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I tried the viral TikTok cleansing balm — and I'll never use another makeup remover

My full face of makeup melts away in seconds.
Split before and after image of writer Daniella Musacchio, who used dJunoco Cleansing balm to remove her makeup
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Daniella Musacchio

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After downloading TikTok out of boredom during quarantine many months ago, I never expected it to become my go-to destination for finding the hottest products in beauty and skin care. If you were to look at my beauty cabinet right now, you'd find it filled with trending products that users on the app swear by. And I’ve found that most of them are actually worth the hype.

In fact, I purchased my first cleansing balm last year after one of my favorite "skinfluencers" recommended it, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love everything about it ... except for the hefty price tag. So, when I noticed a similar product taking over my TikTok feed — that was a fraction of the price — I knew I had to check it out.

It's called the JUNO & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm, and if you're a regular TikTok user, chances are you've seen the oil-based cleanser and makeup remover all over your "For You" page. The #junoco tag on the app has over 114.6 million views and is filled with satisfying videos of people using the balm to melt away their full faces of makeup in a matter of seconds. Only $15 for results like that? Sign me up.

JUNO & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm

The packaging is sleek and functional

I know that how well the product works is much more important than how it looks on the outside, but I'm a sucker for great packaging. By looking at the sleek jar, I’d never guess that the product is just under $15. It fits right in with the high-end serums and treatments in my beauty cabinet.

When you twist open the lid, there’s a plastic covering that fits nicely on the inside to help protect the balm from any contamination. I also like that it includes a small spatula, so I don’t have to use my fingers to scoop out the product.

It smells incredible

My first impression of the Clean 10 Cleansing Balm was that it smelled amazing — almost like a creamsicle ice cream pop. I always enjoy the smell while applying it on my face, but I appreciate that it isn’t overpowering and doesn’t linger on my skin once it's rinsed off. That being said, if you prefer fragrance-free skin care, you may want to find another option.

Courtesy Daniella Musacchio

It removes makeup in under a minute

I follow the instructions printed on the back of the box, which suggest warming the balm between your fingertips until it transforms into a silky oil. This step only takes a few seconds, but the magic really begins once I massage the product onto my skin. My makeup instantly begins to melt away. Don't be alarmed if your face quickly starts to look like a watercolor painting gone wrong. That just means it's working; plus, it's oddly satisfying.

After a few seconds of massaging, I like to add a few splashes of water to my face. This turns the cleanser into a milky consistency and helps me break down the makeup even more. My last step is to rinse the product off with some more water and gently wipe away the remaining makeup with cotton pads or a damp towel. My skin feels baby smooth afterward — and there's not an ounce of makeup left on my face. Even better, the entire process takes me less than a minute to complete. If I feel like taking the time to give my face an even deeper clean, I use this balm as the first step in a double cleanse and follow it up with my regular water-based cleanser.

It works on waterproof makeup

I was impressed with the results after first trying this product, but I knew that the real test would be how well the Clean 10 Cleansing Balm worked on removing waterproof formulas. Although I love my waterproof mascara (which I also discovered on TikTok,) I hate how difficult it is to take off at the end of the day. It usually requires a lot of scrubbing, which often results in eye irritation and even a few lost lashes.

I was pleasantly surprised when this cleansing balm removed my stubborn mascara quicker than any other makeup-removing product I’ve tried — and I’ve tried them all. Of course, it took a little longer to remove than my non-waterproof mascara, but the balm still gets the job done in record time. Plus, no eyelashes were harmed in the process!

Courtesy Daniella Musacchio

It doesn't make my face oily or burn my eyes

I have oily skin, so sometimes cleansing balms can leave my face feeling extra slick and cause breakouts. That's not the case with this JUNO & Co. product, which never leaves a nasty film behind or strip my skin of its natural moisture. I also have very sensitive eyes, but this cleanser doesn't make them sting. However, I'd still avoid getting the product directly in the eyes, since the brand warns that it can possibly cause irritation.

My only qualm about the balm is that it melts quickly if left in a warm environment. Since the formula is meant to easily transform into an oil, I'd recommend keeping the jar somewhere cool. (Don't make the mistake of leaving it in a steamy shower, like I did.)

If you're looking for an affordable cleanser that doesn't leave a trace of makeup on your face, I'd recommend this product in a heartbeat. I used to dread taking off my makeup at the end of a long day, but this oil-based remover is a luxurious treat that I actually look forward to using. (And don't tell anyone, but now I reach for JUNO and Co. over my more expensive cleaning balms every time!)

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