5 Dermatologist-Approved Makeup Removers Your Skin Will Love

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Making sure to take your makeup off at the end of the night is boring enough to warrant a trillion beauty memes. But as any dermis will tell you, it’s always in your skin’s best interest to do so. Leaving your makeup on can end up blocking “the proper outflow of sebum from our pores, and is likely to cause breakouts or other skin irritations,” says Dr. Melanie Palm, MD, MBA, board-certified dermatologist.

But while removing makeup is skincare 101, the makeup remover you use can also impact the appearance of your skin. Depending on its formulation and ingredients, it can affect your skin in different ways, especially if you have sensitive skin. In general, “it’s important to choose a makeup remover that doesn’t disrupt your skin barrier,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD. “Harsh cleansers strip the skin of essential oils, creating cracks in your skin barrier, with resulting inflammation.

For those who like to wear a full face or use oil-based products, Zeichner recommends using an oil-based makeup remover for a more thorough cleanse. On the other hand, water-based micellar cleansers or oil-free solutions are ideal for those who prefer lighter makeup or have acne-prone and sensitive skin. “They’re ultra-light and gentle, and have some of the most gentle cleansing ingredients on the market,” says Dr. Zeichner.

However, if you’re not sure which makeup remover is worth adding to your beauty arsenal, check out these dermatologist-approved options below to round out your makeup offering.

The best makeup removers according to dermatologists

Avene Cleanser

Avène Doux Eye Makeup Remover — $18.00

If you want to pull off your winged liner without bringing tears to your eyes, this makeup remover deserves a spot on your beauty shelf. The formula is 100% oil-free and contains the same pH as your tears to avoid any burning or stinging sensation around the eyes. Plus, “it’s a hydrogel-like product that’s really soothing to the skin,” says Dr. Palm.

Almay Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads – $11.00

Need a less time-consuming way to remove your makeup at night? These Almay oil-free gentle eye makeup remover pads are a safe bet. Made with a blend of aloe, cucumber and green tea, these pads are super soft and won’t pull on the skin. In addition, they are hypoallergenic, which is a major plus for sensitive skin. Dr. Palm personally likes them for their “hydrating, oil-free formulations.”

makeup remover on the farm

Farmacy Green Clean Cleanser + Cleansing Balm — $34.00

A favorite among many makeup users, this Farmacy Green Clean Cleanser + Makeup Remover Balm does a little more than just remove your contour. “This creamy balm melts when it hits the skin to absorb and remove makeup,” says Dr. Zeichner. “The formula contains natural oils like sunflower and ginger root to moisturize and papaya enzymes to deliver gentle brightening effects.”

Simple makeup remover wipes

Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes — $8.00

These Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes truly put skincare first. The formula contains a blend of vitamin B5 (to increase elasticity and softness), Vitamin E (to lock in moisture) and micellar water (to remove dirt and impurities). “Micellar technology is a great option for people with sensitive skin or if you’re easily irritated,” says Dr. Zeichner. “Rather than applying a micellar water solution to a cotton ball, these are pre-moistened, easy-to-use wipes.”

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Remover

Charlotte Tilbury Take It Off Eye Makeup Remover — $15.00

Although it’s technically an eye makeup remover, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it on other areas of your face, according to Dr. Zeichner. What sets it apart is its oil-based formulation “which contains a blend of soothing botanicals, including cornflower and flax flower extracts to keep the skin barrier hydrated and intact,” says Dr. Zeichner. Plus, it’s perfect for cleaning off any waterproof makeup and protecting the skin’s moisture barrier.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.


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