Arguably the worst part of makeup is removing it. You spend a lot of time perfecting your makeup before going out day or night only to end up having to wash it off.
We should note that a basic rule of thumb for makeup is to remove it before bed. “Oil, dirt, pollutants and makeup left on the skin can cause breakouts, irritation, stye, and even accelerated skin aging,” says Dr. Charlotte Birnbaum, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “The longer these debris stay on the skin, the more likely these ill effects will occur, which is why leaving your makeup on overnight is more problematic. Overnight, extra occlusion by pillows can exacerbate this. That’s the case.” Worse still is waking up to find cosmetic stains on the pillowcase.
Fortunately, there are many makeup removers on the market today that are more effective than daily face wash and water. According to Dr. Jessica Wu, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist and author of “Feed Your Face,” you should “choose a makeup remover based on the type and amount of makeup you’re wearing. It should remove makeup easily without rubbing or making your skin red and inflamed.” That means you might just need a swipe of micellar water if you like the easy dolphin skin look, or you might just need a serious double cleanse if you’re taking off your entire Halloween look.
Whether you want a gentle makeup remover or something to remove stubborn waterproof mascara, we’ve talked to various beauty experts about the best ways to remove it. Read on to discover their tips and options.
Remove eye and lip makeup starting with micellar water
$16.99 at Amazon and Target
Micellar water is an excellent all-purpose makeup remover for eye makeup, lipstick and more, and it’s also gentle on sensitive skin. Before cleansing your face, place it on a cotton pad to sweep away makeup. “I recommend Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water for my sensitive skin patients,” says Wu. “It’s gentle cleansing and contains ingredients like mannitol to help hydrate sensitive skin, which tends to be dry.” Celebrity makeup artist Latrice Johnson echoes this sentiment — here’s her makeup remover for sensitive skin liquid, as it is “gentle and effective”.
$10.49 $7.97 at Amazon or $7.99 at Target
New York City dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach agrees that micellar water is a great way to remove most makeup. “I love that you can control how saturated the cotton balls are,” she says. This option from Garnier is another top pick—so much so that it’s one of the expert-approved skincare products you can pick up on your next Target run.
$8.72 at Amazon or $8.79 at Target
Alternatively, a dedicated eye makeup remover can remove long-wearing eyeliner and mascara—it usually works with other makeup as well. “I wear waterproof makeup and have tried many different looks over the years. I continue to use Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, which you can also use to remove waterproof lip color and sunscreen,” Wu said, which is also Johnson’s makeup remover. and Rabach’s first choice.
$19.99 at Versed
As mentioned, you’ll need to saturate a cotton pad or cotton ball with micellar water to remove makeup. If you prefer an eco-friendly alternative to a new pad every time you use it, grab Versed Down To Earth Reusable Cotton Pads. They even come in their own laundry bag, making reuse incredibly easy.
$21 on Amazon
As gentle as micellar water, “makeup remover pads are great for removing heavy eye makeup where regular cotton balls can crumble.” Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg says she’s “obsessed with facial halo” [makeup remover pads] Because all you need is water! It saves the planet, it works like magic. ” These eco-friendly makeup remover pads have taken the beauty industry by storm, can be washed up to 200 times and can be reused over and over again.
Sephora and Ulta $47
Oil-based cleansers help break down waterproof makeup without drying out the skin, but you’ll want to follow up with water-based cleansers to make sure you rinse off any residue before applying and really start your skincare routine with a clean face. “For those with dry skin, a double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser or cleansing cream followed by a mild water-based cleanser can effectively remove debris from the skin without flaking the skin,” says Birnbaum. Dermalogica Precleanse has long been one of our favorite cleansing oils for easy makeup removal.
$12.23 $11.65 on Amazon
Curél’s Cleansing Oil is another top option worth considering. “Cleansing oils have the added benefit of moisturizing the skin,” says Birnbaum. “It’s important to note that it’s important to apply the cleansing oil to dry skin to properly bind to the oils on the skin before rinsing off with water.” Once you add water, it should turn into a dreamy creamy texture.
$36 at Sephora and Amazon
Rabach recommends using a cleanser when removing thick foundation. The Farmacy Green Clean Cleanser is an industry darling because it literally melts away the makeup on your face as it transforms from a lip balm to a creamy lather.
Soko Glam $38
Once you try Then I with You Living Cleansing Balm, it’s hard to get rid of it. Formulated with antioxidants and fatty acid-rich seaberry oil and persimmon extract, this K-beauty lip balm softens, nourishes and brightens skin.
$12.69 $9.74 on Amazon
“If I did [my] Makeup lasts all day, I like to remove it with the Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser and use it on my face and eyes – wipe [it] Wipe off with a soft tissue or towel,” says Johnson. This top-of-the-line oil-based cleanser contains mineral oil and petroleum jelly to blend into the skin while adding a layer of emollient. You don’t even have to rinse off with water, just use a tissue or towel to wipe makeup off Just drop it.
Target price of $6.29 or
$6.98 $6.44 on Amazon
The Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser is an OG cold cream that excels at removing makeup – just like today’s cleanser. It’s super affordable and great for dry skin, and it’s available at your local drugstore, but be sure to follow our expert advice and apply the cream with a mild cream or gel cleanser to ensure you’re properly removing all of your face sticky substance.
$9.99 at Amazon
However, using the cleanser can be a bit messy. After you rub your lip balm on your skin, you need to rinse off the product, makeup, and dirt from your face, right? Instead of using towels or our hands, we like to use these compressed facial sponges to wipe our faces. Simply soak the compressed sponge in water – once expanded, you can use it as a reusable, disposable cleansing sponge. They are super soft and lather well with the face wash too.
$9.86 at Amazon or $9.99 at Target
Remember Birnbaum’s advice to use a water-based cleanser after cleansing oil or lip balm. We love the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel for double cleansing. It’s a lightweight gel formula with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and leave your skin feeling baby smooth.
$15.99 Amazon $14.57
Birnbaum recommends CeraVe Moisturizing Cleanser to people with sensitive skin because it has “few ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or irritation.” She notes that this cleanser is gentle and fragrance-free.
$25.99 at Amazon, Target and La Roche-Posay
Rabach thinks the best water-based makeup remover for sensitive skin is this La Roche-Posay Toleraine Dermo Milky Cleanser. This is a makeup remover formula that gently removes make-up, dirt and oil without drying out the skin. Because it contains no fragrance, alcohol, parabens or sulfates, it won’t irritate your skin.
Undoubtedly one of our favorite cleansers, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is a nourishing milky gel cleanser with a formula that is gentle on the skin. Glossier’s skin-first approach is evident, and the product features five skin conditioners that hydrate your skin as it cleans.
$45 at Dermstore
Not only does this purifying cleanser ensure your skin is as clean as possible, but it also helps smooth skin and keep pores clear with White Willow Bark Extract. The gel formula lathers up easily to remove every last bit of makeup and grime.
$6 Amazon $5.49
There’s a lot of debate in the beauty industry if you should use makeup wipes to remove makeup properly. However, when Wu told us “if you don’t have the time or energy to wash your face, wipes are a great option”, she was blunt. So when you don’t have time for a double clean, keep these Neutrogena cleaning towels handy for a rainy day.
$7.99 $6.99 at Amazon or $7.99 at Honest Beauty
Honest Beauty Makeup Remover Facial Wipes is another handy option, as Greenberg recommends. She says these are “gentle and effective.”