Whether you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin, learn how to remove makeup based on your skin type.
So you’ve been told that an oil cleanser will get rid of all your makeup the best, but you’ve also heard some great stuff about cleansing waters. And what’s the deal with makeup-removing wipes anyway? With all of the makeup removing options out there, finding the right one for you can be a real challenge. Instead of guessing in the dark, we reached out to top dermatologists to find out exactly what kind of makeup remover you should be using for your specific skin type.
If your skin always feels dry after you wash it…
You’ll want to go for a cream or oil-based cleanser. “Cold creams and mineral oil-based cleansers are great for removing makeup on dry skin since they’re composed of fatty acid emulsifiers in a soap base so they protect the skin while at the same time removing makeup,” says Nava Greenfield, a dermatologist in New York City. The best thing about cream cleansers is that they efficiently get makeup off without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. “They’re a great option during times of the year when the humidity drops and your skin is more likely to dry out,” says Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist in New York City.
Our favorite cream makeup remover is the Banila Co Clean It Zero Classic Cleanser. This is both a cream and oil cleanser in one, making it perfect for super dry skin. Plus, it’s so fun to use: It starts off as a balm and then once it blends into your skin, it turns into a silky oil (kind of like coconut oil). The consistency of this product ensures that your natural moisture barrier isn’t stripped away during your makeup removal.
If your skin flares up with the slightest touch…
You’ll want to reach for micellar water. “Micellar water is a great option for patients with sensitive skin because it has so few additives; it’s essentially water and oil,” says Nazarian. “These tiny little balls of oil attract dirt and grime while gently lifting make up from the skin, minimizing risk of irritation.” Greenfield also suggests using micellar water for removing stubborn eye makeup. “It’s great to use on sensitive areas of the face, like around the eyes, because it’s composed of tiny oil droplets in a suspension of water and doesn’t contain alcohol,” she says.
The Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water is not only great for sensitive skin (due to natural soothing ingredients like aloe), it’s also infused with actual rose petals in the bottle, giving it an amazing scent. If rose is not your thing, the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water is a cult drugstore favorite that will get the job done.
If just the thought of taking off your makeup makes your oily skin breakout…
This may sound crazy, but you’re going to want to stick with makeup-removing wipes. “Wipes are a great choice for oily or acne-prone skin because having the additional physical exfoliation while cleansing helps to remove natural oils that can buildup under makeup and trigger acne pimples,” says Nazarian.
We know, you’re probably thinking you won’t get a good clean with just a wipe, but it really depends on the kind of wipes you’re using. If you use the Skinfood Brown Rice Oil Cleansing Tissues, you’ll be more than fine. These are one of our editor-in-chief’s favorite products because the brown rice extract they’re soaked in seriously removes even waterproof makeup and deeply cleans pores without drying out your skin.
Pro tip: Nazarian says that by using makeup-removing wipes, you’re basically training yourself to clean your face more gently. “Cleaning should still be done gently, not abrasively, because the wipes are saturated with ingredients that help lift makeup and don’t require much force,” she says. “They allow you to clean smarter, not harder.”
If you wear a lot of makeup every day…
Oil cleansers are your best bet. “Even a little bit of an oil cleanser will break through thick layers of cover-up and even waterproof makeup,” says Nazarian. “This helps avoid all the scrubbing and rubbing that classic makeup-removers require that can be irritating to skin.”
The Klavuu Pure Pearlsation Divine Pearl Cleansing Oil is something that’s going to get through all the grit without having to use much force. Thanks to a silky smooth formula, you only need one pump of this cleanser to sufficiently cover your face, and the infusion of pearl extract ensures that you get a great clean without that tight and itchy feeling leftover.