Cleansing away the day’s makeup and impurities in one easy step sounds appealing, but not all makeup remover cleansers are created equal. The key is finding one that dissolves stubborn waterproof mascara and long-wear foundation without stripping your skin’s natural moisture.
We reviewed makeup remover cleansers across various formulas to uncover the 10 best options for all skin types, whether oily, dry, sensitive or blemish-prone. Read on for factors to consider and our top recommendations.
Table of Contents
Key Considerations For Your Skin Type
Before jumping into specific products, it helps to understand what skin-nourishing and makeup-removing ingredients you should look for based on your skin type:
For Dry Skin
The best cleansers for dry skin contain:
- Soothing oils and butters like coconut, olive, argan and shea
- Hydrating oils like jojoba, sunflower and avocado
- Skin-coddling humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera
- Gentle surfactants like decyl glucoside to cleanse without stripping
Avoid sulfates and soap-based cleansers which deplete natural moisture. Cream, balm and oil-based cleansers work wonderfully.
For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Ideal cleansers for oily/acne-prone skin types typically include:
- Mild exfoliants like lactic acid to keep pores clear
- Oil-absorbing clays like bentonite or kaolin
- Clarifying ingredients such as niacinamide and witch hazel
- Medicinal extracts like tea tree, peppermint and willow bark
- Non-comedogenic oils like grapeseed and hemp seed
Skip mineral oil and coconut oil than can clog pores. Gel or foaming cleansers often suit oily skin best.
For Sensitive Skin
Key traits for sensitive skin-friendly makeup remover cleansers are:
- Fragrance-free, essential oil-free formulas
- Soothing botanical extracts like aloe, chamomile and calendula
- Gentle surfactants like coco glucoside instead of sulfates
- Skin-coddling ceramides, glycerin and allantoin
- Hypoallergenic plant oils like jojoba, rosehip and marula
Do a patch test when trying new products and avoid known irritants. Creamy cleansers are less abrasive for sensitive complexions.
10 Best Makeup Remover Cleansers
With key ingredients and suitability to skin types explained, check out our top 10 makeup removing cleansers:
1. CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
Best For: Dry and sensitive skin
Key Features: Creamy formula transforms to light foam, ceramides repair skin barrier, non-stripping and non-irritating.
2. Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Cleanser
Best For: Sensitive and normal skin
Key Features: Micellar formula clings to makeup and dirt, rinses clean without drying, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
3. Neutrogena Naturals Skin Balancing Gel Cleanser
Best For: Oily and blemish-prone skin
Key Features: Clarifying gel deeply cleanses without parabens or dyes, willow bark and neem extracts purify pores.
4. The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil
Best For: All skin types
Key Features: Milk based cleansing oil gently yet thoroughly melts makeup with no oily residue. Skin feels soft but not greasy.
5. OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Juice Daily Cleanser
Best For: Combination and acne-prone skin
Key Features: Refreshing gel cleanser formulated with vitamin C brightens dull skin and combats acne without drying or over stripping.
6. Pacifica Beauty Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Cleanser
Best For: Dry and mature skin
Key Features: Hydrating coconut transforms from cream to a bubbly foam removing makeup gently. Skin feels soft not tight.
7. INN BEAUTY PROJECT Smoothing Cleanser + Makeup Remover
Best For: Normal andcombination skin
Key Features: Smooth sorbet texture melts makeup as botanical oils moisturize skin without leaving an oily residue behind.
8. ACURE Brightening Coconut Cleansing Cream
Best For: Dull and uneven skin tones
Key Features: Gentle cleansing cream powered by coconut water and lemon peel visibly brightens and evens skin tone with regular use.
9. DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Cleansing Paste
Best For: Sun damaged and mature skin
Key Features: A paste to foam cleanser enriched with stable vitamin C to brighten complexion and improve skin texture and firmness.
10. Eminence Organic Blueberry Soy Makeup Removing Cleanser
Best For: Normal, combination and sensitive skin
Key Features: Creamy soy-based cleanser fortified with antioxidant blueberry pampers reactive and delicate skin.
When assessing the ideal makeup remover cleanser for your skin, consider your skin type’s needs first. Seek out targeted ingredients that can deeply yet gently cleanse skin without stripping essential moisture.
While the cleansers featured here suit a wide range of skin types beautifully, always patch test new products, especially if you have sensitive skin. When you find the right cleanser that removes makeup perfectly while respecting your complexion’s needs, it makes cleansing something you look forward to each day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes an effective makeup remover cleanser?
An effective makeup remover cleanser should have oil, butter or micelles to cling to waterproof makeup, while also containing surfactants to lift dirt from pores. The ideal formulas cleanse without drying skin.
Do makeup remover cleansers replace a double cleanse?
Not necessarily – for heavy makeup, following up with your regular facial cleanser ensures no residue remains. However, quality makeup remover cleansers can remove light makeup sufficiently when rinsed well.
How should I apply and use a makeup remover cleanser?
Apply on dry skin using circular motions to dissolve makeup and impurities without tugging at skin aggressively. Rinse with lukewarm water until the skin no longer feels slippery. Pat skin partially dry and follow up with remaining skincare steps.
What ingredients should I avoid in cleansers for sensitive skin?
Avoid known irritants like essential oils, dyes, alcohols and fragrances. Also steer clear of common sensitizers like menthol, eucalyptus, lemon extracts and chemical exfoliants. Stick to gentle botanical ingredients.
I hope this overview on the best makeup remover cleansers for all skin types helps guide your search to find your perfect match! Let your skin type and specific skin concerns dictate what formula is likely to suit you best.