Our 5 Best Makeup Remover Picks For 2021

Best Makeup Remover Picks For 2017
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(Last Updated On: March 19, 2021)

The application of makeup is an art, and there are no rules when it comes to conforming to style or technique. The only hard and fast rule you absolutely must follow is to make sure to take it all off before you go to bed. And for some, this process can be as intricate and complex as putting it on!

Some quick qualitative research–typing “Why You Should Take Off Your Makeup” into Google–provided a bounty of information about why it is so important to go to sleep bare-faced.

When we don’t remove our makeup, our pores clog, and our skin can’t breathe. Among the top reasons to remove your makeup before slipping into slumber are a risk of eye infection, increased breakouts, dry skin and chapped lips, early aging and wrinkling and redness/inflammation! Gasp!

Top Makeup Remover Comparison Table 2017

In a 2016 article on Bustle.com, it was explained by a board certified dermatologist that each type of makeup affects skin a little differently. For instance, someone with rosacea or hormonal acne could see a flare up in specifically affected areas if they didn’t remove their makeup. He elaborated saying that if your skin is sensitive, oily or acne-prone, you could see pimples and breakouts as early as the morning following a night you didn’t remove your makeup–especially oil-based foundations. Sleeping in lipstick can also be very drying for the lips and lead to clogged pores on the skin around your lips. And wearing eye makeup to bed can cause lashes to become brittle and even lead to serious eye infections

But leftover foundation, eye makeup, and lip stain aren’t your skin’s only nemeses! Refinery29 reminds us that the pollution we come in contact with on a daily basis accumulates on our skin and mixes with makeup, dirt, and oil and that combination has definitely been shown to cause premature signs of aging.

To summarize the above, sleeping in your makeup is not good for you and has been touted as one of the biggest mistakes that can be made where skin is concerned! Wearing your party face to bed one night isn’t going to ruin your skin, but repeated offenses are definitely going to start showing negatively on your skin.

So great, we’ve covered the bases of why we shouldn’t do it, but, of all the billions of makeup removers out there, how are everyday people supposed to know which one to choose? It’s overwhelming because it’s so important. Choosing the right makeup remover dictates how your skin responds to the rest of the products you apply to your face during your bedtime routine.

Based on all the above, the first thing to do before picking a remover is to determine what kind of skin you have. Is it dry, oily, combination, sensitive, acne-prone? Don’t know? You may not be a teen, but the short teenVogue quiz found here is a great way to find out. It will ask you questions about how your face feel when you wake up in the morning and how it looks by noon, what your favorite skin care product is and about your biggest skin care concern, and what kind of foundation you use. If you answer honestly, you should be able to determine your skin type so you can move forward in picking the best remover for you.

Skin type is the most important factor in determining what kind of makeup remover is right for you. wikiHow breaks it down super simply here, but the jist is:

  • Products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are best if you have oily or combination skin. Those ingredients help manage excess oil while the cleaner removes your makeup. You may also want to choose a water-based remover over oil-based or creamy cleansers.
  • Milky, creamy and foaming cleansers are best if you have dry skin because they restore moisture at the same time the cleaning chemicals break down and remove makeup.
  • Hypoallergenic products are best if you have sensitive skin, meaning it is free of fragrance, color and other potentially irritating ingredients.
  • Oil-free cleansers are good for all skin types and for those who are concerned that other cleansers may clog pores. These are typically a gentler cleanser, so you may have to use more to completely remove all makeup.

Once you’ve determined what kind of cleanser you need, it’s important to also determine how to use it. Dermatologists suggest using a soft bristle brush or washcloth to aid in full removal of makeup and dead skin cells.

While it’s great if you wash your face before bed, it’s important to actually REMOVE your makeup too–and it’s better if you do that first. Facial cleansers and makeup remover are not the same things! Below is a list of the five best makeup removers available to you and all of them can be bought directly from Amazon!


1. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes & Wipes


These pre-moistened towelettes are great for a number of reasons, the least of which is not ease of use. In just one simple step, you’re through–no need to rinse. Though they’re gentle, they’re said to dissolve makeup, dirt, and oil and work on waterproof mascara. While these are designed specifically for the face, Amazon users have said that they are also good for a quick body soother after exercising.

How to Use: Gently sweep one wipe over entire face, including eyes, until all makeup is removed. No need to rinse. Dispose of wipe in the trash (do not flush).

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2. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Cleansing Makeup Removing Wipes


Similar to the Neutrogena product above, these Aveeno wipes are ultra convenient. They also smell great! These are specifically for sensitive skin as they are designed to soothe and calm irritation while removing dirt, oil, and makeup. Reviewers tend to like these wipes a little better than the Neutrogena wipes above because they felt the package was easier to reseal, thus prolonging the life of the product.

How to Use: Gently sweep one wipe over entire face, including eyes. No need to rinse. Dispose of wipe in the trash (do not flush).

So, we’ve lauded the benefits of these towelettes for both their ease of use and their convenience, but they’re valuable way beyond removing your makeup. Stash these towelettes at the office, in your car, in your purse and your gym bag! Why?! Read on, my friend, you’ll be glad you did!

  • Use these towelettes as a quick refresher after a lunchtime workout by wiping down your arms, legs, chest, neck, armpits and nether regions, in addition to your face. Your coworkers may not even be able to tell you just rocked a powerful sweat-sesh because you’ll be feeling fresh and clean.
  • In the summer months, you may realize, after a particularly stressful or warm morning, that your deodorant has worn off (or that you completely forgot to put it on). No worries, grab a wipe and dab under your armpits. You’ll feel fresh as a daisy moving forward with the day and can re-dab as often as you need!
  • Mud can be one of the biggest enemies of your stylish slip-on tennis shoes and their white soles. If you notice a dab of mud on your shoe, don’t leave it and let the stain set. Wipe it off with a gentle makeup remover towelette. Your shoes will certainly thank you!
  • These towelettes are also great in a sticky situation. If your hands are dirty, sticky or grimy, grab a towelette and use it just like you would a wet wipe or paper towel.
  • Does your face look haggard at the end of the day? Is your makeup wearing thin and looking rough? Don’t just pile on more product before heading out to meet your friends–that can be bad for you face. Use a towelette to do just what it’s designed for and wipe off your daytime makeup before glamming up for the evening. These towelettes are perfect for taking your face from day to night without a ton of extra product.
  • Have you seen all the videos of stars, musicians and former Bachelorette contestants looking like Jason while they moisturize their faces? Are you scoffing at the cost of those moisturizing masks, but desperately want to try one? If so, you can use one of these makeup towelettes to make your own. Trim eye and nose holes in the towelette before coating one side with a moisturizer. Put the moisturizer side toward your face and relax for 20 minutes. You won’t be sorry!

It might be more cost efficient to use a wet wipe, baby wipe (or products specifically created for these needs) for all of these above, but these makeup remover towelettes will for sure work in a pinch.

Now that we’ve covered that handful of incredible extra benefits we can get from the towelette makeup removers, let’s continue on through our list of other top removers.

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3. Estee Lauder Take it Away Makeup Remover Lotion


Applied with a cotton pad onto dry skin, this remover dissolves long-wear and waterproof makeup with ease. Its ingredient list is formulated to calm and soothe the skin leaving it clean without a greasy or oily residue. A little bit of this product goes a long way!

How to Use: Apply to dry skin and massage well. Rinse or wipe away with a tissue.

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4. Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover


Cetaphil is most widely renowned for its facial cleansers and moisturizers that are great for sensitive skin. This cleanser is a great addition to their arsenal of products. It is hypoallergenic, oil- and fragrance-free, and, thanks to a strong list of clean ingredients (like aloe vera, ginseng, and green tea), it gently dissolves all types of makeup leaving the skin both clean and refreshed. This cleanser also comes in towelette form, so it doesn’t really get better than that!

How to Use: Gently wipe over skin until all makeup is removed. Rinse face with water after use. Follow with cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer for day and night.

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5. bareMinerals Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil


This is a lightweight oil cleanser for your face. Oil cleansers are great for dry skin and best at removing long-lasting and water-resistant makeup because the oil can break down almost anything! With a scent derived of lavender and tangerine and sunflower and cucumber oils combined with sea salts–your skin is sure to feel clean, soft and smooth.

How to Use It: Apply three to four pumps to dry skin and gently massage over face and eyes. Dampen fingertips and continue to massage, working into a milky lotion, remove with splashes of water and or a damp cloth.

Whichever of these removers, or others, you choose, aim for removing your makeup and washing your face before you lay your head down at night. And remember to always close your bedtime facial routine with a feature-specific moisturizer. Use lip balm or chapstick on your lips, dab eye cream under the eyes and cover the whole face with a nighttime moisturizer. Though these tasks may delay you climbing between the sheets, the few minutes it takes to clean your face, and clean it right, can make all the difference in the quality of your skin. With just a little extra work before bed, you’re sure to see a noticeable difference in the tone, glow, and condition of your skin!

What are your favorite makeup removers and why? Do you have a special night time routine to keep your face looking young and fresh? Share your opinions and routines in the comments below!

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