Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews

Skincare guides & product reviews for hydration lovers & the moisture barrier obsessed

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm Review

You know what really bums me out? Discovering a product I love, only to learn that it’s being discontinued. That’s basically what happened with Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm, although, this story may actually have a happy ending. I’m getting ahead of myself though – more on this possible happy ending in a minute.

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm

First I want to make a statement about cleansing balms in general: I love them. They have replaced cleansing oils as my preferred go-to makeup removers. I started out with the Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm, and immediately fell in love with the far less messy, no drip cleansing experience a balm cleanser offers. I’ve tried a variety since then, and all of them have performed consistently well. The Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm was a surprise to me because its formula was so different than the others I’ve tried so far. How, you ask? Well, I’m getting ahead of myself again, so – more on this unique formula in a minute.

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm



What is it?

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm is a thick, balm-type, makeup removing cleanser. It promises to remove blackheads, makeup, and waterproof makeup, leaving behind clean, refreshed, calm skin with no greasy residue.

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm

Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Beeswax, Polyglyceryl-10 Behenate/Eicosadioate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Water, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax (Cera Alba), Glyceryl Stearate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Stearic Acid, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Asparagus Lucidus Root Extract, Tussilago Farfara (Coltsfoot) Flower Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Propylparaben, CI 19140, CI 17200

The formula for this balm is similar to other cleansing balms I’ve tried in the sense that it is primarily composed of oil and contains a variety of antioxidant rich plant extracts, as well as a few emulsifiers to help it rinse clean. Here are some of the highlights:

This sugar alcohol is a popular ingredient in skincare product for a multitude of reasons. It’s a humectant moisturizer, meaning it attracts and holds more than its weight in water, which affords a plumping, hydrating effect. It’s also been proven to increase skin elasticity, promote wound healing, and has antimicrobial properties.

Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil
Olive oil is a classic skincare ingredient that’s extremely popular among DIY oil-cleansing fans for good reason – it melts away makeup and sebum with ease. It also has a long history of use as a facial moisturizer. It contains high amounts of Oleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps strengthen the moisture barrier when applied topically, as well as antioxidant and antimicrobial components.

Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil
Moringa Oil is a highly stable, nutrient dense oil that, like olive oil, is rich in Oleic acid. It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antibacterial, and has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any plant oil, and is sometimes used as an acne treatment. In some parts of the world, it’s actually used to treat skin infections – the seed oil is effective against both Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

There have been a handful of studies conducted on its antibacterial properties, including this study which examined its potential efficacy as a wound dressing:

Hemostatic, antibacterial biopolymers from Acacia arabica (Lam.) Willd. and Moringa oleifera (Lam.) as potential wound dressing materials (abstract)

Asparagus Lucidus Root Extract
This extract is one of three extracts that comprise a complex patented by Missha to “improve skin.” I tried to find more information on the patent itself (No.0523842), but had a hard time tracking down anything outside of this patent certification.

At any rate, Asparagus Lucidus Root is often used in Chinese medicine. As far as skin benefits go, it is a humectant that helps prevent water loss, and also possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

Tussilago Farfara (Coltsfoot) Flower Extract
This is another one of the three extracts that comprise Missha’s patented complex. It’s high in polysaccharides, which offers skin soothing benefits, as well as zinc and Vitamin C. It’s also naturally emollient and astringent. It also contains trace amounts of Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are toxic to the liver when consumed in large amounts, so don’t eat multiple tubs of this cleanser. You’d probably be full after one tub anyway.

Laminaria Japonica Extract
This is the third and final extract that comprises Missha’s patented complex. Laminaria Japonica, AKA brown seaweed, possesses skin moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It was shown in one 2013 in-vivo study to effectively reduce Transepidermal water loss by as much as 20% when applied topically in concentrations of 10%.

Effects of seaweed Laminaria japonica extracts on skin moisturizing activity in vivo

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm

According to COSDNA, Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm doesn’t contain any red flags for potential irritation or acne triggers, but it does contain several low-risk (2 or less) ingredients, such as olive oil, beeswax, and Tocopherol.



Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm comes packaged in a large glass jar. The glass appears to be neon green – but that’s just the bright yellow balm inside peeking through the frosted glass.

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm

The appearance of the balm is what I’d imagine radioactive Vaseline would like if I lived in a cartoon universe where radioactive Vaseline was a thing. It’s shiny, thick, and neon yellow.

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm

This balm smells magnificent – it’s a symphony of citrus dominated by orange notes that smell fresh squeezed. Just thinking about the way it smells is making me thirsty.

I used the Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm nightly as the first step in my double cleansing ritual for around a month. I used a blob slightly larger than the size of a chickpea over my whole face, and massaged it around to loosen up all the tenacious bits of makeup. It can be used on the eyes, but I opted not to – I don’t like balms or oil cleansers on my eyes. I prefer to remove my eye makeup with a separate eye-specific remover to avoid the temporarily cloudy eyesight I get from using balms or oils in that area.

The way this balm spreads is the quality that is most unlike other cleansing balms I’ve tried. Most balms turn to oil as soon as they hit my skin, and from there on out, the application is very similar to an oil cleanser. I have no complaints about those types of formulas – I enjoy using them and they are very effective. However, the Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm offers a totally different experience. Remember when I said it looked like neon Vaseline? It actually spreads similarly to Vaseline as well. The balm remains a sticky semi-solid as it’s spread over the face. It’s not stiff, per se; it just doesn’t turn to liquid the way typical cleansing balm does. The advantage of this is that it provides a small amount of resistance, making it ideal for facial massage. Additionally, the stickiness helped exfoliate any dead skin flakes I might have accumulated throughout the day. I will say, as much as I personally enjoyed the texture of this balm, I think die-hard lovers of the balm-to-oil formula might be a bit put off by it at first. If you’re a balm-to-oil fan and decide to try this product, it’s best to think of this balm as a completely different product type.

After massaging my face with the Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm for a minute or two, I wet my fingertips and massaged again. The water instantly emulsified the balm, transforming it into a milky cleanser, which quickly rinsed away with a few splashes of water.

I used this cleanser for about 4 weeks – then I ran out, much to my dismay. I probably could have gotten 6-8 weeks out of the jar if I hadn’t fumbled so much with the amount when I first started using it. The first few times I just wasn’t sure how much I needed and ended up using way too much. For example, see the amount I’m using in the gif below? You really only need half that amount for the face. When I was shooting the photos for that gif, I just scraped what was left in the jar, thinking it was far less than it turned out to be.

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm Review

Makeup used: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, and MAC Lipstick in Heroine

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm performed consistently well. My skin was always left exceptionally clean, without a trace of makeup left behind. There was no dryness or tightness either – just smooth, glowing skin. There were several occasions when I was tempted to skip my second cleanse – but I didn’t. I love my second cleanse too much, and I happen to have some really superb cleansers on tap right now.

I loved this cleanser so much that I immediately wanted to purchase a backup jar. It was then that I noticed that it wasn’t sold on the Missha US website, so I wrote to Missha and asked it if would ever be available. I learned that it was sold on the US website long ago, but they stopped carrying it a few years back because cleansing balms just weren’t popular at the time. Additionally, I learned that the Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm as it exists today is discontinued. This was extremely disheartening, but only for a moment. Remember when I said this story had a potentially happy ending? Well, it turns out this product is getting a complete refresh – new packaging, and even some potential tweaks to the formula. Missha says the new version of this product should be available sometime in May. I’m looking forward to that day – I only hope that it measures up to the original!

Smells amazing
Rinses clean – no greasy residue
No drips
Completely removes makeup

Jar packaging (I personally don’t mind it)
May be too sticky for balm-to-oil fans

Skin & Tonics Rating

Efficacy: 20/20
Ingredients: 12/20
Application: 18/20
Wear: 20/20
Packaging: 17/20

Overall: B (87/100)

Rating system details »

Where to Buy

Missha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm is sadly discontinued in this form, but is undergoing a product refresh. The new product should be available in May, but until then, there are a few places you might be able to find the current product.

I bought mine from W2Beauty for $31. First time customers can get a $5 W2Beauty voucher by entering my sponsor code at sign-up: 025605.

It’s also available from eBay seller BringBringShop for $42, and from eBay seller Sing-Sing-Girl for $25.



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16 comments onMissha M Signature Deep Cleansing Balm Review

  1. I didn’t even know Missha had a cleansing balm! I really want to try the Etude House Real Art cleansing balm soon, but maybe I’ll hold off and get this one instead.

  2. ooooooh this sounds super fabulous! I loooove cleansing balms. I’m hoping the new one doesn’t emulsify and stays like the vaseline texture you wrote, that’s exactly what I want in a cleansing balm. I find that Missha’s cleansers (of all kinds) really knock it out of the park!

    • Kerry

      Oh, Sheryll! Have you looked at the RMK Beauty Raw Coconut Cream? I haven’t tried it, but I hear it doesn’t have any emulsifiers in it. It’s supposed to be 100% coconut cream, but refined in a way that makes it feel more like a beauty product and less like something you would cook with.

  3. This is great news! I was really disappointed as well when I found out that it is discontinued. I’ve been alternating between using this cleansing balm and a cleansing oil to make it last longer. Now I can use it without fear and hopefully pick up the new version when it comes out!

    • Kerry

      It’s amazing, isn’t it? I’m excited to see the new packaging, but I’m not-so-secretly hoping they don’t tweak the formula too much. I love it as-is!

  4. This looks so awesome. I’m really looking forward to the new version of this cleansing balm and I hope it will be as good as this, or even better 😀 And until then, I’ll keep finishing my other cleansers 😀

  5. I have to stop reading your posts. They’re bad for my wallet. What are some of the other cleansing balms you’ve tried that you would recommend? I have super dry and sensitive skin.

    • Kerry

      Hi Amy! I’ve tried and loved all three of the Banila Co. Cleansing Balms (Original, Brightening, and Sensitive), Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, this Missha Balm, and I’m currently using A’Pieu Clean Up Herb Source Cleansing Balm. I would recommend any of them, even for sensitive skin. The A’Pieu Clean Up Herb Source Balm I’m using now is the most affordable one I’ve tried, and the experience is just about identical to the Banila Co. Cleansing Balm. The A’Pieu Balm is not as easy to find as some of the others (it’s nowhere to be found on eBay, for example), but if you do a search, you’ll see it pop up in a few places. The prices seem to range from $10-$20. I bought my A’Pieu Balm at W2Beauty for $15.

      If you decide to try it, I would love to know what you think!

  6. Have yet to try cleansing balms. Look forward to it though!
    Are there any days where you don’t use makeup? Do you still double cleanse?

  7. Mmm, radioactive Vaseline. Fingers crossed that the new formulation is equally wonderful and goopy!

  8. I have yet to try a cleansing balm, and I think I’ll keep an eye out for that new formula 🙂

  9. Lyd

    Have you tried vdl extra strong oil (forgot the name. its a cleansing oil/balm thing) yet? I have sensitive skin but I responded really well to it. It doesn’t make my face dry after it. I tried banila n co’s but came back to vdl.

  10. Kelly

    Have they updated this balm? I can’t find it on the Missha US website.

  11. Megan

    Has this been replaced? I can’t find it. What else do you recommend for a cleansing balm?