There’s a reason dermatologists, beauty editors and your mum are all always emphasising on the importance of taking your makeup off—it’s a quick trip to clogged pores, acne and dullness if you don’t. However, using the right makeup remover is just as important. You wouldn’t want to use a formula that’s too heavy for your skin which can further aggravate your skin or simply not cleanse it well enough. Read on for our 101 guide to makeup removers to find your perfect one and go to bed with clean skin, always.
Makeup remover wipes
The lazy girl hack, makeup remover wipes make for the easiest and quickest way to clean up at the end of the day. Wipes tend to be a one-size-fits-all when it comes to skin types unless the pack says otherwise. If you have sensitive skin, make sure you use one that’s safe for you because they can be slightly abrasive. While wipes have received a bad rap in recent years due to their environmental impact, eco-friendly options are now available as well. Try reusable options like the Face Halo makeup remover pads or Makeup Eraser towel to clean up without increasing your carbon footprint. If you’d still prefer a single use option, we suggest the Simple Kind To Skin Biodegradable Cleansing Wipes and the Dromen & Co Magic Cotton Pads.
This cleanser quickly became a mainstream product back in 2015 when every beauty brand started to create one of its kind. One of the lightest formulas you’ll ever use for your skin, micellar waters latch on to your makeup due to the mild surfactants they’re made of and break down makeup and skincare effortlessly. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you’ll love how fresh this makes you feel once you’re done cleaning up. Our pick: The award-winning Bioderma Sensibio H2O.
While foaming formulas are usually restricted to basic skin cleansers, a few brands have also concocted makeup removal versions. Foams like the Bobbi Brown Makeup Melter & Cleanser literally melt your makeup upon contact with it and wash away all traces of makeup and skincare. Many formulas are also infused with calming and soothing extracts that prevent the skin from getting too dry, so it is perfect for those with normal, combination or oily skin.
Cream and milky cleansers
If you have dry or easily irritable skin, cream and milk-based cleansers are the perfect pick for you. They’re always made of emollients that gently cleanse, soothe and hydrate your skin along the way. Try the Avène 3-in-1 Makeup Remover if you have sensitive skin or the Pixi Beauty Hydrating Milky Makeup Remover if dryness if your primary concern. If you have normal skin and simply prefer rich formulas, cream and milk-based cleansers will be your favourite.
This may be a relatively new makeup category but one that’s easily found its way on a lot of beauty shelves. True to their name, these formulas have a thick, balmy texture that melts into your skin, removing even the toughest of waterproof makeup and then emulsifies when washed away with water. Ideal for those with normal to dry skin. Try the homegrown Dot & Key Melt Away Makeup Remover Balm for your next cleanse.
Oil-based makeup removers work a lot like cleansing balms. Since oil dissolves oil, it is able to break down all the product on the face. They are thick oil blends that when massaged into your skin, help thoroughly cleanse all traces of makeup, dirt and grime. A double cleanse is imperative when using an oil-based makeup remover to ensure there’s none left on your skin before you apply your skincare for the night. Try the Dr Sheth’s Moringa & Vitamin C Cleansing Oil—it has a coconut oil base (another popular makeup remover pick) and in enriched with the benefits of moringa and Vitamin C to also tackle the harmful effects of pollution as it cleanses.
Bi-phasic makeup removers
These formulas are some of the most popular and effective options to take all your makeup off effectively. They’re a blend of water and oils (which explains the name) which when shaken and used together, effortlessly remove all traces of even your toughest kohl pencil. The oils are never too heavy, making them ideal for combination, oily and acne-prone skin types as well. Make sure you follow up with a double cleanse using a gel or foaming cleanser to get rid of any last traces of oil. Try L’Occitane Bi-Phasic Make-up Remover For Eyes & Lips to take off a smoky eye and matte lipstick combination.
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