Battle of the Makeup Removers – Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil vs. Banila Co. Clean it Zero


YAY! I’m back with another review. This time, I wanted to do a little comparison post of my two current makeup removers/oil cleansers, the Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil and the Banila Co. Clean It Zero cleansing balm.

I’ll start with the Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil. I bought it before I left for Vietnam, about 7 months ago, and I’m STILL using it. It’s the cleansing oil that seems to never disappear. I’m pretty sure it’s just going to keep regenerating or something. Either way, you can rest assure that even with daily use (which I do because I wear makeup about 6 days out of the week), that you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

The Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil is packaged in a plastic bottle with a pump top. It contains 200mL of product and smells like Sulwhasoo heaven. I know some people aren’t a fan of the signature Sulwhasoo scent, but I’m personally obsessed. I use this oil as the first step of my nighttime cleansing routine, pumping about 1.5 pumps into my palms and massaging it into the skin. I find that it works better when I apply it on dry skin first, then I use a little water to emulsify it a bit. My makeup melts right off, even stubborn waterproof mascara. It doesn’t burn my eyes or leave them cloudy, which is something that’s really important to me.

Something about this oil just feels expensive to me (probably because it is… it’s $36 USD), but it’s a bonus that it works as well as it does. It’s lightweight and not greasy in the slightest. I love coconut oil like everyone else, but my face would always be super oily after I removed my makeup with it. The Sulwhasoo cleansing oil doesn’t clog my pores, and I think it would work well for all skin types, even acne prone skin. I know some people are into using oil cleansers in the morning as well, and this would be a great one to use because it’s so gentle.

I would go as far to say as that this oil cleanser is one of the best ones I’ve tried. I’ve always loved the Innisfree Olive Oil cleansing oil, but it’s a bit heavy compared to the Sulwhasoo one. The scent + how lightweight it is + how efficient it is = a recipe for a great makeup remover.

Now on to the Banila Co. Clean It Zero. I’ve been wanting to try a cleansing balm for a long time now, and after both Charlotte and Keri wrote raving reviews, I knew I had to get it. The Banila Co. Clean it Zero is packaged in a sturdy plastic tub with 100mL of product. I’m not exactly sure why, but I have flown through my tub. It’s almost finished, and I’ve only had it about 2 months. Longevity points definitely go to the Sulwhasoo cleansing oil.

The Banila Co. Clean It Zero is slightly scented, but not like the Sulwhasoo oil. It sort of smells like a cherry blossoms to me. I can’t pin point it exactly, but the scent doesn’t linger and isn’t cloying. What I really like about the Banila Co. cleansing balm is the texture. It’s a really nice, whipped oil texture (sort of like a sherbert). It’s solid (and stays solid, unlike coconut oil), and immediately turns into an oil as it hits your skin. I use a little bit bigger than a dime sized amount on my dry skin, massaging it in, then I add a little bit of water to emulsify the product and continue working it into my skin.

I have to say that while the cleansing balm does a great job at removing my face makeup, it’s not as great at removing my mascara and eyeliner. If you use a normal mascara and eyeliner, then I think you’ll be okay, but since I use heavy duty waterproof mascara, it’s a bit of a hassle. I find that I have to really work it into my eyes, and it does leave my vision slightly cloudy for a few seconds. But it leaves my skin feeling really refreshed, clean, and smooth, and doesn’t strip my skin at all. It also doesn’t leave it oily, and I’m actually confident that if I wasn’t such a freak about double cleansing, I could get away with using only this to cleanse my skin at night. The texture of the cleansing balm is awesome and perfect for traveling. Since it’s solid and doesn’t melt, you don’t have to worry about it getting all over your stuff. Win!

Overall, I think I’m quite partial to the Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil. It just does a better job at removing my eye makeup, it smells amazing, and feels luxurious. I’m still going to use the Banila Co. Cleansing Balm though, as it’s a great choice for travel. The Sulwhasoo oil is a bit expensive, but considering how long it lasts, I’d say that it’s a great deal!

You can purchase the Sulwhasoo Cleansing Oil from Sulwhasoo’s official website. It’s available for $36 USD. I think I bought it in Korea for about 42,000w, but I can’t remember the exact price. It’s also available on for $45.90.

The Banila Co. Clean It Zero is available from for $25.

(ps I just got the su:m37 cleansing balm and OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. brb dying.)

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