A Cleansaholic Reviews Harborist Balm Gel Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Hi my name is Wonderlusting Lynda and I am a cleansaholic.  Just a reminder in case you are new around these parts (welcome). I love discovering new cleansers. Today I’m taking a look at Harborist Balm Gel Cleanser the first launch from the new indie, British skincare brand.

Hertfordshire based company is run by a blockbuster visual effects artist with an Oscar winning film under her belt. Like many natural and organic skincare brands the line was created due to the founder’s personal experience with a child who had eczema prone skin as well as her own increasing sensitivity.

So on to my thoughts on the ‘truly gentle’ cleansing balm. With a name like that it had better be!….




The cleanser comes in an airtight pump action, plastic bottle which is great for preservation and the 100ml size makes it handy for travel. In an ideal world I would like to see this reusable or recyclable. The pretty blue water-colour label states the ingredients and also the expiry date.


The Harborist balm gel cleanser has a short but sweet ingredients list of vegan-friendly, 100% natural ingredients with no essential oils or common allergens. Dry skin nourishing jojoba, camellia and avocado oils as well as anti-inflammatory Bisabolol are included. I was particularly impressed that the company even goes as far as to avoid oils with high pollen residues – which as a severe hayfever sufferer is something I’d never thought of before! Loving that great attention to detail in the formulation 👌

There’s the misconception that everything natural is automatically great for sensitive skin when actually natural can be extremely potent and trigger reactions in those with allergies. Think grass and hayfever as an example…..

Harborist balm gel cleanser ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (fraction of coconut oil), Glycerin (plant derived, palm free), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (golden jojoba oil), Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil (camellia oil), Persea Gratissima Oil (avocado oil), Aqua, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, (plant sugar esters) Bisabolol (anti-inflammatory, pure extract from chamomile), Sucrose Palmitate (plant sugar ester)



Though called a cleansing balm, the texture is more what I would call an oil gel. On contact with the skin, it melts and glides then emulsifies and becomes milky when water is added. To use I apply with dry hands to a dry face then dampen my hands to massage in. More water and it washes off cleanly without any tightness. You can also remove with a cloth but I prefer to rinse off. I was particularly impressed with how well the Harborist Balm Gel cleanser whipped off make-up often in just one cleanse. Perfect for evenings when you’re knackered but refuse to go to bed without cleansing (remember I’m a cleansaholic).

All in all, it is truly gentle, kind to skin and most of all effective.  This is a sensitive skinned god(dess)’s cleanser dream. In fact sensitive skin or not, everyone’s skin needs a bit of gentleness. I know there are plans to expand the range so I look forward to seeing what other sensitive skin friendly products Harborist has up its sleeve.

Harborist balm gel cleanser, 100ml, RRP £22 Harborist.co.uk  (NB: the company has just recently rebranded from Harbour Elements to Harborist).

*Media sample provided for review purposes. All opinions are mine and honest obvs. 


  1. Hi, This will be my next purchase. Can you recommed any night cream? I wake up in the morning and feel like a dry raisin. Thanks

    1. Hi! Have you tried Herbfarmacy beauty balm or Therapi Ultra Radiance cream? I find they’re both little miracle walkers (if you do a search on the blog I’ve written about both). Also I find layering with an oil and appying to damp skin helps a lot!

    2. Thank you for your fast reply. I think I will try the Therapi Ultra Radiance cream since I have not tried yet anything from that brand before. I am also a cleansaholic. It doesn’t matter if I come home at 4 am in the morning from a party. I clean my face before I go to bed. Have you tried anything from Esse? I adore their products – especially from their sensitive line.

    3. Amen to that!! 🙂

      Funnily enough I’ve been researching probiotic skincare and keep looking at Esse so they’re on my ‘to try’ list but haven’t got round to trying anything yet.

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