Asian cleansing oils had gotten too much for my budget. (Not to mention, when my mild rosacea is flaring up, cleansing oils are a little too good at what they do; I've learned that as I get older, being squeaky clean w/stripping cleansers doesn't help my rosacea.) The fragrance in Pond's had become too much for my mild rosacea.
Then, I stumbled across Albolene. I don't get why this isn't better known. Love that it has no fragrance--makes such a difference. I'm able to wipe off all my makeup without it feeling too stripping on my skin and then I follow with a gentle cleanser. I get why some might think, "hey, this is glorified Vaseline", but the truth is it's not. When you rub Vaseline on your face, it stays thick--acts like a barrier, which is why you see it used around the hairline for coloring hair with henna to prevent henna staining your skin. Albolene, on the other hand, turns into a liquid-y oil and you're able to move makeup off your face. In fact, I even use Albolene on no makeup days prior to my gentle cleanser: it gets off my Shiseido sunscreen, as well as all the grunge of pollutants. Because I'm a very light user of makeup, one to two fingertips' worth of small smudges of Albolene are enough to remove my everyday makeup(undereye concealer, talc-free powder on my t-zone, a coating of mascara on tips of lashes, and some lipstick). But if you use a little more makeup than me, I'd suggest dabbing a second application of Albolene and doing a second sweep just to get a feel for how much Albolene you'll need to use in general. I'm not going to criticize the fact it comes in a pot/jar because I'm already an obsessive handwasher who washes her hands before she applies anything to her face. Though, I do think Albolene's jar is a much better design than Pond: you can fit your whole hand in and reach the bottom unlike the Pond's jar. Oh, if you need to avoid fragrance like I do, be sure you get the Albolene with the blue lid. The one with the red lid has fragrance in it. But if you're a germaphobe, here's a good option. Ben & Jerry's and Hagen-Daaz both do these individual sized, dixie cup style ice creams, coming with little plastic paddle spoons. Treat yourself to ice cream and then save and wash the paddle spoon for dipping into Albolene. There, I just gave everyone an excuse to buy ice cream, aren't I nice?
Here's why I'm taking off one lippie. This is not for people with oily skin. In fact, Albolene says this on their website, though they don't mention this on the jar! I have combination skin, but my skin is happier with less stripping products due to my mild rosacea: anything with foam causes me to run to the hills. Also, if things like mineral oil, petrolatum, or paraffin clog your pores, don't use this product. The very chic blog Ars Aromatica has a great article on mineral oil if you get confused about mineral oil. Cosmetic companies love to play on women's fears and get us to shell out loads of money for products because the items are "mineral oil-free". Here's the thing. If mineral oil clogs your pores, a product like Albolene will seem hideous. If mineral oil doesn't clog your pores and you have something like mild rosacea, Albolene will seem like a great budget option for makeup removal.
This stuff costs more than Pond's, but there's a lot of product per container and it seems to last me way longer than Pond's and gives me way more bang for the buck than Pond's.
Teenagers with hormonal, highly reactive skin should maybe hold off on trying this. I remember back in the day it was hard for me as a teenager to figure out whether mineral oil clogged my pores or not thanks to all the surging hormones--sometimes tricky at that age to figure out when it's an ingredient or your hormones responsible.
One last thing, people in performance art-related stuff should really consider this product: the way Albolene liquifies would be really great when you want to break down and cut through greasepaint, tv sticks, etc.
Update 7/12/2013: I just discovered in one of those mega-stocked CVS Albolene packaged in a squeeze tube with a quantity I'd estimate to be about 2-3 oz. I would say the pricing was about half the price of Albolene's regular last-you-a-year tubs. I think this packaging could be possibly useful for regular travelers: the amount will last you multiple trips. So, check ds websites and drugstores that are especially well-stocked to see if you can spot the squeeze tube option.
Looks like vaseline but does NOT act like vaseline! Once you scoop it out and begin to massage into your skin, it liquifies and so does all the makeup! Unscented, perfect for sensitive skin, whether oily or dry. Takes off makeup very well, and I really do think it is helping clean out my pores which had gotten clogged from the cocoa butter in Merle Norman cleansing cream. My skin is very acne prone and oily and this is helping very much to calm it down. I follow with gentle use of J&J Head to Toe.
I LOVE this stuff! I have acne prone, very dry and very sensitive skin and this stuff is amazing! It takes all the makeup off (including eye makeup w/o burning) and moisturizes my skin as well. I just wipe it off with a dry wash cloth or tissue, no rinsing. My skin feels soooo much better! Most (including Proactive) skin cleansers just irritate my skin more and then even after applying moisturizer, my skin looks bad, feels brittle and dry. However, with Albolene there is no problem. I noticed a big difference right away and after 3 days I'm convinced it's the best! I have not gotten any more acne from not completely rinsing this product off my face. In fact, my face is cleaner than ever and looks great!
I usually like all the high rated mua products. but this one, i really dont like it and cannot agree with the majority. this cleanser is wayyy too greasy. it's unbelievable. it will never get off from my face. it's very greasy so you def can't remove it with water. it's just like oil and water. they will never get combined and will never be removed. so i have to use some cloth or cotton pad or something to remove it. but it's still on my face and my face is actually greasy and i still have thin layers of albolene no matter how much i swipe my face. it really doesnt work for me.
I use Albolene every night to take off my makeup. It does a great job for me. I rub this on my face and then wipe it off with a dry washcloth.
I am prone to breakouts so I always follow this with a good cleanser. I also notice that the Albolene doesn't take off every trace of makeup so the cleanser gets the last little bit.
Overall I like this and it does what it's supposed to for me.
Edited 8/8/12: I upped this to 5 lippies as its the only thing that I have used that really takes away every trace of my makeup. I don't ever use anything else now and don't think that I will.
I love this cleansing cream! The absolute best! I was a Ponds cold cream user for years and the strong chemical smell was starting to get to me, plus I was starting to break out from using it. I switched to Albolene and I have been using this for a week with great results! I only use it in the evening to remove makeup - just smooth it on and wipe it off with a hot washcloth. It removes every stitch of makeup, even mascara wipes away effortlessly. My skin feels so so soft and supple afterwards. I use Cerave PM moisturizer in conjunction with the Albolene and I have noticed a huge difference in the texture and tone of my skin. Wonderful combination for aging skin! I am prone to break-outs too and this has definitely cleared my skin up.
I love this stuff. I just recently started trying cleansing creams and am really enjoying them. My skin has improved soo much since using them. I first tried Ponds and it burnt the ever living crap out of my face. It has WAY too much perfume in it for sensitive skinned gals. I use this first to take my make-up completely off then wipe it off. Then I cleanse my face with my Clarisonic and a good cleanser. I follow witch hazel and a either Cerave PM or Hope in a Jar. I will continue to use this wonderful make-up remover : )
I recently started taking Accutane and now, almost a month into my treatment, my usually combo/oily skin has become dry. I had this already and it is FANTASTIC for removing makeup, waterproof mascara and sunscreen (I wearl LRP Anthelios XL). I ermulsify a small glob between my hands, then rub all over my face and remove with a warm washcloth. Sometimes I follow with a gentle toner but often I just leave the residue and follow with my moisturizer (Cerave PM). This has really helped with the dryness and I wake up with normal-slightly moist skin. Very nice.
My skin is normal to dry, and I avoid using soap on my face, and thought I'd use this as something a bit more moisturizing than Cetaphyl cleanser, but it's a bit greasier than I'd like. I've been using it nonetheless through the winter, but I have to follow it by swabbing witch hazel as a toner to cut down the greasiness. I'll keep it though, for extra dry times, and I do find it's a perfect cleanser to prep my skin for a clay mask: if I cleanse first with the Albolene, then do the mask, when I rinse the mask off, my skin feels wonderful--tingly and clean, but also very moist.
I have always had a problem removing eye makeup (I don't even wear waterproof mascara). No matter what I tried, it either burned my eyes or was too inefficient for me to deal with (including the Sonia Kashuk Remove, which is popular around here). This is the first one that actually gets rid of my eye makeup!
1. Price and availability - this was $12 at CVS, but it's all over the drugstores in my area.
2. The amount - the tub is deep. Seriously, I don't think I'll be repurchasing for a long time.
3. No fragrance and doesn't irritate my eyes, thank the Lord.
4. Removes makeup effectively! I just massage this into my skin and eye area, and it removes all my foundation and eye makeup like a dream.
5. Great for use as a mask/treatment.
1. Greasy - but this is just the nature of the product, it's kind of annoying but I don't care.
2. Traveling with it is a no-go - but if you have time decant a little into a smaller container that you reserve for traveling.
TIP: This is on the Albolene website, but here's the treatment. Following a shower (or place a hot wet washcloth on your face for a few moments), massage this into your skin. Keep massaging until you feel little gritty bits (I know, gross!). Then let it sit for a few minutes. Take something like a credit card and scrape the Albolene off. It removes a ton of dead skin and plugs of dirt/oil that it loosened out of your pores! When I did this, the Albolene I scraped off was GRAY. And I keep my face clean with a Clarisonic Mia.