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How do I Choose the Best Makeup Remover?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 21, 2024
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It is important to use makeup remover every day to completely remove foundation, eye makeup, and lipstick to allow the skin to "breathe" and prevent irritation, blemishes, or redness. There are different types of makeup remover, and to choose the best one, it is necessary to consider the types of makeup you wear every day, as well as your skin type. Makeup removers are usually sold in three forms: gel, liquid, or cleansing pads.

A gel or liquid makeup remover is typically applied to a cotton ball or soft cloth, and gently rubbed over the face. Cleansing pads, however, are already saturated with cleanser, and are simply rubbed over the face and thrown away. Both can be equally effective, but cleansing pads may be more convenient for travel.

Some makeup removers contain a base of alcohol, which can be effective but very drying and irritating for those with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to search for a makeup remover that is alcohol and fragrance free. In addition, if you have particularly sensitive skin, it might be best to avoid makeup removers altogether and look for an effective yet gentle cleanser.

Makeup remover is best at removing long-wearing makeup, such as waterproof mascara, long-wearing lipstick, or foundation designed to last all day, for instance. Be sure to choose an eye makeup remover designed for the eyes, and a different regular makeup remover for the face. Eye makeup removers are designed to be gentler, as it is easy to irritate eyes. Be sure to always follow the directions for use on the bottle.

Some makeup removers are designed to soften and condition the skin as they are being applied. This may be a good choice for people who have dry skin, but not for those who have oily or acne-prone skin. After makeup has been removed, it is still a good idea to wash the face and apply a nighttime moisturizer. Be sure not to pull at the skin when removing makeup, particularly the delicate skin around the eyes.

When choosing a new makeup remover, it might be a good idea to test it in a small area to be sure an allergic reaction does not occur. If you are allergic, or if the product seems to cause irritation, switching to a different one is generally necessary. In addition, keep in mind that most makeup, if it is not waterproof, can be removed with warm water and face wash.

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Discussion Comments
By surfNturf — On Mar 07, 2011

Cupcake15 - I have tried their products and I really like them. I tried the makeup remover wipes but it does not seem like a good makeup remover for me because I always wonder how much makeup I am leaving behind.

This is why I prefer a gentle cleanser that takes the makeup off and also moisturizes my skin. I also prefer a water-based makeup remover for the eyes because with a cream based makeup remover I am always afraid of getting some of it in my eyes and irritating them.

By cupcake15 — On Mar 06, 2011

I think that Clinique has the best facial makeup remover as well as the best eye makeup remover.

I use one of their gel based cleansers and it leaves my skin feeling so clean and comfortable that I actually enjoy taking off my makeup.

I then wash my face with the facial soap and I know that my face will be really clean.

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