Unveiling your natural beauty at the end of the day can be as rewarding as creating a stunning makeup look. A makeup remover plays a pivotal role in this transformation, acting as the gentle yet effective curtain call that helps your skin breathe freely and rejuvenate overnight. With the stroke of a cotton pad or the massaging touch of your fingertips, you reveal the blank canvas beneath, ready to be nurtured and cared for.
These makeup removers follow a straightforward rule: dab, gently wipe, and see the magic unfold. A few light strokes over your skin, and they delicately lift off the day’s grime and makeup, leaving behind a clean, fresh canvas. They are as forgiving as they are effective, with most being kind enough to remove even the most stubborn makeup without much ado.
Ranging from classic liquid formulations to innovative micellar waters, makeup removers offer variety without compromising on their central mission. Directly apply it onto a cotton pad, lightly sweep it over your skin, and relish the clean, rejuvenated feel. If you’ve gone a tad too liberal with the application, a simple splash of water or a damp washcloth can bring back the balance.
We believe that makeup removers should be more than a mere afterthought. They should form an integral part of your beauty routine, carefully selected to suit your skin type and personal preferences. With that in mind, we have curated a selection of exceptional makeup removers, each promising a gentle yet effective performance.
To shortlist the best makeup removers available today, we considered their formula, effectiveness, skin compatibility, and durability. We scrutinized countless options and conducted rigorous trials to bring you a curated list of standout products worth adding to your skincare repertoire.
Your skin is your best accessory, so you want to treat it with the utmost care.
La Roche-Posay’s Micellar Water is a gentle cleanser that’s ideal for oily skin. It’s a no-rinse product that purifies skin and cleanses dirt, oil, and makeup with its dirt-encapsulating micelles in the formula.
The water-like texture of micellar water makes it perfect for oily skin because it won’t strip away any of your natural oils. Plus, glycerin helps hydrate the skin by absorbing water from the surrounding environment.
“Great makeup remover. Most micellar waters will leave your skin feeling extremely oily, but this product did not do that to my skin. One of my go-to’s for my skincare routine,” shared one tester.
We love a makeup remover that can do it all—that’s why we’re so into Fenty Skin. The brand’s Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser instantly washes away dirt, oil, and impurities without leaving your skin feeling tight.
Luckily, it doesn’t stop there: Ginkgo biloba helps balance pores and fight shine, while Barbados cherry works to revitalize skin. When you massage it into your skin, the product transforms from a decadent cream to a plush lathe.
It’s also convenient because it comes in a tube—no more fumbling around with those annoying pumps or getting your hands all sticky with the liquid stuff! Meanwhile, tropical fruit and floral notes combine to create an intoxicating aroma that makes it feel like you’re on vacation every time you use this product!
According to Rihanna, “I wanted to create a really deep cleanser that wouldn’t dry out your skin so you can use it every day and night.”
At the end of a long day, you’ve got two choices: You can either spend 15 minutes scrubbing at your face with a washcloth, or you can reach for Tula Skincare’s Makeup Removing Balm. With just one swipe, this balm stick will melt away every last bit of makeup on your face and leave it feeling hydrated and nourished.
It’s formulated with probiotic extracts, including macadamia seed oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and olive oil to help repair and condition the skin. And because it’s designed specifically for delicate areas (and even safe to use around the eyes), there’s no need to worry about irritation—your eyes will be comfortable and protected throughout your whole cleansing process.
It’s also travel-friendly! You don’t have to worry about bringing multiple items with you when you’re trying to pack light for vacation or for a quick weekend getaway—just throw this in your bag and go!
This makeup remover from Paula’s Choice works like a dream. It’s super gentle on your skin, which is great for those of us who have sensitive skin. It also does a great job of getting rid of even the toughest waterproof mascaras—which is amazing when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to use multiple products!
It also contains aloe vera and green tea extract, which help to hydrate and smooth out your skin after removing all traces of makeup. This is great because sometimes you’ll feel like your skin is left feeling oily after using other products, but this one leaves it feeling clean and soft instead of dry.
All in all, this product really delivers on its promise: it removes all types of makeup effortlessly, including long-wearing and waterproof products!
“While it’s not the only product that has worked for me, it’s the only one that I’ve tried that doesn’t have an excessively greasy feel or fragrance,” explained one reviewer.
We love Glossier’s Milky Oil for its gentle formula and ability to melt away long-wearing and waterproof makeup.
The formula is a perfectly-proportioned blend of micellar water and weightless oil that creates a dual-phase formula that easily dissolves makeup while also conditioning your skin. The pro-vitamin B5 conditions so your skin feels soft and fresh after use—I love how supple my face feels after using this product!
The micelles are used to attract dirt, oil, and makeup like a magnet—they pull it right off your face while leaving none behind on yours (or in the sink).
No matter what kind of makeup you’re wearing, it’s a big deal when you have to take it off. With Neutrogena’s Liquid Eye Makeup Remover, you’ll get all that and more: it even removes waterproof mascara!
Made with an oil-free formula that activates when shaken, it’s gentle enough to use on even the most delicate skin. The water-like texture is so effective at removing stubborn makeup that you’ll never want to go back to using your hands or other products again.
This affordable option from Neutrogena is definitely worth trying out if you want to remove your makeup without any fuss!
“If you are on a budget, this drugstore product will do it perfectly,” shared one wearer. “I’ll recommend remembering to be gentle with your face, especially on your under-eye area.”
If you’re looking for a makeup remover that will leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed, Clinique’s Take the Day Off Makeup Remover is a great contender.
It comes in a silky balm formula that gently dissolves makeup and cleans thoroughly, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and soft. It’s infused with safflower seed oil, which helps remove the stress of pollution so skin looks younger.
The formula transforms from a solid balm into a silky oil upon application, making it easy to massage into your skin for an even deeper clean. The lightweight texture makes it ideal for removing stubborn eye makeup—no tugging or pulling required!
Bliss’ Makeup Melt Cleanser is here to redefine your skincare routine, especially if you have sensitive skin. This innovative product combines effectiveness with gentle care, making makeup removal a joy, not a chore.
The cleanser’s delightful milky jelly texture sweeps away makeup without any harsh scrubbing and also serves as a cleanser, ridding wet skin of any impurities. It’s a wonder for the end of a long day, truly living up to its ‘melt’ moniker.
As if its gentle cleansing properties weren’t enough, it’s also infused with the calming scent of rose and lavender. It’s a skincare experience that soothes your skin and your senses, rounding out your daily routine in the most delightful way.
When it comes to makeup removal, e.l.f. Cosmetics steps up with their Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm. This innovative product promises not just a clean face, but a skincare experience that leaves you feeling pampered and refreshed.
This isn’t just a makeup remover, but a transformative skincare product. It starts as a solid balm, then melts into a luxurious oil as you apply, finally turning into a nourishing milky texture when rinsed off. It’s as if you’re conducting a mini skincare ritual at your vanity each evening.
The cleansing balm doesn’t just remove makeup, it cares for your skin too. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides, it leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and soft. It’s an effortless way to end the day, giving your skin the love and care it deserves.
Drunk Elephant’s Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser is a clever addition to any skincare routine. The balm not only gets rid of the day’s grime but also ensures your skin gets the nourishment it needs.
The charm of Slaai is its transformation from oil to milk upon contact with water. Gentle enough for the eye area, this cleansing balm removes all traces of makeup, including water-resistant products.
What’s more, this cleanser also doubles as a moisturizer, thanks to its African oil blend — a cocktail of marula, baobab, Kalahari melon, mongongo, and Ximena oils. Additionally, it comes with the Bamboo Booster, an ultra-fine exfoliator that removes dead skin for a fresh glow.
What to Look for in Makeup Remover
Type of Makeup Remover
There are several types of makeup removers: liquid, gel, cream, oil, micellar water, and wipes, to name a few. The best type for you depends on your skin type, the kind of makeup you wear, and your personal preference. For example, oil-based removers are great for heavy makeup and waterproof formulas, while micellar water can be a gentle option for sensitive skin.
The primary role of a makeup remover is to effectively get rid of makeup, dirt, and excess oil without leaving any residue. It should be able to remove all kinds of makeup – including waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipstick – without you having to rub your skin excessively, which can lead to irritation.
Ensure the makeup remover is suitable for your skin type. If you have dry skin, opt for hydrating formulas, while those with oily skin may prefer oil-free options. Those with sensitive skin should look for makeup removers that are free from potential irritants like fragrance and alcohol. Checking the ingredient list is a must!
While removing makeup is the main job, it’s a bonus if your makeup remover also offers skincare benefits. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, aloe vera, and various oils can nourish your skin, keep it hydrated, and improve its overall health and appearance.
Non-comedogenic makeup removers are designed to not block pores, making them ideal for people with acne-prone skin. Blocked pores can lead to breakouts, so if you’re prone to acne, it’s worth considering a non-comedogenic option.