The 10 Best Makeup Removers of 2019

Makeup Remover: The Best of 2019

No skincare routine is complete without an effective makeup remover. We put a significant amount of time preparing our look for the day, but we also know that in order to maintain beautiful and healthy skin, we need to take just as much care removing the build-up from the day as well as the products we applied to our face. At the end of a long day, it is a drag to go through the cleansing routine, but it is highly necessary that we take the time to make sure that we don't fall asleep with a clean face. Otherwise, you can look forward to irritation, blotchiness, redness, breakouts, as well as premature aging signs that nobody has time for.

A quality makeup remover will help rid our skin and pores of all of the day’s gunk. We examined the very best options and considered those that worked fast, were highly efficient, convenient, and cost-effective.

Neutrogena is well-known for its beauty lines, and Neutrogena Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover is one of the best makeup removers because it is an all-time classic. It is super affordable, which is also something that the brand is known for. It is completely oil-free, but some may notice a bit of a residue that feels fairly nourishing on the skin. Many use cotton balls and soak them, but makeup remover pads tend to work better for tough makeup removal.

The formulation doesn’t stick, it glides rather well, so that helps reduce tugging on the sensitive skin around the eye area. Formulated with ingredients including aloe and cucumber, the ingredient profile is decent and refreshing. Because it doesn’t smudge makeup during removal, it is also a good option for touchups when you are applying your cosmetics or just freshening them up throughout the day. It is definitely worthwhile to keep a bit on hand in your purse for just that situation.

Those that wear contact lenses shouldn’t have any problem using this. It won’t irritate the eyes which is especially nice for anyone with super sensitive issues such as can occur after an eye surgery like the popular Lasik. It has also been known to work well taking of false eyelashes easily, which otherwise can stick to natural lashes and pull. Neutrogena Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover can easily become your go-to for its inexpensive price point, effective formulation, and pleasant smell. It is easy to use and will help reduce time during your cleansing routine.

Key Features
  • Oil-Free
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Safe for contact lens wearers
  • Activates when shaken
  • Formulation: Dual-action formula
  • Size: 162 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Brand: Neutrogena
  • Affordable
  • Aloe and cucumber makes it refreshing
  • Won't sting eyes
  • No smudging
  • Can take a lot of formula to completely remove eye makeup
  • Not tough on waterproof makeup
Editors choice

2. Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

9.76 / 10

For those individuals who have a hard time finding makeup and removal products that are gentle enough not to sting their eyes or cause redness and irritation, Mary Kay makes an extremely mild formulation. Even though it is gentle it is tough enough to remove anything you have one from powders, to creme-based formulas, eyeshadows, eyeliner, primers, mascara, you name it. After use, your eyes will feel light and cleaned, not weighed down. Simply shake the formula before use, as you may see some separation when it sits.  This isn't uncommon for many formulations so nothing to worry about there.  But the shaking and mixing action will activate the overall power of the product.  Then drench a cotton ball and apply to the eye area for about 10-15 seconds then using light circular motions, your makeup will dissolve away. Spread all over your face for the same effect. It is oil-free but it leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, not dry. You can even put a bit on a Q-tip when you are applying your makeup if you need to spot clean anything that was put on unevenly. As long as you hold your moistened cotton ball or cleansing pad for those 10+ seconds, you shouldn't have to do too much rubbing or patting for all your makeup to come off easily. This makeup remover is a time saver because of how well it works breaking down almost any type of cosmetics which is awesome so that you can get to bed or relax for the end of the night.

Key Features
  • Works on light and heavy cosmetic removal
  • Works On Sensitive Skin
  • Clinically-tested
  • Formulation: Oil-Free
  • Size: 110 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Can be used by contact lens wearers
  • Gentle on the eyes
  • Can remove waterproof makeup
  • Can leave film on the face
  • Need to use a lot
Best value

3. Pond's MoistureClean Wipes

9.20 / 10

An oldy but oh such a goody, updated for modern time and fast-paced society convenience. Pond's MoistureClean Wipes blends the beauty and timeless effectiveness of their signature cold-cream into these easy to use, easy to pack tissues. The wipes themselves have enough moisture in it to wipe off the makeup you don’t want on your face without leaving slime behind. Using vitamin E and their signature coldcream formula, these not only clean but they provide a nice fresh moisturization to the skin. When you need a pick-me-up throughout the day whether that is to take off the day’s makeup or just to wipe down your face for a clean feeling, these will do the trick.

They are easily packed so you can take them on the go or just keep them in your purse as a go-to. They have a slight scent, but it isn’t overwhelming it is more of a crisp smell. Another nice use with these is to carry them around in the cold weather. When germs get you down, and your nose is running and you have the sniffles, the soothing and hydrating wipes make a nice compliment for wiping your nose or blowing it without irritating the skin. They also help protect against the redness that can often happen during the nasty winter months, ridding you of the unattractive Rudolph look.

This product makes for a super economical pack that is convenient and can provide a number of benefits. These will have you hooked for sure. At the very least, these make for a must-have in your diaper bag, purse, or briefcase.

Key Features
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Vitamin E
  • Triple antioxidant complex
  • Formulated with cold cream
  • Formulation: Cold Cream
  • Size: 71 Towlettes
  • Type: Wipes
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • No rinsing necessary
  • Softens skin
  • Easy to pack
  • Can sting the eyes
  • Doesn't cut through heavy makeup easily

If you have not ever tried a cleansing oil before, Organys Cleansing Oil Complete makeup remover is a solid product to give it a go. It is moisture-rich and use will actually make your skin softer and more hydrated as it cleans. Packing a serious punch, this product not only cleanses off hard to scrub SPF but also difficult to remove makeup but also deep cleaning in those pores. Smoothing out the skin and decreasing flakiness as well as dullness, this is seriously one of the best cleansing oils on the market. If you are an acne sufferer, this will improve acne for troublesome skin. While it may seem strange given that it is oil-based, but that intense deep-down clean is able to clear out the muck and bacteria that collects and builds up.

You can still use a cleanser after but you don’t have to, as some people prefer to keep this additional step. It dissolves not only cosmetics but also dirt that will accumulate on and in your skin. Also, if you want to add a special moisturizer that you like you can add it with no problems, but if you like to keep your routine minimal, this cleansing oil also allows you to forgo the extra step. This is a product that both men and women can use and it will equally keep the balance in your skin without stripping it, allowing your skin to stay healthy and reduce the risk for irritations.

For those animal lovers and crunchies out there, you will certainly value the vegan-friendly formulation, it is also cruelty-free. In addition, there aren’t any of the unwanted additives such as sulfates, parabens, or chemicals in the mix which makes it an overall fairly cleanly composed.

Key Features
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Olive-oil based cleanser
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Formulation: Cleansing Oil
  • Size: 200 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Can work on oil skin
  • Evens skin tone
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Deep cleans the face
  • May have a strong smell
  • Thicker consistency

Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover is a highly tested and researched formulation that is approved by both Ophthalmologists and Dermatologists alike which is to be expected from this brand. Cetaphil is known for its advanced research facilities and scientific work in the skincare arena. This company produces scientifically-backed products that are formulated to protect, clean, and provide hydration to healthful skin.

This liquid remover is oil-free which reduces any chance of funky films that can be left on the skin after use. It is bi-phase, which is common for cleansers so that it breaks down the cosmetics and then wipes it away. One of the best features of this formulation is the botanicals that it uses such as aloe, green tea, and ginseng which not only clean but nourish healthy skin. It is a dual-threat to makeup as well as dirt and filth that mucks up the face throughout the day from environmental factors such as pollution. It can be used on even the most sensitive of skint types and it won’t clog pores causing you more problems.

A super attractive aspect of this balanced cleansers is that it is one of the most inexpensively priced on the market. Considering the natural ingredients and strong scientific backing, the price makes this a tremendous value. The amount you get in a container lasts too, as you only need a bit for it to work. If you get any in your eyes, which we all do from time to time, it won’t sting or leave that annoying haze which is so common with eye makeup removers.

Key Features
  • Dermatologist and Ophthalmologist Tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Formulation: Botanicals, ginseng, & green tea
  • Size: 177 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Made with natural botanicals
  • Won't dry skin
  • No oily residue
  • Won't clog pores
  • Need a lot for tough eye makeup
  • Best used with a cleanser rinse

A reasonably priced makeup remover that doesn't hit the wallet hard at all, it does much more than simply taking off your mascara and foundation. This product also cleanses your face deep down and provides it with nourishment to keep it moisturized and smooth as well as promoting wrinkle reduction which everyone can appreciate. Ebanel Alpha To Omega + Sherbet Cleanser is a solid makeup remover. It can tackle the most resistant waterproof makeup as well as the caked-on cosmetics and grime that has built up throughout the day. It is also formulated with ingredients that protect the skin from UVA/UVB rays that can cause damage.

It does an excellent job of removing makeup and when you wash your face don't be surprised if there is a bit of an oily feel. The oil does dissipate as it gets down deep into your pores, but this is what makes the magic happen. The formula penetrating deeply cleans deeply as well as hydrates. Your skin will feel clean and smooth after you are done using this sherbet cleanser.

All in all, this is a quality product made with plenty of plant extracts and it not only cleans but it also helps to brighten as well as improve the health of your skin. The price can’t be beat and it competes with even the higher end makeup removers on the market. The other nice thing about it’s medium is that it is balm, so if you are one who travels a good amount, you won’t have to worry about it spilling. Anyone who has had leaks in their bags or luggage knows how frustrating that discovery is when you get to your destination, so this alone is a positive feature that certainly some of you jet-setters can appreciate.

Key Features
  • Oil-based Cleansing Balm
  • One-Step Remover
  • Contains Vitamin C
  • Formulation: Mineral Oil and natural plant-peptides
  • Size: 100 ml
  • Type: Balm
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Removes waterproof makeup
  • Won't cause redness or irritation
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Consistency isn't for everyone
  • Mineral oil primary ingredient

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes make for convenient makeup, dirt, and grime removal wrapped up in a convenient pre-soaked tissue. These wipes are nice because they are easily accessible and packed when you are on the road or for use throughout the day to refresh your skin. Not only are they great for cleansing, but the ingredients used are also top quality for improving the health of your skin. They will balance your pH. Using Feverfew, a close relative to chamomile can reduce redness and calm easily irritated skin. Additionally, they round out their formulation through making use of cucumber and aloe for extra moisture and natural soothing ingredients.

Aveeno makes products with top-quality ingredients that are specifically designed to keep skin soothed and relieved of any irritation. These wipes are no exception, so those with highly sensitive skin should gain all the assistance and protection they need to remove their makeup and clean their face without flar-ups from the ingredients. If you have acne or Rosacea, for instance, these wipes won’t give you a reaction.

These gentle, effective, and practical wipes will not leave you with a film over your face after you are done. They have just the right amount of formula built-in and they can give you a fresh and clean feeling after use. They have a very pleasant scent that isn’t overpowering. Because they are pre-packaged and pre-moistened you can use one to clear your entire face, and you don't have to worry about overloading cotton balls or pads wasting precious formula.

Key Features
  • Individually packed wipes
  • Oil-free
  • Ophthalmologist and Dermatologist tested
  • Noncomedogenic
  • Formulation: Oil-free
  • Size: 25-ct package
  • Type: Wipes
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Removes makeup and dirt
  • Convenient
  • Easy to pack and travel
  • Skin-calming feverfew extract
  • Tissues can dry out
  • Not saturated so may need rubbing

This is not an oil-based cleanser so it won’t just smear makeup off, but when you soak a cotton ball in the micellar water, it will help break down and dissolve makeup nicely. Some people like to use this product as the ending part of a cleansing routine where it breaks down anything leftover. This way you know that you have gotten all the gunk out of your pores and off of skin.

Additionally, for those of you who don’t have the steadiest of hands, this product works really well for making adjustments to your makeup as you apply it. It is going to be able to be administered finely so that you can just spot clean or adjust as necessary. Let’s face it, not all of us are professional makeup artists nor do we all have those precise hands when we are making up our face.

For those that are seriously sensitive particularly when any type of liquid gets in the eyes, this one tends to be super gentle and doesn’t cause any stinging. It also is quite convenient as micellar water which doesn’t need to be rinsed after you put it on. You can easily swipe it over your eyes and face without having to then wipe off any residue or excess. The bottle comes in a decent size so it should last you, and for the price, it certainly isn’t the cheapest option out there, but when looking per use, the costs are very reasonable. Many people use Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water twice per day, in the morning and at night.

Key Features
  • Micellar Water
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Does not contain sulfates
  • Clinically tested
  • Formulation: Micellar Water
  • Size: 250 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Award winner
  • Very gentle on the skin
  • Can be used on eyes and face
  • Rinse-free
  • Need more product for heavy eye makeup
  • Can leave skin feeling tight

Waterproof and smudge-proof makeup are some of the toughest products to remove at the end of the day. La Roche-Posay Respectissime literally melts eyeliner and mascara or tinted eyebrow gel away with ease. That delicate skin under the eyes can take a beating when you have to constantly rub every day to remove makeup. This is not good for warding off signs of aging. The single best thing about this water-based formula is how effective it is at breaking down cosmetics so that you don’t have to rub at all, saving the integrity of that skin. The lack of rubbing also helps to keep the product out of your eyes, and even though it is made gentle so it won’t irritate, keeping any foreign liquids away from the eyes is always a nice benefit.

Because this is made as what is called a bi-phase formulation, you have to shake it up in order to get its full effect each time you use it. It only takes ac couple of seconds to do this and the split colors indicating each component of the product do look pretty fancy. La Roche-Posay has great brand appeal and reputation. This brand tests meticulously and Respectissime is no exception. Ophthalmologists and dermatologists alike were involved in the research and the testing of this product to ensure it was top quality.

It is also nicely composed without any junk such as parabens or irritating fragrances. The ingredients are exceptional and only a bit goes a long way. It isn't recommended for oily skin, but those who have normal to sensitive skin should have no problem using this product to effectively remove the toughest cosmetics.

Key Features
  • Waterproof eye makeup remover
  • No need for rubbing
  • Ophthalmologist Tested
  • Size: 125 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Fragrance and paraben-free
  • Formulated for waterproof makeup removal
  • Tested for safety and efficacy
  • No oily residue
  • Must be shaken before each use
  • Thinner liquid

Using the power of micellar water, Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, All-in-1 works well for any skin type making it a very versatile product that appeals to everyone. The nice thing about the composition of this oil-free makeup remover is that it has very little ingredients, only 7 are used making it a reasonably clean formulation. It is made without the nasties like parabens, fragrances, alcohol, parabens, silicone, and sulfates. Because it is alcohol-free, it won’t dry out the skin, making it a soothing and moisturizing cleanser. The pricing on this product is affordable making it a nice option for those that have to stick to a budget.

While some prefer to wash their faces after using micellar water cleanse, it isn’t necessary. If you are short on time, you can soak a cotton ball or two with the liquid and let it sit for a second or so on eye makeup. Then just wipe off. It also takes off sunscreen and residual makeup on the face as well. All the cosmetics are easily cleaned off of the face and removed from deep within the pores as well. This is especially nice for those that are prone to breakouts, getting that deep clean means a lot.

This stuff is so good it can even remove deeply pigmented lipsticks so don’t wake up looking like Dracula just ate dinner. It is an effective way to cleanse while refreshing your skin to a soft healthful glow which is why this product is definitely on the list of best makeup removers.

Key Features
  • No oil
  • No alcohol
  • No parabens
  • No silicone
  • No sulfates
  • Formulation: Micellar water
  • Size: 400 ml
  • Type: Liquid
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Doesn't leave oily residue
  • No need to wash face after use
  • No need for harsh rubbing
  • Great for all skin types
  • Liquid can separate quickly
  • May leave a residue on contact lenses

The great thing about makeup removers is the variety in the market allows.  You have the ability to spend as much or as little as you want to find an effective product. You also can choose from a plethora of formulations and forms so you shouldn’t have any problem finding one that meets exactly everything that you need from texture to features. When all is said and done, you should not only have an effective makeup removal product but also one that has added benefits for skin nourishment. The best makeup removers will have active ingredients that are quality and can break down makeup and grime on the skin without heavy scrubbing.

Makeup Remover Formulation Features

Some of the most important features that the very best makeup removers will highlight include:

  • Formulations that won’t clog pores
  • Formulations that won’t dry out skin or strip skin of natural balance and pH
  • Formulations that won’t irritate and cause blotchiness, or uneven complexion
  • Formulations that don’t leave a heavy residue after use
  • Formulations that are tough enough to clean tough to remove cosmetics
  • Formulations that don’t require a ton of rubbing and tugging at the skin

The Various Makeup Remover Forms

In addition to the many positives that come with the formulations of the best makeup removers, there are also many various forms that these products can come in. Some offer a cream-based form, others can be convenient wipes and towelettes, liquids, oil-based cleansers, the popular micellar water, oil-free liquids, and bi-phase liquids. It may seem counter-intuitive but the best oil-based makeup removers generally won’t cause you acne breakouts or cause excessively oily skin. The reality is that when you use products that are way too harsh and do not have a natural or soothing hydration compoenent you can easily strip your skin and throw it out of balance. This is what, in the end, causes those gross flare-ups.  Products that have a high alcohol content will be major no-nos because of this.

How to Pick the Right Product For Your Skin and Makeup

To help you figure out which products forms will work best for you, understanding your skin is very helpful.

  • Oil-free makeup removers work well for all skin types
  • Cream-based formulas and emulsifying balms work well for dry skin
  • Oil-based removers are excellent for waterproof makeup
  • Micellar water works well for sensitive skin

Most of these products can be used by themselves for a seamless and time-saving application which makes most of us who are short on time happy to hear. But many of these options also work very nicely to compliment multi-step approaches to cleansing routines. If you can use your end of the day or refreshing makeup remover to not only clean off the cosmetics and the build-up during the day and you can feel even better than when you started your day you know you found the right product.

Resources— Cosmopolitan, Today

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