Sleeping with makeup can take a toll on your complexion and lead to dull and dehydrated skin. According to Dr Jeanette Graf, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, “foundation is the most damaging, not removing eye makeup is also bad, and mascara can clog the follicles.” That’s why taking the extra step to remove makeup is of utmost importance to maintain a radiant face. 

The good news is that there are lots of makeup removers to make the job effortless. Whether you want makeup melting balms, oil-free solutions, or micellar water-based cleansers, you can find the best makeup remover to meet your needs.

We’ve rounded the best-performing makeup removers to round up your makeup supply.

Top-Reviewed Makeup Removers

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is a must-have in your beauty cabinet to help maintain glowing skin. Specially designed for normal to sensitive skin, micellar water is incredibly gentle and effective at removing waterproof foundation and mascara without irritating the skin or your eyes. You can rely on it for routine cleansing even without makeup, as it cleanses skin without lathering or rinsing.

The micelles in micellar water draw out impurities and do not dry the skin. In addition, makeup, oil, and dirt cling to the micelles, which is why it’s effective at cleansing. For this reason, you can use the Sensibio H2O Micellar Water as a makeup remover, facial wash, and moisturizer.

The original Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water is an all-in-one makeup remover for all skin types. This particular product is a no-brainer for all makeup, from foundation to concealer, lipstick, eye shadow, and mascara. It not only removes makeup but also refreshes the skin without rubbing. Again, the micelles act like a magnet to attract and lift away dirt, oil, and makeup.

You’ll need a few cotton pads to remove makeup in a few swipes. Moreover, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water is ideal for fixing makeup mistakes, removing hair color stains, and cleaning makeup brushes. Skip the slimy feel of traditional cleaners and switch to Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water for great makeup removal results.

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is the best bang for your money. It is a liquid solution that activates when you shake the bottle. This Neutrogena product effectively removes eye makeup, particularly waterproof mascara, that’s always stubborn. 

In addition, Neutrogena eye makeup remover is oil-free to prevent an oily residue. Besides, it does not sting the eyes or irritate the skin around the eyes. This product is ophthalmologist tested, meaning it’s safe to use if you wear contact lenses. Finish your routine by rinsing your eyelids with warm water to prevent dryness.

The Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover is dermatologically-tested and clinically proven as suitable for sensitive skin. This cleanser is oil-free, fragrance-free, non-irritating, and noncomedogenic. Therefore, it will not cause blockage to pores. The product contains ginseng, aloe vera, and green tea botanicals that dissolve long-wear and waterproof makeup.

Additionally, Cetaphil soothes and conditions the skin while leaving the eye area feeling refreshed. You can count on Cetaphil not to leave a greasy residue or sting the eyes. Most people attest that it’s like water but effective thanks to the botanicals. The only disadvantage is that you may use more than intended since the opening is big. Nonetheless, it’s the best option for waterproof makeup.

Farmacy Natural Makeup Remover is an award-winning makeup cleanser. It melts away oil, dirt, stubborn makeup, mascara, and SPF using clean and planet-friendly ingredients. The cleaner is perfect for normal, dry, oily, and combination skin. Additionally, it takes care not to irritate dry, dull, or uneven texture skin.

Farmacy does not contain mineral oil. It uses ginger root and sunflower oils to remove makeup without drying or stripping the skin. Furthermore, this cleanser has moringa and turmeric extracts that remove sunscreen residue and visible impurities. Lastly, Farmacy contains papaya enzymes that are crucial in exfoliating pores naturally.

The Farmacy Natural Makeup Remover is easy to use as it includes a spatula. You only need to massage the product onto the face and rinse off with clean water. It’s the first step in a double cleanse to leave your skin feeling soft. Combined with the mild scent, you will find the results satisfying. Even better, it comes in a travel-size bottle.

Juno & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm is an excellent pick if you love balms. First, this cleanser is moderately priced, and you only need a small amount. Thus, a little goes a long way. This makeup remover is oil-based but suitable for all skin types. It makes light work of dissolving waterproof and full coverage makeup. It’s built around Japanese Barley Magic which brightens and reduces dark spots.

Clean 10 Cleansing Balm cleanses without stripping the skin of natural oils. The balm, although solid, is easy to remove with the spatula. Additionally, it melts immediately upon touching the skin. Nonetheless, if you leave it at room temperature with the lid open, you’ll have solid parts and puddles of oil because it’s sensitive to temperature. However, this feature does not affect its effectiveness.

While it has a scent, it’s mild enough that you won’t find it overpowering. You can also use it around the eyes since it does not sting. Overall, the Juno & Co. Clean 10 is perfect for anyone who puts on heavy makeup.

Klorane is designed to remove makeup without disturbing the skin’s moisture balance. The no-rinse formula contains soothing cornflower, which not only soothes the skin but also reduces eye puffiness. This makeup remover is free of irritants and fragrances. Therefore, you can use it around the eyes, even if you wear contacts.

Klorane offers excellent value for sensitive skin that you can’t wash daily with soap and water. It makes for a good cleanser even without makeup for mornings and evenings. It leaves the skin moist and soft due to its natural ingredients. 

However, Klorane has a hard time removing waterproof mascara since you need more than one swipe for complete removal. Still, it’s an excellent choice that you can’t miss out on if your skin is sensitive and acne-prone.

CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser caters to dry skin because it’s both a foaming formula and a cream cleanser to leave the skin feeling refreshed. You don’t have to choose between two products since it offers two solutions in one. The CeraVe pump bottle dispenses a cream that turns frothy as you lather onto the skin. Moreover, it is lightweight, so only the desired amount comes out of the pump bottle. 

The best use for this product is removing light drugstore makeup but not medium to full coverage makeup. This is because it is a water-based cleanser that would need more than two pumps and a few face washes for long-wear makeup. You can combine it with an oil cleanser for waterproof makeup. Nonetheless, if you wear natural makeup and sunscreen, it will do a good job of removing oil, dirt, and sunscreen.

CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser has a perfect PH of 5. It is gentle, so it will protect the skin’s natural barrier. The bonus of essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids gives you a truly sensorial experience.

Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover is the only product you’ll want for the most stubborn eye makeup. It is gentle on the eyes and especially if you wear contacts. The flip top and wee hole make it easy to pour a small amount. Soak two pads; one for each eye, place on the eyes for a few seconds, and wipe even long-wearing smoky eye makeup.

Clarins can remove mascara while maintaining the eyelash shape. The dual-phase refreshing lotion uses cornflower and rose flower extracts to soothe, moisturize, and refresh the skin around the eyes. It is suitable for normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin. Hence, no worries about dryness or oily residue with Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover.

La Roche-Posay micellar water is uniquely formulated to be irritant-free. It’s a gentle makeup remover for different types of makeup, including eye and lip makeup. This product is gentle, so you can depend on it if you have sensitive skin. Furthermore, it does not strip oils or cause breakouts and tightness. You’ll like that it removes 99% of long-wear foundation without leaving a greasy feeling.

La Roche-Posay is the best for use in the morning to refresh the face and in the evening to remove foundation, liquid eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara. If you feel groggy in the morning, use this cleanser and finish with a warm towel. It makes the skin feel moist, and you don’t have to rinse it off. 

The only drawback is that it contains fragrance, so not everyone will find it appealing. All-in-all, La Roche-Posay is efficient for a full face of makeup such that you don’t need different cleansers at the end of the day.

What to Look for in A Makeup Remover

Removing makeup is the not-so-fun part of makeup. Finding the right makeup remover will minimize frustrations, especially for long-wear makeup. Here’s what you need to know before choosing a makeup remover.

Your Skin Type

Dermatologists agree that understanding your skin type is essential before picking a makeup remover. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, micellar water and other non-greasy makeup removers are the best.

For sensitive skin, look for makeup removers with mild formulas like fragrance-free and hypoallergenic products. A cream-based makeup remover or micellar water for all skin types is ideal if your skin is dry. 

Combination skin does well by using an oil-based cleanser and following it with a foaming makeup remover. Lastly, moisturizing and oil-based formulas are suitable for mature skin.


Ingredients are a vital part of makeup removal. For this reason, you will need to steer clear of products with synthetic fragrances and high alcohol amounts. If the makeup remover offers moisturization, look for hyaluronic acid, as it can hold extra moisture. For balms and oil-based makeup removers, look for ingredients such as Jojoba oil, shea butter, olive oil, and vitamin E.

Does Using Makeup Remover Clean the Face?

Makeup removers are not the same as facial cleansers. Makeup removers remove the layer of makeup but do not cleanse the pores. Removing eye makeup is even more difficult than regular face makeup; hence, following it up with a cleanser will ensure that you get out anything that can clog your pores. Thus, it’s best to use a makeup remover as the first step in double cleansing.

What’s the Best Makeup Remover for Long-Wear Makeup?

Like waterproof makeup, long-wear makeup won’t budge with water-based makeup removers. They need an oil-based makeup remover since they are designed to form a film that provides resistance against water and high temperatures.

What’s Better? Micellar Water or Oil-Based Makeup Remover?

The two types of makeup removers are distinct such that none is better than the other because they remove makeup using different means. Micellar water uses mild surfactants that latch onto makeup and break it down effortlessly. Thus, micellar water will make your face feel fresh, and you don’t need to rinse off. That’s why it is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.

Oil cleansers, on the other hand, dissolve oil and break down makeup. Thick oil blends can remove traces of makeup, dirt, and grime. However, performing a double cleanse by following it up with a face cleanser to remove any oily residue is essential.

What is Bi-Phasic Makeup Remover?

Bi-phasic removers are a mix of oil and water. They are popular and effective because they work on stubborn makeup, especially waterproof mascara. Since they are not oil-heavy, bi-phasic makeup removers work well for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin. Nonetheless, they should be used in a double-cleansing routine.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water removes face and eye makeup while soothing skin and preserving its balance.

This no-rinse cleanser achieves maximum makeup removal through micellar technology. Nothing stands against its powerful formula, from SPF, dirt, oil, fine particles, and impurities. It’s got the strength to cleanse the skin without drying, tugging, or irritating. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is the best makeup remover for effective makeup removal.

Cropped Oluwasegun

Loise Wambui is a freelancer and sub-editor, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree. Born in Beachwood, she has over 10 years of experience under her belt and is one of our top writers for all-around content. From sous vide cookers to stock pots, smartwatches, and even pet feeders. Loise has a keen eye for detail and spends a lot of her time providing expert recommendations in these areas for Top Ten Reviews. So, if you’re wondering which stock pot is best to whip a thanksgiving or whether a productivity tool can really help you improve your work quality, Loise is the one to ask. When not working, she loves reading, traveling, and trying out new recipes.

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