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Aldi vs Emma Hardie cleansing balms: Can the supermarket’s £7 dupe rival the original?

We discover if the £40 price difference is worth the splurge

Louise Whitbread
Wednesday 07 July 2021 15:40
<p>Each claims to break down make-up and leave skin feeling refreshed</p>

Each claims to break down make-up and leave skin feeling refreshed

Cleansing balms are one of the most efficient ways to remove make-up, SPF, dirt and sweat from the skin.

As a fantastic first step in any nighttime routine, these oil-based balms are designed to be massaged into dry skin, where they’ll melt down into an oil before being rinsed away with every scrap of make-up using a damp muslin cloth or flannel.

A good one can make light work of waterproof mascara, bright lipsticks and full-coverage foundation.

Emma Hardie’s moringa cleansing balm (£47, Cultbeauty.co.uk) has been a favourite among the beauty crowd since its launch in 2009. Not to be outdone, Aldi launched its own eerily similar version (£6.99, Aldi.co.uk) on 4 July. Costing just £6.99, it’s a massive £40 cheaper.

But is it better? We put the two head to head in a test to discover whether it’s worth splurging on the high-end original.

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Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm, 100g

This buttery soft balm is one of the most popular cleansing balms on the market, but at nearly £50, it’s definitely an indulgence and one that’s been in our skincare routine for years.

Enriched with moringa seeds, wild sea fennel, vitamin E, orange neroli, jasmine, rose and mandarin, it feels luxurious on the skin while being incredibly effective at dislodging the most stubborn make-up products.

It’s beautifully scented too, feeling like a spa in a jar without being overpowering. We've never found it irritating on our sensitive, acne-prone, oily-combination skin.

The best part of the cleansing balm is how long it lasts – we typically use a 10 pence-sized amount, which is plenty to cover your face and neck for a thorough cleanse.

The extra “tools” that come with skincare products, such as spatulas, are often useless and thrown away, however, with every purchase of an Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm, you also receive a matching muslin cloth that’s high quality and helps remove the product with ease.

Lacura cleansing balm, 90g

Undeniably inspired by Emma Hardie, this budget balm left us very impressed. It melted down our most stubborn waterproof mascara – the Bobbi Brown no smudge waterproof mascara (£25, Johnlewis.com).

It too contains moringa oil, but with added cocoa butter and shea butter in a 90g tub, so, while you get less product, you’re still saving a hefty £40 for a product with the same principal ingredient.

Aldi’s version has a much oilier texture that’s less solid than Emma Hardie’s offering, and some of the oils do pool at the bottom of the tub.

But with its whipped consistency, we found you need even less to remove a full face of make-up than with the high-end version. We’d recommend using it sparingly.

There’s also an accompanying flannel, which we were pleasantly surprised to find was good quality and effective at sweeping away make-up, SPF, dirt and the balm.

The verdict: Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm vs Aldi cleansing balm

While we’ve long loved the Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm, Aldi’s cleansing balm performs impressively well, and we’d gladly pay more than £6.99 for it. We’ll never splurge again when this Aldi version is available, because although slightly different, it’s just as good.

While the packaging reflects the affordable price tag, and there’s 10g less product, you actually need less to see the same results. It removes waterproof mascara faster than anything else we’ve ever tried, and skin is left feeling soft and refreshed. It smells amazing too, so you don’t feel like you’re losing out on the luxury aspect either.

While it’s already sold out online (one of the few bad things about the product), we’re hoping it will be restocked soon. Until then, keep your eyes peeled in an Aldi store near year.

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