The Makeup Removers That *Actually* Work 

Photo: Vitória Santos / PexelsThere are always those nights when the last thing you want to do is remove your makeup. Whether it’s at the end of a non-stop busy day or after a Netflix binge that lasted way past your bedtime, we’ve all been there.

But even more, just washing your face isn’t always enough. Makeup remover is essential in ensuring that not only product but also pollutants that you’ve been exposed to throughout the day are completely removed, so your skin can breathe and recover. If not, you could wake up in the morning to clogged pores, irritation or unwanted breakouts. Over time, this can lead to signs of premature aging like wrinkles, discoloration or age spots.

To maintain a healthy and balanced complexion, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite makeup removers that are effective without being harsh or irritating on the skin. Try them out—your skin will thank you.

Cleansing Balm

If you’re new to cleansing balms, their consistency could seem a little unfamiliar—it’s a solid paste with a velvety-smooth texture that melts to an oil upon contact with the skin. The balm-to-oil formula transforms into a milky lather and rinses away with water, getting rid of any and all makeup (even the most stubborn, water-proof products) in the process. The best part: skin won’t feel tight, dry, or stripped afterward.

Beautylish recommends: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm or Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm

Eye Makeup Remover

The trick with eye makeup remover is to find a soothing, gentle formula that won’t strip the skin. Trust us, we know how challenging this can be. A gentle-yet-effective eye makeup remover will not only dissolve the most stubborn makeup (like waterproof liner and mascara or a smokey eye) quickly and thoroughly, but it’ll also be formulated with soothing extracts. Instead of dryness or harshness, your skin will be left feeling fresh, soft and comfortable without any residue.

Beautylish recommends: Eau Thermale Avene Intense Eye Makeup Remover or Sisley Paris Gentle Eye Lip Makeup Remover

Micellar Water

Micellar water not only removes makeup effortlessly but also helps soothe and balance the skin. The best part? There’s no sink or water needed—that’s right, no need to rinse after. Micellar water’s gentle ingredients are suitable for even the most sensitive skin, making it a favorite among dermatologists, professional makeup artists and beauty editors (including yours truly). Instead of stripping or drying out your skin, it’ll leave you feeling soft, hydrated and clean even before the rest of your skincare routine. Give your skin a healthy dose of hydration while removing even the most stubborn products.

Beautylish recommends: Bioderma Sensibio H2O