Anyone who’s ever slept with makeup on knows how important it is to remove makeup late at night. But the best makeup removers aren’t just those that remove foundation, mascara, and lipstick: they’re also designed to remove the dirt and grime of the day.
“I’m a big proponent of smart cleansing, not aggressive cleansing,” says the board-certified dermatologist. Rachel Nazarian. “Using the right cleanser can effectively remove dirt, oil, makeup – even heavy Halloween makeup! – without irritated and inflamed skin.”
If you’re planning to wear makeup for Halloween costumes, she says it’s a good idea to start working on your skin barrier now: “Switch to milder cleansers, avoid chemical peels or exfoliants for a week, increase the use of moisturizers and moisturizers Skin agents such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, allantoin, glycerin.”
The hallmark of a good cleanser is that you don’t have to actively use it to be effective, she adds. “Typically, this triggers flare-ups of underlying skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea, as well as worsening acne breakouts, increasing the risk of scarring,” she says, noting that heavy makeup can make flare-ups more likely. She recommends choosing a product with calming and moisturizing ingredients to improve the moisture barrier and strengthen the skin, such as antioxidants or aloe vera.
PhD. The best way to remove makeup is to wipe first, then use a more thorough cleanser, says Avnee Shah, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Verona, NJ. “For my routine, which usually includes skincare and tinted sunscreen, I like to use makeup wipes to remove things that have built up on surfaces throughout the day,” she says. “I’ll then use a liquid face wash for a more thorough cleanse.” (Conversely, make-up wipes can irritate the skin — especially those with sensitive skin — so, says Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami. Proceed with caution.)
Find the best makeup removers, including makeup wipes, balms, reusable pads, and natural products that experts swear by.
Target price of $9.79
A Shah favorite, Simple’s makeup wipes have hundreds of 5-star reviews. They gently remove stubborn makeup and are great for travel.
$9.78 on Amazon
“I like to use makeup wipes to remove things that build up on surfaces throughout the day,” says Shah, and these little towels from Neutrogena do just that.
$9.97 at Amazon or $11.99 at Target
Another Shah favorite are these wipes from CeraVe, which one reviewer said is “actually super moisturizing” and they “don’t strip your skin and leave a moisturizing feel. Compared to other big wipes, you Can feel how mild they are. Definitely recommend!”
Cleansing Creams and Cleansers
$11 at Amazon and Target
With hundreds of 5-star reviews and a cult following from editors, this cleansing balm — which Shah says can be emulsified in water to remove makeup and dirt — melts in your hand while moisturizing your skin.
From $12 at Amazon or $24 at Sephora
Called her holy grail product by celebrity makeup artist Melissa Hernandez, this cleanser is enriched with sunflower and ginger root oils. “It melts everything, including stubborn waterproofs, and it’s super gentle on the skin,” she shares.
From $24 at Amazon and Sephora
The fragrance-free version of Farmacy Cleansing Balm for sensitive skin is another expert favorite. “Start by applying a small amount of lip balm to dry skin,” says Shah. “Then, massage into the skin for about 30 to 60 seconds and you’ll see the balm turn into more oil as it melts the makeup. Rinse off gently with lukewarm water or a damp cloth.”
Nazarian recommends the lip balm from Cure Natural Aqua Gel, but it works just as well. “It uses hydrogen-activated water to gently cleanse the skin; active hydrogen has been shown to effectively relieve oxidative stress and boost antioxidant activity.”
$10.49 $7.97 at Amazon and Walmart or $9.79 at Target
“I’ve always been a huge fan of this, especially theatrical and Halloween makeup,” shared celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli. “It removes all traces of makeup, even the most waterproof makeup – leaving your skin with the soothing benefits of Garnier’s gentle micellar formula.”
$19.99 $14.99 at Amazon
If you have dry skin, professional makeup artist Joann Solomon recommends a cream or oil-based makeup remover. You should also “make sure it’s compatible with all skin types so you can use it safely without any irritation or discomfort,” she explains.Award-winning special effects makeup artist Evilise Quijano’s top pick is this cleanser, adding that she usually “prefers [makeup] Makeup remover cream or balsam wipes,” can sometimes cause a tingling sensation on the skin.
$16 Colourpop for $9.60
“One of the best makeup removers out there is oil-based,” explains Solomon. They are gentler on the skin, which is crucial. Contrary to what might initially make sense, they’re a great option for people with oily skin, Solomon explained. This body cleansing oil is the go-to for makeup artist and content creator Brook Ellis. “I highly recommend using these removers and leaving them on the skin for a few minutes so they have time to break down [makeup]”Before rinsing,” she instructed.
From $11.99 at Amazon or $20 at Ulta
Skip the disposable pads or wipes and opt for sustainable, high-quality options. Shah’s favorite, this reusable makeup remover is also well-received by customers. The soft washcloth removes makeup—even long-wear formulas—with just water. But you still need to use a cleanser to make sure your skin is completely clean.
$21 on Amazon
One customer described this option – Shah’s recommendation – as an “incredible product” [that] Removes makeup without extensive exfoliation. ” The pad is the perfect size to remove eye makeup.
Shah recommends these reusable bamboo cotton pads for removing face and eye makeup. They work well with micellar water and are easy to throw in clothes to wash and wash.
From $16 at Sephora
Nazarian advises everyone — especially those with sensitive skin — to “avoid scrubs or beaded cleansers, and opt for unscented options, as well as those with no added fragrance.” This coconut oil pick from Drunk Elephant The product is sulfate, cruelty and fragrance free.
Burt’s Bees from $4.99
“My favorite natural product to remove heavy makeup is organic coconut oil,” says Ciraldo, who advises patients to rinse off coconut oil after cleansing. This coconut and argan oil-based cleanser has rave reviews, leaves no residue on the skin, and is made with natural ingredients.
$65 at Credo
Shah agrees that coconut and jojoba oils are great natural cleansing oils, and this antioxidant-rich option contains the latter, along with other natural oils like sunflower, grapeseed, and avocado.
From $32 at Sephora or $16 at Charlotte Tilbury
Nazarian says it’s “a great oil-based option that uses oil-based chamomile and botanical extracts to remove dirt, makeup, and surface oils, but is less irritating and calming than traditional scrubs and exfoliating cleansers.” Apply it to a cotton ball and swipe across the surface of the skin to remove makeup.”