Woman using a makeup remover to clean her face.

(© F8 Suport Ukraine - stock.adobe.com)

We use makeup to look good and to feel good. Generally speaking, wearing makeup helps us appear younger and more attractive by enhancing our best features. But not properly removing makeup before bedtime can have the opposite effect: It leads to breakouts and dull, prematurely aged skin. Because a good cleanse is essential, StudyFinds sought out the best makeup removers, according to expert reviews. 

Makeup makes us look younger by creating what’s called “facial contrast.” Results from a Swiss studysuggest that people could actively modify how old they look, by altering how much their facial features stand out, for example by darkening or coloring their features,” says one of the study’s authors, Aurélie Porcheron. 

But makeup can do more than just take a few years of your face: During the pandemic, its application was a real lifeline for some, as the routine provided a sense of control and comfort.” Of those who skipped makeup while working remotely, one in three were excited about wearing makeup again upon their return to the office, according to a 2021 survey.

Last but not least, wearing makeup provides a boost of confidence. ​​“Makeup can allow you to not only look but also feel radiant and empowered to present your best possible self, regardless of the challenges we face from day to day,” says celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli.

So naturally, if you’re planning to put all that makeup on, you’re going to need a great way to take it all off. That’s when having a strong makeup remover to keep your face clean and your pores breathing is essential. StudyFinds researched 10 expert websites to create a list of the five best makeup removers, based on the products that appeared most often across these lists. Do you have any products to add to our list? Please let us know in the comments. 

Woman washing her face in bathroom
Woman washing her face (Photo by Miriam Alonso on Pexels.com)

The List: Best Makeup Removers, According to Beauty Experts


1. Garnier Cleansing Waters

OK, hear us out! While not all experts recommended the same Garnier cleansing water, almost all recommended one of them (and Good Housekeeping even two!). The All-In-One Replump is the overall favorite of Cosmopolitan and Allure: “​​The Best of Beauty-winning Garnier SkinActive Micellar Replumping Cleansing Water is a gem because it won’t dry out the skin,” claims Allure

Garnier All-In-One Waterproof Micellar Cleaning Water
Garnier All-In-One Waterproof Micellar Cleaning Water

Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water is Good Housekeeping’s best oil-free make-up remover because while “​​great for all skin types, this wallet-friendly Garnier GH Beauty Award winner is a fast-acting formula that thoroughly cleanses skin and clears makeup, without drying your complexion.”

According to CNN, celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli has been a “longtime fan” of the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-In-One Waterproof: “It removes all traces of makeup, even the most waterproof — leaving your skin with the soothing effects of Garnier’s gentle micellar formula.”

2. Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

This makeup remover was almost as frequently recommended as Garnier’s. The Strategist picked it as the best product for acne-prone skin and mentions that it’s not restricted to the eye area: “Plenty of online reviewers attest that you can use it for removing foundation and lipstick, too.” 

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

For Good Housekeeping, it’s the “best value” pick as it has testers raving that “this GH Beauty Award winner and drugstore bargain from Neutrogena aced GH Beauty Lab evaluations, leaving virtually zero trace of product behind — no matter how long-lasting products claimed to be.”

Today points out that Neutrogena’s eye makeup remover strengthens the lashes and is “fragrance-free and ophthalmologist-approved for contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes.”

3. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips

Another frequently recommended makeup remover was Clinique’s Take the Day Off. The “beloved classic” is the “best overall” for Forbes because “it tackles the most stubborn mascara without tugging at lashes [and is] suitable for all skin types,” as well as fragrance-free. 

Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips
Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips

It’s also “best overall” for Byrdie and Good Housekeeping. Both say the remover is non-irritating – “​​non-irritating, and non-stinging so sensitive skin and eyes are welcome,” says Byrdie.

It also does a wonderfully thorough job: “It received the highest score in lab tests for the ability to remove eyeliner in one swipe and number of swipes needed to completely remove makeup,” writes Good Housekeeping.

4. Klorane ​​Micellar Water with Organically Farmed Cornflower

Despite stiff competition from other products, this makeup remover is our number four because it’s natural. It’s “made with just a handful of ingredients, including natural cornflower water to soothe skin” and is gentle to sensitive and eczema-prone skin, Good Housekeeping says about its “best soothing makeup remover” choice.

Klorane ​​Micellar Water with Organically Farmed Cornflower
Klorane ​​Micellar Water with Organically Farmed Cornflower

While gentle, this product does its job and is a “great [oil-free] option that traps dirt and oil while removing makeup,” mentions Women’s Health. Today quotes celebrity makeup artist Jeannia Robinette saying that “one reason this eye makeup remover stands out from all the rest is because it actually has ingredients in it that help improve and rejuvenate your lashes, unlike so many others that damage the lashes while rubbing on your eyes.”

5. Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

This product made our list because it’s a popular expert pick for sensitive skin, as well as affordable. Women’s Health loves this product because it follows along with the company’s quality just like other products by the “brand loved by those of you with sensitive skin.” 

Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover
Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

Why is it great for sensitivity? For one, it is “hypoallergenic and fragrance-free,” according to The Strategist. As a “bonus,” Cosmopolitan notes that this makeup remover is “formulated with hydrating aloe vera and soothing ginseng and green tea.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations

About Clio Rourke

I'm a freelance writer with experience in advertising and public relations.

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