Courtesy Image/Khadija Horton
Taking off your makeup at the end of a long day is high-key really, really annoying, but you know what’s even worse? When you’re removing said makeup, and you have to scrub, cleanse, and rinse, like, nine times to get everything off your skin. Because taking your makeup off every single night is a necessary evil—it helps prevent breakouts, irritation, and premature aging—the key is to find a makeup remover that will gently dissolve everything (even waterproof makeup) without stripping your skin raw. Not sure where to start? Try one of my favorites, below, that will actually help speed up your nightly beauty routine, so you can crawl into bed and queue up that Netflix documentary even faster.
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Best Organic Makeup Remover
One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover
This organic cleansing oil feels like an absolute dream on your skin—the combo of vitamin E, sunflower seed oil, beeswax, and papaya seed oil means that your makeup comes off gently and it won’t leave your skin feeling tight or dry.
Best Makeup Remover for Dry Skin
Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
I’m obsessed with this makeup remover—it definitely lives up to its name. I just work it into my skin and, instantly, my bold winged liner and matte-finish foundation melt away. Plus, the oil blend is perfect for anyone with dry skin—it will leave your skin feeling super smooth and hydrated long after you rinse.
Best Micellar Water Makeup Remover
Bioderma Sensibio H2O
Whether you’ve got dry skin, oily skin, or fall somewhere in between, you can def count on this makeup remover. The water-based formula is filled with just micelles (bb molecules that dissolve dirt) and soothing cucumber extract—no oil, alcohol, or parabens included, making it a 10 out 10 option for any skin type.
Best Eye Makeup Remover
Glossier Milky Oil
This micellar water and oil blend is the perfect complement to the brand’s cult-favorite cleanser, Milky Jelly. When blended together, these two key ingredients literally melt waterproof eye makeup and intense matte lipsticks in seconds. Just shake the bottle, squeeze a bit onto a cotton pad (a Glossier one, naturally), and wipe away your woes.
Best Makeup Remover Pen
E.L.F. Makeup Remover Pen
From mascara smears to uneven liner, this mini pen helps correct any makeup snafus without affecting the rest of your face. Ingredients like vitamin E, cucumber, and chamomile calm down any irritation while removing traces of makeup around your eyelids and under eyes.
Best Reusable Makeup Remover
The Original Makeup Eraser
Okay, I know that makeup wipes can feel wasteful, which is why this miracle product comes in handy. Simply soak this 100 percent polyester cloth in water, then start removing your makeup. Yup, that’s it. Here’s a tip, though: Machine-wash the cloth before your first use to avoid getting fuzzy bits all over your face.
Best Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover
If you’re a contact-lens wearer or have super sensitive eyes, this paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free solution is the answer to your waterproof-makeup prayers. Another plus: It’s packed with flavonoids and olive-wood extract that work to strengthen lashes.
Best Oil and Milk-Based Makeup Remover
Dior Hydra Life Oil to Milk Makeup Removing Cleanser
Part makeup remover, part cleanser, this magical oil-to-milk solution breaks down tougher formulas with sweet almond oil and then, upon contact with water, transforms into a gentle creamy lather that rinses away cleanly. Think of it as a luxurious little milk bath for your face.
Best Fragrance-Free Makeup Remover
Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips
This remover might be a little greasy to the touch, but it’s for a good reason: The solution literally wipes your lids, lashes, and lips clean of all traces of makeup. Plus, it’s fragrance-free, paraben-free, and ophthalmologist-tested, so it won’t irritate your eyes if you wear contacts.
Best Makeup Remover Balm
Eve Lom Cleanser
If you fancy yourself a full-face beat and need something that’s going to cut through your full-coverage foundation—without stripping your face of its natural oils—meet your new BFF. Sure, this makeup removing balm is on the pricier side, but TBH, it’s worth not having to tug on your skin or use 300 cotton pads to take off a day’s worth of makeup.
Best Oil-Free Makeup Remover
Almay Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads
Best Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin
Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover
Noncomedogenic? Check. Fragrance-free? Check. Gently removes face makeup with zero oily residue? Check. This makeup remover was legit made for your sensitive skin. Bonus: It’s formulated with hydrating aloe vera and soothing ginseng and green tea.
Best Jelly-Based Makeup Remover
Bliss Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser
This formula can be used on dry or wet skin. Here’s how: On dry skin, it breaks down makeup with a quick swipe over your face with a cotton pad. On wet skin, its milky jelly consistency is viscous enough to stay on your skin (without sliding off your face) to help dissolve your makeup, dirt, and excess oils.
Best Makeup Remover Wipes
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
All 25 of these premoistened makeup remover wipes are gentle enough to use around your eye area (yes, the formula even removes waterproof makeup) and can clear away foundation and eyeshadow in just one swipe.
Best Alcohol-Free Makeup Remover
Make Up For Ever Sens’Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser
Best Makeup Remover for Acne-Prone Skin
Natura Brasil Bi-Phase Makeup Remover
The hydrating humectants in this makeup remover help keep your skin’s moisture barrier strong rather than stripping away your natural oils. It also doesn’t leave behind a greasy film, so acne-prone skin is totally safe.
Best Oil-Based Cleanser
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Selfishly, this is my personal favorite cleanser that I use to remove my makeup. It’s the perfect step for double-cleansing, but honestly just a few pumps remove all traces of my makeup—even glittery, caked-on liner. I mean, one bottle is sold every 10 seconds worldwide, so you know it’s good.
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