Types of Makeup Remover

Sharon Lynn
Woman removing makeup

With today's "stay put" makeup, removing it isn't always quite as easy as you might expect. Soap can dry out your skin, so actual makeup remover is often a better solution. However, choosing a makeup remover can be an overwhelming experience with so many products on the market. Whether you seek a specific eye makeup remover, a full face makeup remover, or a combination of the two, there's a cleanser out there to suit your needs.

Liquid, Foam, Oil and Gel Makeup Removers

There are makeup removers to fit all needs and price ranges. You may have to try a few different types and compare them before you settle on a favorite, but at least one of these cleansers is bound to work for you.

  • Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser is a concentrated, foamy cleanser for average skin types, and it's ideal for women who like lather. Just one dollop removes long-lasting face makeup quickly, gently and efficiently. The one draw back is that you must avoid your eyes when using it, so you will need an additional eye makeup remover. This cleanser costs approximately $20.
  • Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser effectively removes makeup, oil and other impurities without breaking the bank. It's formulated for sensitive skin types and is soap-free, oil-fee, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic. This cleanser/remover combo rinses easily and will leave you with refreshingly clean skin. It sells for about $7.
  • Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover might be just what you're looking for if you want to speed up the cleansing and removal process. Suitable for all skin types, this 2-in-1 formula removes make up and cleanses in one step. Priced around $6, it's not overly expensive, and it's readily available at you local drugstore or big box store.

  • Borghese Gel Delicato Makeup Remover is a powerful yet lightweight makeup remover gel. It's strong enough to dissolve mascara and lipstick without harming your eyes and lips. It's also dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested, so it's an ideal makeup remover for anyone who has sensitive eyes or wears contact lenses. At $32, this remover is a little pricier than some products, and you'll need to follow up with a cleanser to finish the job.

  • Darphin Cleansing Gel with Water Lily is formulated for all skin types and gently removes makeup and impurities without the use of parabens. This mild, cleansing gel neutralizes the drying effects of tap water to leave your skin clean, healthy, and radiant. At just under $40, this is one of the more expensive makeup removers available.

  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil is botanically formulated with evening primrose, jojoba seed, and olive oil, but it won't leave your skin feeling oily. It's absolutely 100-percent mineral-oil free. This cleanser loosens all makeup, including waterproof mascara, and it's good for all skin types. As a bonus, it softens and conditions skin. This product retails for about $12.

  • Estée Lauder Take It Away Makeup Remover Lotion smells terrific. This crisp, citrus formula quickly and gently removes all makeup, even long wear and waterproof formulas. It rinses off easily and leaves skin feeling smooth and moisturized without leaving a residue. It retails around $28.

  • Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Lotion Normal / Dry is a lightweight product that removes makeup and impurities without stripping your skin. Simply apply it to your face and wipe it away with a cotton ball. Your skin is left clean and moisturized. You can purchase this product for about $9.

Creamy Cleansers

If you're looking for a makeup remover that really saturates your skin, give a cream cleanser a try. This type of remover seeps into every nook and cranny and often leaves your skin feeling more hydrated than other kinds of makeup removers.

  • Pond's Cucumber Cleanser gets down into the pores to remove oil, make-up and other impurities, and it has a fantastic cucumber fragrance. It's especially good for removing Halloween, theater, or other heavy-duty cosmetics, but avoid getting it in your eyes. It's priced around $9.

Makeup Wipes

Cloths, wipes, and towelette-like makeup removers are designed to remove makeup without water. You can use them to remove a portion of your makeup or all of it.

  • No7 Quick Thinking 4-in-1 Wipes are ideal for women who like to save time. With a simple wipe, this product removes makeup and tones your skin. Vitamin Pro-B5 nourishes the skin, while witch hazel and fennel go to work cleaning pores and providing hydration. Fragrance free and dermatologist tested, this an excellent makeup remover for anyone with super sensitive skin. You can purchase a 30-count package for just under $7.

Finding the Right Remover

The key to deciding which type of makeup remover to use is to focus on what's most important to you. That includes choosing ingredients you're comfortable with, as well as a formula that suits your skin type. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong choice; it's really a matter of preference. Purchase a few pharmacy brands first since the return policy is often more flexible than what you'll find at a department store. Consider several options, and see which product performs best for you.

Types of Makeup Remover