If You Have Sensitive Skin, You'll Love These Gentle Makeup Removers


There’s no better feeling than removing your makeup after a long day. There's also no worse feeling than attempting to remove your makeup only to realize it’s all over your face or that your skin is now dry and irritated. With the best makeup removers for sensitive skin, listed below, you can kiss these two common problems good-bye, as they remove even the most stubborn foundation and waterproof mascara — without irritating your skin in the process.

But first, what exactly is makeup remover, and how does it differ from face wash or cleanser? Well, as the name suggests, makeup removers are simply meant to remove makeup. Face washes and cleansers, on the other hand, are designed to remove excess sebum and built-up impurities on your skin. The good news is, you can use both in your daily skincare routine. In fact, if you regularly wear makeup, or if you have particularly sensitive or acne-prone skin, double cleansing (removing your makeup with a makeup remover first, then following it up with a cleanser) will keep your skin healthy and blemish-free. Some makeup removers, however do both jobs in one.

Below you'll find a list of the five best makeup removers for sensitive skin. Each choice represents a different type of makeup remover (including a cleansing oil, micellar water, and wipes), but all are made without harsh, drying ingredients, so they are safe enough to use on complexions that are easily prone to irritation.


Best Micellar Water: The Original French Pharmacy Cleansing Water That Has An Insane Cult -Following

Considered by many as 'the micellar water that started it all,' Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is a derm-approved formula that cleanses the skin and removes makeup in one step. You don't even have to rinse it off! It's hard to read about a beauty routine that doesn't include the product, and it's a must-have in makeup artists' kits around the globe. But what is it, exactly? Micellar water contains micelles — a type of molecule — suspended in soft water, and they attract and remove dirt, debris, and oil without drying your complexion out. The Bioderma formula in particular, which is specially made for sensitive and allergy-prone skin, is gentle and oil-free. Dab a little bit on a Q-tip to easily clean up smudged makeup around the eyes or lips.


Best Cleansing Balm: An Organic Formula Made With With Rosehip And Coconut Oil That Melts Away Makeup

Cleansing balms are great for sensitive and/or dry complexions, because as they warm up on your skin, they gently melt away makeup as you massage it in. Trilogy's Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm is an all-natural formula that contains mango butter as well as pure rosehip and coconut oils to nourish and soothe the skin. Once rinsed or wiped away, your skin is left feeling soft and clean. This balm (which smells like a day at the spa) also comes with an unbleached, organic cotton cloth to remove it with.


Best Cleansing Oil: An Antioxidant-Packed One-Step Cleanser That's Worth The Splurge

If you like to end your day with a spa-like skincare routine, you absolutely need a bottle of Tatcha's One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. The formula, which comes from beloved Japanese brand Tactha, is a pure blend of camellia and rice bran oils that loosens and melts away makeup, dirt, and oil, leaving your skin feeling soft and refreshed. With this product, you don't have to follow up with a cleanser, since the camelia oil contains antioxidants and fatty acids that protect, strengthen, and soothe, your skin. It's also non-irritating and safe for all types of complexions.


Best Cleansing Lotion: A Hypoallergenic, No-Rinse Cleansing Milk That's Specifically Designed For Sensitive Skin

Watch stubborn makeup disappear when you massage Avène's Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion into your skin. The non-irritating formula is super gentle: It's hypoallergenic and free of fragrance, colorants, and parabens, which make it ideal for sensitive skin or complexion that get irritated easily. Also, with restorative thermal water from the springs of the French brand's namesake town as its core ingredient, this cleanser actually relieves redness, itching, and inflammation, too.


Best For On-The-Go: Certified-Organic Makeup Remover Wipes That Are Infused With Spa Water

Of course, makeup wipes are perfect for travel and keeping in your purse. These Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths won't let you down, even if you have irritable, sensitive skin. Each wipe is made of certified-organic Japanese cotton and contains a makeup removing formula that's enriched with mineral-infused spa water and essential herbs (like rosemary, sage, ginger, and lavender). They come in an easy-to-grab pack, are oil-free, don't contain any artificial colors, fragrances, or parabens, and are even safe for contact lens wearers and people with eyelash extensions.

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