested retail price of R210 for the 15ml Travel Size, and R660 for the 90ml Full Size, available from authorized Dermalogica stockists and

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