Girls, when you get home late the last thing you want to do is use a makeup remover, right? We have all done this a million times! So, is sleeping in makeup really that bad?
Well, apparently it is. Now you're likely wondering just how bad. Have you ever heard the saying if you sleep in your cosmetics it will age you 7 years? It's actually true.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, while we sleep the skin renews itself. Leaving cosmetics on which has been clogged with free radicals from the environment (mostly pollution), will cause the breakdown of healthy collagen. Additionally, makeup can clog the pores while you sleep, resulting in the development of acne and blemishes.
Even if you are too tired to wash your face before bed, at least use a good product to remove those cosmetics. Makeup removers are a quick and easy way to take the cosmetics off - no water necessary.
Lucky for you, we’ve spent hours testing and researching hundreds of the best makeup removers for you. The ones we found are the absolute best. We considered their effectiveness, ingredients, feeling after use, and the price when deciding.
Instantly removes the heaviest cosmetics.
The pricey formula is oil-based, meaning it leaves behind a bit of greasy residue.
For best splurge, it was no question that Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover was the best - beauty reviewers everywhere agree. It's gentle enough for all eyes and skin types, even those with sensitive skin and contact lenses.
Shaking the bottle activates the bi-phase formula, allowing it to instantly remove the heaviest cosmetics. Waterproof mascara, glitter liner, smokey eyes, you name it - this makeup remover can handle it with ease. We also appreciate that it didn't take much product to remove all cosmetics. The small hole in the bottle makes it impossible to use too much or spill.
If you're one of those ingredient connoisseurs, you may not be happy with the ingredients found in this product. It's made up of essentially water, oil, chemicals, salts, and fragrance. If you could care less about what's in a makeup remover, then you'll love this stuff because it really works. Our favorite item on the ingredient list? The rose oil which leaves behind the slightest scent of roses.
Feeling after Use:
Cool, soothing, and moisturizing are words we read over and over again from reviewers. Even those with the most sensitive skin left reviews that verified that it doesn't sting or cause any redness. Since this product is oil-based, it does leave behind a slight oily residue that needs to be rinsed off.
Although this makeup remover is rather pricey, the bottle is 4.2 ounces and a little goes a long way.
Learn more:Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover »
Ultra gentle, yet effective at removing even waterproof cosmetics.
Leaves behind oily residue. Could be easily spilled with wide spout.
Neutrogena has been a beauty brand must-have in American households since the 1930's. The products have remained affordable, while still being just as effective as their higher-end competitors. The same holds true for their Cleansing Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. For that reason, it was the easy choice for the best cheap cosmetic remover.
The ultra gentle dual phase formula becomes activated when shaken. The formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin but tough enough to remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara. It's also safe for those eyes with contact lenses.
Neutrogena claims this product to be 100% oil-free, yet still has a bit of an oily feel. Despite the oily dilemna, we couldn't get enough of the aloe and cucumber fruit extract, which left our skin feeling smooth and moisturized.
Feeling after Use:
We loved how soft and smooth our skin felt after using this product. It does leave behind a slight oily residue, so you may need to wash your face after use.
This product for eyes and face really is the best for less. It may not have all of the bells and whistles compared to its competitors, but it does the job at removing cosmetics.Learn more:Neutrogena Cleansing Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover »
One ingredient with no harsh chemicals, perfumes,. or dyes. Safe on sensitive skin and eyes.
Leaves behind an oily residue.
Turns out, coconut oil isn't just an amazing moisturizer and hair conditioner; it's also a really good cosmetic remover for skin and eyes. And we don't just mean that it'll get the job done when you run out of regular makeup remover. We were surprised by how quickly and easily (no rubbing or tugging at fragile skin) it even removed waterproof mascara.
This stuff works wonders at removing cosmetics. Coconut oil breaks down and releases the substances used in everyday cosmetic products, such as eyeliner and mascara. Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you must first rub it between your fingers until it's warm enough to spread over your eyes. Next, simply wipe your eyes with a cotton pad, and your makeup will be removed instantly.
Just one simple ingredient in this product - unrefined, extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil. This stuff is USDA certified organic, kosher, and gluten free. Did we mention its also non-GMO project verified?
Feeling after Use:
Since it's coconut oil, yes, there is an oily residue left over. If the feeling doesn't bother you, it's perfectly safe to leave it on. In fact, your skin and eyes will thank you for it. Coconut oil is best known for leaving the skin softer and younger-looking.
If you choose to use coconut oil as a makeup remover, it's about the same price as its traditional makeup remover competitors. The best part is, you can use it for your skin, hair, or to cook dinner.Learn more:Viva Labs The Finest Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil »
Contains a pH that is similar to tears. It is silicone free, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist-tested, alcohol-free, and fragrance-free.
Not very effective at removing waterproof cosmetics.
Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower is one of the most gentle products on eyes. It's a three-in-one cleanser, toner, and makeup remover that delicately and thoroughly removes all traces of cosmetics from face, eyes, and lips.
Formulated for sensitive skin, this cosmetic remover is enriched with cornflower extract to soothe and decongest. We love how it depuffs the eyes as it is wiping away all traces of makeup. Removes makeup just as effectively as expensive brands.
It's main ingredient, which is grown and harvested in France, is cornflower extract. Cornflower has been used since the 12th century for its medicinal properties to relieve tired and irritated eyes. It is known for soothing and softening, which makes it perfect for removing cosmetics from your eyes and other sensitive skin areas.
Feeling after Use:
Since there aren't any oils found in this product, there is no greasy residue left behind. This means you can wipe away your cosmetics and be done - no washing needed.
The price is fairly reasonable for the quality of the ingredients and the size of the bottle, which is 13.4 ounces.Learn more:Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower »
Contain no artifical perfume or dyes and no harsh chemicals that can upset your skin.
Cloths can be somewhat dry. Hard to get off waterproof mascara.
With no dyes, artificial perfumes, or harsh chemicals that can upset skin, Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are ideal for cleansing sensitive skin and eyes on-the-go. Their hypoallergenic, alcohol-free formula won't dry out your skin or leave behind sticky residue. These on-the-go wipes are perfect for your suitcase, your gym bag, or your car--anywhere you need a quick touchup. They work in just one step to clean and moisturize without rinsing.
These wipes do an amazing job at removing impurities and tough cosmetics, including water-proof mascara without any need to rinse your face afterwards. We also appreciate that these makeup remover wipes have been dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested and are great for your eyes, so you can use them even if you wear contact lenses.
These cosmetic wipes contain the perfect blend of pure skin loving ingredients with an added vitamin. They are enriched with Pro-Vitamin B5, which is known to help restore, soften and smooth the skin. They also contain triple purified water so these face wipes provide instant hydration to the skin without unwanted contaminants.
Feeling after use
The Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are made with a hypoallergenic, alcohol-free formula that won't dry out your skin or leave behind sticky residue. Your skin will be left feeling cool and refreshed - no washing needed after.
For a qulity product cheaper than a latte, you can't really complain. We love the price of these cosmetic wipes -they average about $4 a pack and come with 25. You're also saving on the cost of cotton pads so its a win-win in our eyes.Learn more:Simple Cleansing Facial Makeup Remover Wipes »
An effective, easy-to-use product with no harsh chemicals, perfumes, or dyes - making it suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
Multiple cotton pads needed to get all traces of cosmetics.
At first glance, the Simple Micellar Cleansing Water appears to be just plain tap water, but don't be fooled. The Simple Micellar Cleansing Water is filled with invisible, tiny magnets called micelles. Developed in the United Kingdom in 1960, Simple was the first to create a cleansing product for sensitive skin and eyes with no perfume or dyes. They made their U.S debut in 2012 and we're pretty happy they did. The reason we chose this product as best overall? It's super effective, affordable, and has no harsh chemicals, making Simple Micellar Cleansing Water great for all cosmetic wearers.
What makes Simple Micellar Cleansing Water so effective is the micelles. Micelles are lipid molecules that act as tiny magnets when in contact with water. They have the ability to dissolve and transport substances, or in this case, mascara. We were impressed at this makeup remover's ability to pull dirt, oil, and traces of makeup from the skin - even the toughest waterproof mascara. Although you may need multiple cotton pads to get everything off, you won't need to spend the time washing your face or using additional wipes afterwards.
Our favorite part about this product is the skin-friendly ingredient list. In reviews, users said the same. The water is triple purified to remove any contaminants that might irritate the skin. We loved that Simple also added moisturizing glycerin, calming chamomile extract, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin C. These vitamins are responsible for restoring, softening, and soothing the skin. A few ingredients we were especially happy not to find were harsh chemicals, dyes, oils, or perfumes.
Feeling after Use:
Since this product is water-based and oil-free, the skin is left feeling refreshed after use with no greasy residue. Reviewers love how soft it leaves the skin feeling. Those with sensitive skin will appreciate that this makeup remover is hypoallergenic and pH balanced, which means its safe and won't causes any irritations. We recommend using this twice a day - use it to refresh your skin in the a.m and to remove makeup in the p.m.
For being the best makeup remover for eyes and face on the market, we are big fans of the low-price tag.Learn more:Simple Micellar Cleansing Water Makeup Remover »
Confession time: Many women (including some of our Faveable experts) admit they’ve woken up on a pillow coated with yesterday’s cosmetics. However, doing this is soooooo not a good idea! Drifting off to dreamland in your bronzer and mascara might not seem like a big deal, but it can damage your skin and accelerate the aging process. No bueno, right?
We agree, which is why we’ve compiled a must-read collection of tips and advice about makeup remover. Whether you can’t figure out how to use your cleansing wipes or just need some help storing your bottle of makeup remover properly, we’ve got you covered!
Makeup remover is a personal-care product that gently erases foundation, lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, and other cosmetics from your face or body. It’s usually used with other skincare products, such as face wash, astringent, and moisturizer.
You can buy an all-purpose makeup remover or look for an option that focuses on a specific part of your face, such as the eye area or mouth. Special formulas are available for sensitive skin, dry skin, acne-prone skin, and numerous other skin types.
Nope, but that doesn’t stop some women from attempting to remove their makeup with toner.
Toner is meant for cleansing, but it doesn’t gently remove cosmetics the same way makeup remover does. If you decide to use toner, apply it after using makeup remover and facial cleanser. Dab some on a soft washcloth or cotton ball, then gently wipe it around your face and neck. It helps grab any debris that your other skincare products may have missed, and it can make pores appear smaller by unclogging them.
Makeup remover comes in several forms, including:
We’ve also seen products advertised as all-purposed makeup removers; basically, they claim to remove makeup and cleanse your face in one convenient step. To be honest, we aren’t really a fan of these all-in-one products. We’ve had better results with traditional makeup removers.
Anybody who wears makeup! We’ve heard plenty of excuses like “I don’t need makeup remover because I don’t wear a lot of makeup” or “Face wash is enough for me because I use organic cosmetics.”
Sorry ladies, but that’s just not how it works. If you wear makeup, you need some sort of makeup remover, whether it’s a cleansing towelette or an organic coconut oil (we like Viva Labs, as you may have noticed if you browsed our list of the best makeup removers).
It doesn’t matter if you have dry skin, oily skin, or combination skin. If you don’t use makeup remover, you might end up with clogged pores and/or an eruption of acne. Oh, and did we mention stained bedding?
Not always, but sometimes it’s a good idea. There are many makeup removal products that claim to erase the trace of any and all cosmetics - and some of them actually live up to their promises.
However, we recommend using a separate makeup remover for your eye area if you wear heavy eyeliner, waterproof mascara, or deep, dark shadow. The eye area is delicate, and rubbing it too hard can cause wrinkles or even damage the function of your eye. Makeup removers designed specifically for the eye area typically address these concerns with soothing ingredients that nourish as they clean.
You may also want to use a separate makeup remover if you’re a fan of long-lasting lip gloss or matte lipstick. Sometimes it’s difficult to remove these products without repeatedly scrubbing your lips, and that’s bad news if you’re not using a gentle makeup remover. Your lip area can become visibly cracked and raw, and you might develop small bumps above and below your lips.
No, you only need to use makeup remover on the days when you apply cosmetics. It’s specifically made to remove makeup, so you don’t need to use it during your skincare routine if you had a cosmetic-free day.
You don’t have makeup on your face anymore, so you can create a new look when you’re ready. Aside from the obvious, here are some other benefits you may experience if you remove your cosmetics with makeup remover:
Remind yourself of these amazing benefits when you stumble into your home at 2 a.m. after a fun night out with the girls or stay up all night watching Netflix.
Selecting the Right Makeup Remover
We can’t speak for everyone (although Allure and Elle agree with us), but we think that Simple Micellar Cleansing Water Makeup Remover totally rocks. It doesn’t look like anything special, but it has tiny magnetic molecules that gently draw cosmetics out of your pores without damaging your skin.
If price isn’t an issue, consider splurging on Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. It gently dissolves stubborn eye makeup using an ophthalmologist-tested formula suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. We can’t get enough of the subtle floral aroma this makeup remover leaves behind (thank you, rose oil extract).
We think Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover with Cornflower is great for removing makeup from acne-prone skin. It doesn’t contain oil, so it won’t leave behind a greasy residue that could potentially clog your pores. It’s also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, which means it may help prevent breakouts triggered by reactions to the product.
Removing waterproof eye makeup is a cinch with Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. We already mentioned this makeup remover above, but we love it enough to mention it again.
You can even use this makeup remover while you’re applying makeup rather than waiting til the end of the day. Like, say you accidentally smudge your permanent liquid liner or make a mark that’s more of a squiggle than a line - no biggie! Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover can totally save the day by gently erasing the evidence of your makeup mishaps.
Okay, we apologize for sounding like a broken record, but we’re going to go with Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover here. It removes waterproof mascara and liquid liner like a boss, and it even loosens thick layers of creamy shadow and glitter.
On a budget? Try Neutrogena Cleansing Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover instead. You can get it for around $10 at most drugstores, and Amazon.com also carries it. It has a lighter, less-oily formula (reviewers compare it to water) than Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover, but it’s still ideal for sensitive skin.
Some makeup removers are designed for a specific skin type, so it’s important to know yours before you shop. If you have an appointment with a dermatologist or primary care physician in the near future, ask your healthcare provider about your skin type.
Can’t wait that long? Try this simple test:
If you notice heavy oil all over the paper, then you have oily skin. A paper with hardly any oil residue signifies dry skin. Check for oil around the forehead and nose if you suspect you have combination skin.
You don’t really need a test to figure out if you have acne-prone skin or sensitive skin. If your skin breaks out easily or frequently, choose a specialized makeup remover that won’t irritate your skin.
Using Your Makeup Remover
Always remove your makeup before you wash your face with a facial cleanser. If you wash your face first, you’ll probably end up smearing your makeup all over the place and making it more difficult to remove. You also won’t get your face very clean because makeup remover is meant to remove makeup, not clean your entire face. In other words, you generally need to wash off the residue your makeup remover leaves behind unless you’re using a dual-purpose product that lets you skip the rinse.
After you remove your makeup and wash your face, finish with a toner or astringent if desired. This helps remove any makeup you may have missed during the first two steps of your skincare routine.
No, probably not unless the container says you should or the formula looks weird. If the layers in your liquid makeup remover separate, you may need to gently rotate the bottle a few times.
Shaking makeup remover when you don’t need to is a bad idea because it can make it bubbly or foamy. This can potentially affect the performance of your product.
Soak a cotton pad or washcloth with liquid eye makeup remover, then hold it against each eye for 10 or 15 seconds. This gives the formula time to gently, but effectively, loosen your eye makeup, which may reduce the amount of rubbing you have to do. Rubbing your eyes too much can cause wrinkles and broken blood vessels.
Gently slide the cotton pad or washcloth across each eye. Don’t scrub; this can damage eyes and the delicate skin around them.
Make sure you use a separate cloth for the rest of your face so that you don’t transfer your mascara and liner. After you’re done removing your makeup, use a facial cleanser to make sure there’s no debris left.
Glitter cosmetics are often a pain to remove, especially if you use cosmetics with large, chunky flakes of glitter. Glitter can irritate skin and eyes, so be careful not to rub your face too hard during the makeup removal process. Press, don’t rub!
Use a product that’s known for effectively removing heavy or long-lasting makeup, such as Smashbox It's a Wrap Waterproof Makeup Remover. Apply it to a clean cloth or cotton pad, then gently wipe down your face. Make sure you wipe your face in circular motions away from your eyes; this helps prevent glitter from migrating into them. If the glitter is on your eyes, hold a soaked cloth on your eyes before moving it around.
Still got some glitter stuck on your face? StyleCaster suggests removing it with a strip of Scotch tape.
Some body makeup rinses off easily with regular soap and water, especially if you’re using makeup designed for the body rather than the face. If you apply cosmetics intended for your face on your body, use a regular makeup remover to get your body clean.
We recommend using cleansing towelettes on your body because they’re larger than cotton pads. That way, you can quickly and conveniently wipe down your makeup-covered body instead of dabbing liquid on multiple cotton pads.
You might luck out and get makeup remover to dissolve your nail polish, but the odds aren’t in your favor. Makeup removers typically work their magic with a blend of oil and water, while nail polish remover gets the job done with acetone. Nail polish remover could technically remove makeup, but don’t try it. It’s dangerous.
Seriously, we want to make it very clear that you can’t use nail polish remover on your face. It’s too strong for your skin, and it can hurt you - especially if you get it in your eyes. We’ve seen talk about swapping makeup remover and nail polish remover on the Web, but it’s just not something you should ever do.
Sometimes, but should you do it? Not if you have a better option.
If you get makeup on your clothes, flip your clothing inside out and apply some dish soap. Rub it in gently, then flip your clothing back to the other side and rinse away the soap with cold water (hot water will set the stain!). Toss it in the washer, add some detergent, and wash as usual. The stain should disappear - or at least fade significantly.
If you insist on using makeup remover, try a cleansing towelette. Hold it against the stain for a minute or so, then gently rub the stain from multiple directions. This should loosen the stain, although it might not completely go away. Make sure you don’t use a liquid makeup remover, as many of them contain oil(s) that can stain your clothing.
We don’t recommend it, but we’ll spare you the lecture. Depending on your skin type and how much makeup you wear, you might be able to gently dissolve your makeup with coconut oil.
Got a diaper bag on hand? Reach for a pack of unscented wipes if you’ve got ‘em. Diaper wipes remove makeup fairly well (one of our writers admits to using Seventh Generation wipes in lieu of makeup remover a few times), but keep in mind they aren’t designed for facial cleansing. They might irritate your skin and cause stinging eye pain, especially if you use scented wipes. Use them in a bind if you have to, but don’t make them part of your everyday beauty routine.
Storing and Transporting Your Makeup Remover
Keep your makeup remover in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Don’t store it in a fridge or freezer; the cold may affect the formula. The exception is if you use a makeup remover cream; this generally does okay in the fridge.
Women generally store makeup remover in a vanity, behind a bathroom mirror, in a makeup bag or purse, or under a bathroom sink. These locations are all okay.
Unfortunately, you’re out of luck if your makeup removal cloths dry out. Rehydrating them might seem like a good idea if you’re in a bind, but it’s not an ideal long-term solution.
When you rehydrate makeup removal cloths, you dilute the original formula. They may look and feel the same as they once did, but they no longer have the same composition. You might even rinse away important ingredients that delay antimicrobial growth, which basically means you’re rubbing bacteria all over your face each time you wipe.
Take out a makeup removal cloth and quickly close the pouch they’re in, making sure to seal it tightly. If you don’t seal it tightly, you’ll lock in a bunch of air. This speeds up the drying process.
You may want to put the pouch inside of a plastic baggie and seal that as well. This further prevents air from drying out your cloths.
Makeup removal cloths are great for vacations because they’re lightweight and less likely to leak than a bottle of fluid. If you decide to bring a bottle anyway, seal the lid as tightly as possible and wrap a piece of tape around it. Place the bottle inside of a plastic baggie and seal that tightly.
Set your baggie in a full makeup bag or surround it with clothing. This helps keep it from bouncing around while you’re in transit.
Yikes! Remove everything from your makeup bag and set it aside. If makeup remover got on any of your cosmetics or makeup tools, you’ll have to clean those as well.
If you’ve got a vinyl makeup bag, wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth or soft paper towel. If you notice streaks, spray a bit of all-purpose cleaner on a cloth and wipe them away. Use a circular motion rather than a back-and-forth motion to avoid scratching your bag.
If you’ve got a fabric makeup bag, flip it inside out and treat the stain from the inside first. Add a few drops of dish soap, and rub them in gently with your thumb. Flip the bag back to its original side, and rinse the soaped-up area clean with cold water. Don’t use hot water because it will set the stain.
Issues and Concerns
Check your makeup remover bottle for a specific expiration date. If it doesn’t have one, toss your makeup remover after 6 to 12 months - even if it looks and smells okay.
Here’s the deal: Bacteria loves makeup and facial products. After you open a container of makeup remover, it becomes susceptible to harmful microorganisms, even if it has antimicrobial properties. The formula breaks down over time, leaving you susceptible to issues like contact dermatitis.
In most cases, this is a totally normal occurrence - especially if you recently purchased the makeup remover. Gently tilt the bottle back and forth to mix the oil with the water. Notice we said tilt, not shake! You don’t want to end up with a foamy mess.
Absolutely. Makeup remover doesn’t last forever, and we recommend tossing it if it develops a funky odor.
Yes, even if it’s new and/or hasn’t reached the expiration date that’s printed on the container. As a general rule of thumb, you should never use any cosmetic or skincare product that smells weird. It’s probably got bacteria in it, and you don’t want to smear that across your face.
Discontinue use immediately so you can make sure the outbreak truly came from your makeup remover. After your skin clears up, try using the makeup remover again. If acne reappears, your makeup remover is the culprit.
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll react to every makeup remover. Choose one with a different formula than you’re currently using, or look for one geared toward acne-prone or sensitive skin.
If issues continue, talk to your dermatologist.
Look for signs of redness, swelling, or itching. You may also develop bumps or blisters where you used the product. These are signs of irritant contact dermatitis.
In some rare cases, people develop a serious reaction that affects the immune system. If you have trouble breathing, contact a medical professional immediately. Have the container of makeup remover on hand so that your healthcare provider can pinpoint what triggered the reaction.
Also, keep in mind that many skincare products contain extract from flowers or foods. If you’re allergic to either of these things, make sure they’re not listed as an ingredient on your makeup remover. A generic ingredient such as “fragrance” may warrant a call to the company if you have severe allergies; you need to make sure you’re using something that’s safe for you.
Not always, but we certainly don’t recommend licking your cleansing towelettes or chugging a bottle of organic makeup remover. Makeup remover, regardless of its ingredient list, is designed for external use. Don’t put it in your mouth, and keep it away from curious kiddos.