These Are the Absolute Best Makeup Remover Options

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best makeup removing options

Makeup: It’s all fun and games until it’s way past your bedtime and you know you’re supposed to take it all off but you’re so tired you just need something to work well—and fast. Luckily, there are lots of effective and easy makeup-removing options. Here are six of our go-to methods, plus top picks to shop. 

1. Micellar Water

Sometimes we just don’t have the patience to take off our makeup and then cleanse. That’s where micellar water comes in. It instantly refreshes skin on contact, while fatty acid–packed micelles work to rebuild the skin’s natural barrier to fight free radicals. In one step, all your makeup will be dissolved (yep, even stubborn waterproof mascara), your face instantly refreshed and your time un-wasted. For an added eco-friendly punch, invest in reusable makeup removing rounds, which will cut back on disposable cotton round waste.

Shop micellar water: Caudalie ($14); Bioderma ($15); It Cosmetics ($38)

2. Cleansing Balm

These thick, creamy, oil-based formulas deep-clean pores without leaving your skin feeling dry as a desert. They’re great for your eye area, because they’re often made with natural ingredients that won’t irritate sensitive skin. In fact, balms are fantastic for every skin type. And since they’re oil-based, they cling to dirt like no other. Why? Oil loves oil. Trust, it works. Here’s how: Warm a small amount between your hands and then massage it onto your face in a circular motion. Remove it with warm water or, for a more thorough result, a damp muslin cloth.

Shop cleansing balms: Clinique ($30); Estée Lauder ($47); Eve Lom ($80)

3. Coconut Oil

A jack-of-all-trades, coconut oil again proves itself an incredibly useful beauty tool when it comes to removing makeup. It smells amazing, leaves skin moisturized and is super easy to use. Just spread some onto a cotton ball and wipe away the day’s foundation, eyeliner and mascara. Simple as that.

Shop coconut oil: Now Solutions ($10); Viva Labs ($12); Nutiva ($25)

4. Baby Shampoo

Got a little one at home? Borrow a few drops of their soap to wipe away the day’s glam. Since it’s specifically designed for sensitive newborn skin, it’s incredibly gentle to the eye area (hello, “no more tears”).

Shop baby shampoo: Cetaphil ($5); Johnson’s Baby ($6); Aveeno Baby ($7)

5. Aloe Vera

It’s not just for sunburns, people. Turns out, aloe vera is a solid choice for those of us with oily skin. Its vitamins, minerals and amino acids can remove stubborn makeup without leaving skingreasy. It’s also a natural astringent, meaning it can cure those red, puffy eyes you sometimes get after using makeup wipes. The super cool and refreshing feeling of applying it is just a bonus.

Shop aloe vera: Nature Republic ($6); NaturSense ($14); Seven Minerals ($20)

6. Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oil is nothing new, but it’s not as common as micellar waters and traditional makeup removers, probably because most people have a stigma against anything oil-based. Most varieties contain flower or seed oils mixed with vitamins and amino acids that work double-duty as anti-aging and makeup-removing ingredients (and never actually make your skin oilier). Here’s how to use it: Keeping your skin completely dry, grab your cleansing oil and rub it onto the eye area, face, wherever. Rinse with warm water and that stubborn eyeliner will be gone without a trace.

Shop cleansing oils: Biossance ($30); Josie Maran ($34); By Terry ($68)

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...