Eve Lom Cleanser Review: Mineral Oils? Parabens? Eucalyptus? Are they safe?

This is probably a product that has been argued-over the most on the Internet, I kid you not. People either love it, or hate it. Rarely do I see someone who’s on the fence about this.

It certainly has a cult following, being the original and the best-selling cleansing balm on the market, but it has received as much hate as it has been loved because of, amongst other things, mineral oil. Issues like price, parabens and eucalyptus oil really set the fume on some people, but most would argue about the mineral oil in this product being the no. 1 ingredient.

I honestly don’t understand all the hate. I mean, yeah it does smell weird – it has eucalyptus in it, but in all fairness it’s going to be washed off anyway. With regards to mineral oil, I’ll discuss it soon.

So far, my skin has never been better and I’ve only been using this for the past two months. My mom and grandma also swear by this cleanser – they’ve been using it for years. I mean, there’s a reason why this product has been the no. 1 selling product in Space NK for the past 15 years, right?



Mineral Oil

People seem to be pissed that the number one ingredient in a product this expensive is what they consider to be “cheap” mineral oil that is present in drugstore products such as Vaseline. However, what some people don’t know is that there are different types and grades of mineral oil, with different levels of purification, the rawest being petroleum. Lisa Eldrige, a highly respected make up artist who has had extensive experience working in cosmetics and brand development, addressed this issue in her “Cleansing Balms” video. See below.

Basically, as she said, the Eve Lom cleanser contains the lightest, most purified and high-grade cosmetic mineral oil – so it should not clog pores or cause acne. It is completely non-reactive as it just sits on top of the skin and acts as a humectant.

So the whole mineral oil issue, personally, does not bother me at all because 1) it is in the lightest and most purified form (highest quality), and 2) it is going to be washed off anyway, plus it’s being washed off with a highly effective and exfoliating muslin cloth. No trace of it will be left on the skin.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is known to have decongesting benefits, but some people may develop sensitivities against this ingredient, especially around the eye area where the skin is much softer and thinner. Hence some people like this cleanser only for removing makeup on the face, and not the eyes, although I personally (and my mom as well) don’t have a problem with this around the eyes at all. It doesn’t even sting if I get some of the emulsified cleanser into my eyes.


I’ve discussed about parabens in a previous post – the Battle of the Cleansing Water Solutions post where I compared six different cleansing waters.

Basically, allegations by society that parabens cause cancer and all other scary stuff have never been proven. They’re just a myth, so don’t worry.

Read my post on the cleansing water comparison for more details, or click on this link to view an excellent infographic regarding the safety of parabens created by the FDA.

Clove Oil

Clove oil is probably one ingredient that scares me the most, but so far it has never caused any issues for me – maybe because I don’t leave this balm on my skin for too long. Clove oil has been rated poorly amongst dermatologists, cosmeticians and researchers as it is known to be a skin irritant and may cause inflammations when used consistently. It contains 73% Eugenol, which is known to have caused skin-cell death.

However, since I have never had any allergic reaction or sensitization in the past two months where I’ve been using it, the amount of clove oil in this cleanser is probably too few to cause any significant damage on the skin. It may also be more damaging if it is present in products that are meant to be left on the skin overnight.

PEG Lanolin

PEG Lanolin is present to act as an emulsifier by “reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified” (CosmeticsInfo) and it also acts as an effective moisturizing agent for the skin. Although this ingredient gets slammed a lot for being an allergen or sensitizing agent, recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology has debunked this allegation, concluding that “the mean annual rate of sensitivity was 1.7%” based on a review of 24,449 patients, which is very, very low – almost non-existent.

Other Ingredients

Cocoa butter conditions the skin.
Chamomile oil softens and soothes.
Hops oil is know to be good for toning the skin. Components in hops have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.



This comes in a very nice and clean tub packaging. Very classy.

I love that it comes in three different sizes – 50 ml, 100 ml, and 200 ml. The muslin cloth always comes with it. You get a travel size one for the 50 ml tub, one full size for the 100 ml and two full sized ones for the 200 ml.



The texture is rather thick, but it melts easily upon contact with the fingers and skin. It also has a grainy texture but the “grains” are definitely non-abrasive, it actually feels really soft.



This can be used as a good ol’ cleanser, or as a massage cream. Lisa Eldrigde loves using this as a massage cream, but I personally dislike it as a massage cream as I am not a big fan of the scent, so I don’t like having to massage this on my skin for over 2 minutes, let alone 20 minutes! My personal favorite massage cream for the face is the Cle de Peau Creme de Massage, which I will hopefully be able to review soon.

In the mean time, here’s a step by step on how I personally use this cleanser.

Click here to see the company’s official instructions – I’m a rebel, I don’t really do every single step as instructed, but as long as it works for me, I’mma keep doing it. 😉

Sorry about the super yellow bathroom lighting btw!

Step 1

I scoop out the product and place them on my cheeks. You really don’t need too much product, a little goes a long way with this product.

Step 2

Here comes the panda eyes!
I start massaging the balm into my cheeks, spreading them all over the face, lips and neck, and lastly, the eyes.
I even massage this balm on my eyelids, lashline and lashes to make sure all of the eye makeup is broken down. And no, this does not leave me blinded like the case with most cleansing oils where you have a white film over your eyes for a minute or two. By the end of this step, you will see all of your makeup has dissolved.

Step 3

Take the muslin cloth and saturate it with warm or hot water (I personally like hot water!). You’re supposed to fill a bowl or basin with the hot water and then immerse the cloth in it, but I can’t be bothered, I just run this under the sink and it soaks up the hot water just fine.

Then squeeze out the excess water.

For optimal results, you’re supposed to press the cloth on to the skin and let it stay there and open up your pores for a few seconds, but often, when I’m super lazy and tired I skip this step and just go straight to removing all the balm and dissolved makeup. I sometimes don’t even do it in small circular motions, as instructed, I just wipe out one side of the face in one stroke and remove all the residue in patches. LOL.

All the makeup is removed, and most nights, that is all I care about.

However, for optimal results, I sometimes (when I’m not lazy) use this balm strictly as instructed – leave cloth on the face for a few seconds, repeating that step up to three times, then folding the cloth and work my way through the whole face and neck in small, circular motions.


No need to rinse off. No need to pat skin dry.

Look at how clean my lashline is – all done without an eye makeup remover.

(Makeup Worn: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Powder, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, Anastasia Brow Wiz, NARS Cream Eyeshadow in Eldorado, Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette, Lancome Hypnose Waterproof Mascara, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner, Cle de Peau Extra Silky Lipstick, Chanel Glossimer Lipgloss.)


Performance: 4-in-1 Product

People who swear by this dub this a “4-in-1” product as it:

  1. Removes makeup
  2. Cleanses
  3. Tones
  4. Exfoliates

And I gotta say, I concur.

This is why this product is a must-have for me right now when I’m a lazy bum 99% of the time. I really don’t find myself as enthusiastic about packing on all those skincare products as before – I’m currently 8 months pregnant and all I want to do all day, every day, is eat and sleep. And cuddle with my dog Bucket.

So, at night, I really need something that can tick all those four boxes so I can just cleanse and moisturize, and this cleanser certainly is the answer to my prayers.

My skin has been less congested and my acne scars are slowly fading (also helped by Medik8 White Balance serum which I’ve been using almost every morning and night – I sometimes forget!), my regular facialist even noticed!

When I got pregnant my skin has been so hormonal and just over-the-top crazy sensitive that I have to go get facials done every week. Ever since I started using this cleanser, I only go once every 2-3 weeks because even my facialist has said my skin has vastly improved, there’s no need for me to come every week anymore. She was so amazed with my skin’s improvement!



OK, I’m honestly not too happy about the price, but I’ve been using my 50 ml tub for the past two months and I’ve only used up half of the tub (FYI my mom sometimes uses my cleanser too). So A$68 really isn’t that bad for something that could last up to five or six months.


Final Verdict

I have used several cleansing balms before, namely the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, the SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream, The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser, and The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Butter – but none of these have the “4-in-1” quality that the Eve Lom Cleanser has, and none of them has ever WOWed me like the Eve Lom did with its performance  after ongoing use.
Yes, some people find this product controversial, but I honestly don’t mind because it’s been working so well for me and some others. My mom swears by this product she bought two 200 ml tubs when she was here in Melbourne because Eve Lom isn’t available in Indonesia, and I’ve never seen her obsess over a product like this before. So I know I’m not the only one who loves (and can’t live without) this product, although I’ve never tried the highly coveted Emma Hardie and Elemis ones before (they’re always sold out!).
Hopefully I can try the Emma Hardie and Elemis cleansing balms soon! (Update: I reviewed the Elemis Cleansing Balm here!)
Have you ever tried this product? If so, how was your experience with it?
Also let me know if you have dupe/alternative suggestions! 😀

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