We Geeks feel that cleansing is the backbone of any skincare routine and so it’s hardly surprising that our search for the best products to help us wipe away the day is an on-going one. In recent years, cleansing balms have shot to fame (we have Eve Lom to thank for that) and IT cosmetics new 3 in 1 Make-up Melting Cleansing Balm has piqued our interest.

The Claims

Bye Bye Makeup is marketed as a ‘revolutionary fast-acting cleanser, make up remover and anti-ageing serum all in one step’. Formulated with the help of plastic surgeons, it claims to deep cleanse the skin, removing all traces of makeup even the hard to remove waterproof mascara, without drying out our skin. Let’s take a look and see if the science can back the claims…

The Science Behind the Bottle

This oil-based cleanser is created on the idea that oil dissolves oil, allowing ingredients like safflower seed oil, macadamia seed oil and castor oil to dissolve excess oil on our skin and remove any make up and dirt without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

Boosting Moisture

It’s fair to say we’ve never seen such an impressive (and extensive) list of moisturising ingredients in a cleansing formula before. Cholesterol and ceramides are key components of our skins barrier, and it is this barrier that traps water in and maintains our skins hydration. So it stands to reason that topical application of cholesterol and ceramide, along with the fatty acids found in the shea butter also in this formula, can strengthen the skins barrier and help to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Working alongside these ingredients is squalane, which due to its incredible likeness to squalene (a component of sebum), it is quickly and easily absorbed by our skin and is great at keeping it hydrated. But the moisturising ability of this cleanser doesn’t stop there! Also packed into this formula are glycerin, panthenol, hyaluronic acid and mineral oil, all of which are excellent at holding onto water and plumping out the outermost layers of the skin, leaving our skin looking and feeling healthier.

Anti Ageing

Now let’s take a look at the evidence for that anti-ageing claim. When our skin needs a bit of repair, short amino acid chains known as matrikines naturally stimulate collagen synthesis. There are several short chain amino acids found in this formula; palmitoyl tripeptide-3, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of evidence out there that suggests these peptides would be able to kick start collagen production, so we would be interested to see the data IT cosmetics has on these. We did however; find some research to suggest that palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 can have a renewing, anti-ageing effect on the skin by increasing its elasticity. This formula also contains tocopheryl acetate (trusty old vitamin E), which we can rely on to bring antioxidant power to the formula, as it is very effective at ‘mopping up’ free radicals and has been linked to helping prevent premature skin ageing.

Hydrolysed Collagen 

Hydrolysed collagen much like the name suggests, is just collagen broken down into smaller pieces, with the idea that the smaller the collagen, the more able it will be to penetrate the skin. While this has been partially backed up by a study that found hydrolysed collagen can reach our dermis, these collagen fragments won’t be able to fuse with the collagen already in our skin, so won’t actually be able to have any anti-ageing benefits.

Tone Correcting

On top of the cleansing and anti-ageing claims, we’ve spied a few ingredients in the line up that will help to tackle hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone too. Niacinamide is one of our favourite ingredients as it has a wealth of research behind it. It can act as a skin lightening agent, which makes it useful for treating pigment patches and blotchiness, resulting from acne, rosacea or as a result of general signs of ageing. It does this through inhibiting processes that synthesise melanin, to leave skin tone more even. There is also evidence that topical application of niacinamide can stimulate ceramide production, strengthening the skins barrier and boosting moisture retention to leave skin feeling smoother and more hydrated. Getting back to combatting pigmentation – the liquorice root extract featured in this formula can also block melanin production, to help reduce any unwanted patches of pigment and dark spots!

Our Verdict

Despite being slightly disappointed by the lack of delivery on the anti-ageing claims, we still like the super hydrating formula this cleanser offers. Even though the peptides and hydrolysed collagen didn’t stand up to Beauty Geek scrutiny, we are still firm believers that anti-ageing is best left in moisturisers, serums and masks – products that are meant to be left on your face, rather than in cleansers where they will be immediately rinsed off and down the sink! So perhaps the $38 price tag may not reflect the value of the cleanser, in light of the lack of evidence for the anti-ageing claims. Having said that, we still like the moisturising properties and tone-correcting ability of Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm so it gets our seal of approval.

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ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, PEG-20 GLYCERYL TRIISOSTEARATE, CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS (SAFFLOWER) SEED OIL, POLYETHYLENE, MACADAMIA TERNIFOLIA SEED OIL, PEG-8 ISOSTEARATE, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, AQUA/WATER/EAU, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS (GREEN TEA) LEAF EXTRACT, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, GLYCERYL LINOLENATE, BETA-SITOSTEROL, CETETH-24, CHOLESTEROL, GLYCERYL LINOLEATE, CHOLETH-24, POLYSORBATE 20, NIACINAMIDE, SQUALANE, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, GLYCERYL ARACHIDONATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PANTHENOL, AVENA SATIVA (OAT) KERNEL EXTRACT, UBIQUINONE, CERAMIDE NP, CERAMIDE AP, PHYTOSPHINGOSINE, CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT, PALMITOYL TRIPEPTIDE-1, DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, PALMITOYL TETRAPEPTIDE-7, PALMITOYL HEXAPEPTIDE-12, XANTHAN GUM, COPPER TRIPEPTIDE-1, PALMITOYL PENTAPEPTIDE-4, ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE-8, CERAMIDE EOS, MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA (TEA TREE) LEAF OIL, SODIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE, RETINYL PALMITATE, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, SILICA, HYALURONIC ACID, GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER WATER, COLLOIDAL OATMEAL, LEUCONOSTOC/RADISH ROOT FERMENT FILTRATE, BIOTIN, OCTYLDODECANOL, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, CARBOMER, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, SODIUM LAUROYL LACTYLATE, SODIUM LACTATE, LECITHIN, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAISOSTEARATE, CYCLOMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE, PARAFFINUM LIQUIDUM/ MINERAL OIL/HUILE MINERALE, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) OIL, CITRIC ACID, DISODIUM EDTA, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), ALCOHOL.