The Inkey list oat cleansing balm
Cleansing,  Not for me

Pure confusion | The Inkey list oat cleansing balm review

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All skin types
150 ml
15 USD

Get it at Sephora


Suitable for all skin types including sensitive. It is a non-stripping, non-drying formula with a soft, rich texture. Specially formulated to deeply cleanse and dissolve all visible traces of makeup including waterproof and long-wear products, revealing skin that feels instantly hydrated, nourished and more glowing.

How to use it

Can be used in your AM & PM skincare routine.

Squeeze onto your hand then gently massage onto dry skin, working the balm into the skin. Add a splash of warm water to emulsify and continue to work into skin then rinse thoroughly. (I would not only rinse with water due to some emulsifying issues, read more further down).​​

The Inkey list oat cleansing balm
The Inkey list oat cleansing balm


Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Candelilla Cera (Cire de candelilla), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, Silica, Tribehenin, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Aqua (Water/Eau), Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol,  Lecithin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.

My thoughts on The Inkey list oat cleansing balm

This is one of those cleansers I have heard so much about. It is supposed to be simply amazing and hydrating. When reading that it is hydrating I directly feel this must be for me and my dry skin. The Inkey list is a cheap skincare brand that basically reminds me of The Ordinary.


It comes in a regular tube packaging and really there is nothing much to say about it. This is not the most common packaging for this type for cleansers. Usually balm like products comes in a tub. I do prefer a tube but that means that the texture of it has to be creamy enough to pass through the hole of the tube. The packaging colors for all The Inkey list products is black and white so just clean looking.

Texture and scent

Normally when it comes to skincare I do prefer my products to be unscented but there are so few brands that actually offers that, so I just guess I have to live with it. If I am to continue trying skincare that is.

The Inkey list oat cleansing balm is scented. It smells like oats and almonds, but more on the fresh side and nothing super strong. I don’t mind the scent at all and find it quite pleasant.

As for its texture it is really thick and oily. There is some roughness to its texture. It feels like the most fine sand from the beach of Zanzibar is incorporated (but I guess it is just residues from oats), which makes it a little harsh on the skin if you are sensitive or have acne.

Swatch The Inkey list oat cleansing balm
The Inkey list oat cleansing balm swatch

Cleansing abilities

When ever I use balm or oil cleanser I use them either to get rid of makeup as a first cleanser or I use it as as an only cleanser when I haven’t been using much makeup or in the mornings. The Inkey List oat cleansing balm does a great job in removing my makeup, but I find it impossible to get the product to emulsify so I can rinse it off. More under my confusion.

My confusion

I have used many oil cleansing types of products since I just love them and they are crucial in my skin care routine but I have never ever tried something like this. My thoughts were that it was supposed to emulsify when adding water to remove it but there isn’t much happening.

The closest description I can think off is that you rub your face with olive oil and then you try removing that with water. It will leave an oily mess. It can also be used as an eye makeup remover and that is just a big no for me (with all the residue in mind). Due to that it is so difficult removing the product, it becomes difficult applying the rest of my skincare product on top, since they don’t penetrate as intended due to the oily residue.

How can I use this

Even though my thoughts aren’t that high on this product alone I feel that it is amazing in combination with a foam cleanser. So one can absolutely use this as a first cleanser in a two step routine and it will do a great job. But I would not use it on its own.

But if you feel like you still want to use it as an only cleanser I would recommend removing it with some type of cloth instead of just water. This way you get a lot of the residue off.


I really can’t understand all the hype regarding this product. And to summon it up it does a good job removing my makeup but leaves so much residue on my skin that it is difficult for the rest of my products to actually penetrate my skin. If this was dedicated to being a first cleanser ONLY (first cleanser ONLY means that it needs to be followed up by a second cleanser) I would not have thought anything off it and really would have enjoyed the products. Since I have tried so many oil cleansers that you can use as a one and only cleanser I don’t think this is one of those.

But if you use this together with a foam cleanser it does a really good job. The foam cleanser will remove all that residue just leaving the skin feeling clean. So I do not understand all they hype regarding it and I do find it difficult to understand all the positive reviews of it (if used as an only cleanser). But it is a cheap cleanser and I would love for you to try it yourself and make your own mind up.

I give this product 0/7 (as an only cleanser)
6/7 if you use it in combination with a foam cleanser.

Other cleansers

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