The J.Estina Crystalline Cleansing Balm is said to be a melting balm type cleanser that contains tourmaline to cleanly remove heavy makeup leaving moisturized crystal skin.
Represented at the highest concentration in the balm is Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, an oily liquid that functions as an emollient to defend against dryness. It also enhances the spreadability of the product. Similarly, Isopropyl Myristate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2 support emollient function, this characteristic dominating the INCI. These ingredients are able to strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier and help to keep it hydrated by reducing moisture loss. They are also useful to improve overall texture, changing greasy substances to a more silky finish.
Texture enhancers are include to stabilise the product and include mineral wax Ozokerite, PEG-8 Isostearate a surfactant and emulsifying agent plus Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Ceresin and Myristyl Myristate to control viscocity.
A form of Vitamin E, Tocopheryl Acetate is a potent antioxidant which helps fight free radical damage and promote skin healing to diminish signs of aging. Tourmaline is a crystal silicate mineral and a natural surfactant, a substitute for harsh cleansers. Furthermore, the reason this is the hero ingredient of the formula is because tourmaline crystals heat up when rubbed into the skin since they are positively charged on one end and negatively on the other. It is said to help cleansing and revitalise the skin.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) features to increase product shelf life, typically included in cosmetics between 0.01-0.1%. At this concentration, it does not penetrate far enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream, reducing risk. There’s also a small amount of artificial fragrance.
Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isopropyl Myristate, Ozokerite, PEG-8 Isostearate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Ceresin, Myristyl Myristate, Fragrance, 1.2-Hexanediol, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Water, Tourmaline
The J.Estina Crystalline Cleansing Balm is elegantly presented in a pearl finish plastic tub with chrome finish screw top lid. It comes with a clear plastic spatula for hygienic dispensing. When it is new, the product is covered by an air tight seal to keep it fresh.
Scoop product out with the spatula and apply it to a dry face. Massage gently and rinse off.
There is an artificial scent associated with this cleansing balm.
The 100 gram tub of the balm costs approximately USD$18.00 (around AUD$25.00).
The balm is available on Amazon. I received mine directly from the brand for review.
I’m unsure of the shelf life of the balm. I received it 6 months prior to expiry, clearly stamped on the base of the tub.
From the sister company of brand Gaston, the J.Estina Crystalline Cleansing Balm is very beautifully presented, making an elegant addition to any vanity. The spatula is perfect for dispensing, minimising the introduction of impurities to the product. It would be good if there was a clip or place to store it so it remains securely with the balm. A protective seal is included when new to help keep it fresh and possibly prevent spillage should the product melt in hot conditions. It includes artificial fragrance low on the INCI which gives it a light floral smell. I don’t really notice it much as it is quite subtle and the balm is only on the face a short time. However, those sensitive to fragrance should proceed with caution.
The balm itself is white in colour, light and sorbet like in texture, reminding me of the Banila Co Clean it Zero. It also has a similar melting behaviour when it comes into contact with the skin. I received this in autumn and the balm had no opportunity to melt due to its environment as our temperatures are cool, however, given how quickly it softens when coming into contact with skin, I would expect it may soften/melt in a hot climate.
On the skin, this balm is very pleasant, soft and silky to the touch, melting quickly but not to the extent where it drips, so it has ideal texture properties in both storage and function.
I tested it in the removal of makeup and sunscreen and it performed well. Shown below is a progressive look at its ability to remove makeup, the swatches inclusive of a variety of products including stubborn mascara, liner and long stay lipsticks. Moving left to right, progress can be assessed. I massaged the balm into dry skin with dry hands only (no force was applied and no agitator like a wash cloth or cotton pad was used). The balm becomes an oily gel upon contact with the skin, easily massaged without becoming an oily mess. Upon rinsing, it very lightly emulsifies and washes off without residue.
It removed foundation, concealer, liquid lip and eye shadow easily but took a couple more minutes to clean off stubborn and waterproof makeup. As can be seen in the single photo below, after rinsing and wiping with a cotton pad, there are small specks of mascara remaining and a faded but not completely removed long stay lipstick stain. However, once I applied more friction from a cotton pad, these lifted well. For the purpose of this review, I attempted removal with fingers only as mentioned above. In practice however, this is a competent makeup remover when assisted by a wash cloth or cotton round.
The balm did a good job at removing makeup and effectively eliminated sunscreen and general impurities on the skin. There was no irritation to the eyes and no cloudy vision afterwards which balms can often cause.
It’s well priced so an economical addition to any evening routine. It is gentle on the skin, although does generate a moderate warning from both the CosDNA and EWG resources, so those with sensitive skin would be wise to patch test first.
In a market saturated by first step cleansers, this is a great budget friendly option that would suit most people, excluding those with severe sensitivities, particuarly to fragrance. It makes an ideal everyday cleanser, competently removing most makeup and sunscreen with ease.
|Affordable||Limited online availability|
|Effectively removes everyday makeup||Added fragrance|
|Removes sunscreen well|
|Doesn’t dry out the skin|
|No cloudy vision afterwards|
Cetyl Ethylhexanoate Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate Truth In Aging
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
Isopropyl Myristate The Derm Review
Ozokerite Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
Ceresin Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
Myristyl Myristate Truth In Aging
Tourmaline Truth In Aging
Why Crystal-Infused Beauty Products Literally Rock Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy
BHT Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary | Paula’s Choice Skincare
Please read in context with my disclaimer.
This product was provided to me free of charge by Gaston for review. This post only includes my honest opinion and experience of this product and is in no way influenced by Gaston, any of its representatives or any other third party.