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e.l.f. cosmetics Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm Ingredients Explained

4.3   from 4 ratings
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Updated on July 18, 2023 Submitted by Osa

Overview

What it is

Makeup remover with 29 ingredients that contains ceramides, exfoliants and peptides

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin and sensitive skin

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

e.l.f. cosmetics is from United States. This product is used in 264 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Exfoliators
Ceramides (3)
Peptides (2)

Benefits

Hydrating (6)
Redness Reducing (4)
Reduces Irritation (3)
Anti-Aging (3)
Brightening

Concerns

May Worsen Oily Skin
Rosacea
Eczema

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Emollient
2
Masking, Skin Conditioning
3
Emollient, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
4
Emollient, Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
5
Abrasive
Exfoliant Icon
6
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
7
Emollient, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Oil IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
8
Skin Conditioning
Oil Icon
9
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
Peptide IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
11
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
12
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
13
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
14
Skin Conditioning
15
Skin Conditioning
16
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
17
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
18
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
19
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
20
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0
21
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
22
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon
23
Emulsifying
24
Preservative
Preservative Icon
25
Skin Conditioning
26
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
27
Perfuming, Tonic
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
28
Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
29
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 29 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Emollient
Community Rating: Mixed

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate comes from cetearyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid.

It is an emollient that adds a velvety feel to products when applied. Emollients help trap moisture into your skin, keeping your skin soft and hydrated.

2
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
3
What it does: Emollient, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Liked

Hydrogenated Polydecene is an emollient. It creates a non-occlusive film on the skin that offers extra protection for your skin barrier.

The texture of Hydrogenated Polydecene ranges from light and silky to rich.

Hydrogenated Polydecene is the end compound of controlled hydrogenation of Polydecene.

Learn more about Hydrogenated Polydecene
4
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate comes from Isostearic Acid and glycerin.

It is an emollient, emulsifier, and gentle cleanser. As an emollient, it helps trap moisture to keep skin soft and hydrated. Emulsifiers help prevent ingredients from separating.

This ingredient is common in oil-based products. This is because it helps oil-ingredients be easily washed away without leaving a residue.

Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate
5
What it does: Abrasive
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polyethylene is a synthetic ingredient that helps the skin retain moisture. It is a polymer.

Polyethylene is also typically used within product formulations to help bind solid ingredients together and thicken oil-based ingredients. When added to balms and emulsions, it helps increase the melting point temperature.

6
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Peg-10 Isostearate isn't fungal acne safe.

7
What it does: Emollient, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil is the oil derived from the seeds of a Sunflower. Sunflower seed oil is non-fragrant. It is an emollient, meaning it helps to soften the skin.

Sunflower seed oil contains many fatty acids. The fatty acids found in sunflower seeds include (from highest amount to least): linoleic acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachidic acid, oleic acid, and linolenic acid.

These fatty acids help the skin create ceramides. Ceramides play a role in repairing the skin barrier.

Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil helps moisturize the skin. This in turn helps the skin look more rejuvenated and smoother.

Sunflowers are rich in vitamin E.

Historians believe Indigenous cultures of North America domesticated sunflowers before corn. Thus they relied on sunflower oil for a variety of uses. One such use is moisturizing skin and hair.

Sunflower seed oil may not be fungal acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil
8
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Hydrogenated Sunflower Seed Oil is an oil.

9
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a 3-amino acid peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is a signal peptide. This means it tells our skin to create collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 can help reduce wrinkles and make the skin look more youthful.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
10
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a peptide. Peptides are building blocks for protein.

This ingredient consists of four amino acids and palmitic acid. These amino acids are arginine, proline, glutamine, and glycine.

This ingredient has many benefits. These benefits include boosting collagen production, fighting inflammation, and reversing UV damage.

By preventing our bodies from producing interleukins, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 helps fight inflammation. An interleukin is a chemical that signals to the body to produce an inflammatory response. Interleukin production is accelerated by UV radiation.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 tells our body to create more collagen. Collagen is a protein that makes connective tissue. Boosting collagen production leads to a healthier skin barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier means having firm and hydrated skin.

Read more about other common types of peptides here:

Learn more about Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
11
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide 3 is a form of ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A stronger barrier helps the skin look more firm and hydrated. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here: Ceramide AP Ceramide EOP Ceramide NP

Ceramide 3 (Retired) is the N-acylated phytosphingosine having the erythro structure that conforms generally to the formula, where m has a value ranging from 12 to 28 in which the acyl moiety may be saturated, mono-unsaturated, or di-unsaturated and n has a value ranging from 10 to 20. The INCI Name, Ceramide 3, originally developed in 1997, was designated with a retired status in 2014. For an interim period of time, trade name assignments formerly published with the INCI Name Ceramide 3 will be retained in the retired monograph, and also published with the new name assignment, Ceramide NP.

Learn more about Ceramide 3
12
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide 6 II is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin.

13
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide 1 is a type of Ceramide.

Our skin is made up of ceramides. Ceramides have several roles, including:

This ceramide has since been retired and replaced with Ceramide EOP.

Learn more about Ceramide 1
14
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

This ingredient is created by putting sodium hyaluronate through hydrolysis.

You might know this as 'mini' or 'ultra low-molecular weight' hyaluronic acid. The small molecule size means it is able to travel deeper in the skin.

According to studies, low molecular-weight hyaluronic acid can:

One study from 2011 found ultra-low weight HA to show pro-inflammatory properties. Another study from 2022 found it to downregulate UV-B induced inflammation.

Hydrolysis is a process of changing a molecule using water or enzymes.

This ingredient is water-soluble.

Learn more about Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate
15
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Phytosphingosine is a phospholipid naturally found in our skin. It helps moisturize, soothe, and protect skin.

Phytosphingosine is already present in our skin. On our skin, it is a building block for ceramides.

Phytosphingosine tells our skin to increase its natural moisturizing factor (NMF). The NMF is responsible for hydration, a strong barrier, and plasticity. Our NMF decreases with age. Increasing NMF leads to more healthy and hydrated skin.

Studies show products formulated with NMF ingredients help strengthen our skin's barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier reduces irritation and increases hydration. Our skin barrier is responsible for having plump and firm skin. It also helps protect our skin against infection, allergies, and inflammation.

Phytosphingosine is also abundant in plants and fungi.

More ingredients that help boost collagen in skin:

Learn more about Phytosphingosine
16
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
17
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

18
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
19
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
20
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Community Rating: Disliked

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

Carbomer is commonly found in many types of cosmetics products. It is found to be safe in concentrations up to 15%. However, a high amount of carbomer can cause pilling or balling up of products. Most products contain 1% of less of carbomer.

21
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
22
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
Community Rating: Liked

Cholesterol is a class of organic molecules called lipids. It helps hydrate your skin and is essential to having a healthy skin barrier.

Our skin naturally contains cholesterol in the outermost layer. Besides cholesterol, it also contains ceramides and fatty acids. Cholesterol makes up about 1/4 of your skin's outer layer and barrier. Your skin barrier is responsible for keeping allergens and microbes out. Having a healthy skin barrier is also responsible for keeping your skin firm and plump.

Our bodies use cholestrol to create vitamin D, steroid hormones, and more.

Learn more about Cholesterol
23
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is the lauric acid sodium salt of lactyl lactate.

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is an emulsifier and surfactant.

Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. They do this by preventing ingredients from separating, such as oils and water which do not mix naturally. Surfactants reduce surface tension, making it easier to rinse pollutants off skin.

Due to its relation to lauric acid, it may provide antimicrobial benefits.

Learn more about Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
24
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

25
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

26
What it does: Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

It is a common ingredient in many products, especially those designed to hydrate skin. The primary benefits are retaining moisture, skin softening, and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Though Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, it is not the kind that can dry out skin.

This ingredient is also used as a preservative to extend the life of products. It has slight antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Caprylyl Glycol
27
What it does: Perfuming, Tonic
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Geraniol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is the main component of citronellol. It is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol.

Monoterpenes are naturally found in many parts of different plants.

Geraniol can be found in many essential oils including Rose Oil and Citronella Oil. The scent of Geraniol is often described as "rose-like". Many foods also contain Geraniol for fruit flavoring.

Geraniol can irritate the skin when exposed to air. However, irritation depends on the ability of geraniol to penetrate into the skin. In general, geraniol is not able to penetrate skin easily.

Geraniol is colorless and has low water-solubility. However, it is soluble in common organic solvents.

Like citronellol, it is a natural insect repellent.

2,6-Octadien-1-ol, 3,7-dimethyl-, (2E)-

Learn more about Geraniol
28
What it does: Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

Learn more about Linalool
29
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 29 ingredients in this product ✨

41% are loved or liked
17% have mixed ratings
41% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use e.l.f. cosmetics Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm ->
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Reviews

See all 4
4.3 /5
from 4 ratings
AsiaRhodes_98's avatar

AsiaRhodes_98

7 months ago Β· Dry Skin
Review

The way it removes 24 hr stay lipsticks is beautiful. Still not sure if there a safe way to use it for mascara though

NurseMeg's avatar

NurseMeg

2 months ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

It was fine but it didn’t really remove my makeup. Better products out there