15 Best Makeup Removers of 2023 for Every Skin Type, Tested and Reviewed

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1

Best Overall Makeup Remover

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

1

Best Overall Makeup Remover

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

The hydrating humectants in this makeup remover help keep your skin’s moisture barrier strong rather than stripping away your natural oils. It also doesn’t leave behind a greasy film, so acne-prone skin is safe.

  • Type: Micellar water
  • Size: 3.4 oz., 13.5 oz., 23.7 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “I am in LOVE WITH IT!” one tester writes. “I love micellar waters because they don’t leave my skin sticky, yet it still feels hydrated and the micellar water takes off my makeup with ease! The size lasts me a long time.”

2

Best Makeup Removing Milk

Embryolisse Gentle Waterproof Make-up Remover Milk

Gentle Waterproof Make-up Remover Milk

2

Best Makeup Removing Milk

Embryolisse Gentle Waterproof Make-up Remover Milk

Part makeup remover, part hydrator, this magical creamy milk solution breaks down tougher formulas while hydrating the face with aloe vera and Patagonia root. Think of it as a luxurious little milk bath for your face.

  • Type: Cleansing milk
  • Size: 6.76 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “This product gently removes makeup, has no fragrance, and really revives the skin while you sleep,” one tester writes.

3

Best Oil-Based Cleanser

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Deep Cleansing Oil

3

Best Oil-Based Cleanser

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Personally, this is my favorite cleanser that I use to remove my makeup. It’s the perfect step for double-cleansing, but honestly, just a few pumps remove all traces of my makeup—even glittery, caked-on liner. I mean, one bottle is sold every 10 seconds worldwide, so you know it’s good.

  • Type: Cleansing oil
  • Size: 2.3 oz., 6.7 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “I was skeptical about this type of product,” one tester writes. “Putting oil on my face goes against everything I was taught in the 90’s/early 2000s! However, contrary to what I thought might happen, this has not made my skin oily or break out. It takes my eye makeup off easily and without irritating my skin. I use it before washing my face with a mild cleanser and it takes off all makeup and leaves my face feeling soft.”

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4

Best Makeup Remover Balm

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

4

Best Makeup Remover Balm

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

If you fancy yourself a full-face makeup look and need something to cut through your full-coverage foundation without stripping your face of its natural oils, meet your new BFF. Plus, no tugging on your skin or using 300 cotton pads to take off a day’s worth of makeup here.

  • Type: Cleansing balm
  • Size: 3.4 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “I have used this product for nearly three years now,” one reviewer writes. “Prior to using it, I had struggled a lot with finding a product that could successfully remove all of my makeup while also not reacting with my sensitive skin. I have recommended this to nearly all of my friends, and they are all in love! Not to mention the fact that we all have very different skin types.”

5

Best Oil-Free Makeup Remover

Fenty Skin Total Cleans’r Makeup Removing Cleanser

Total Cleans'r Makeup Removing Cleanser

5

Best Oil-Free Makeup Remover

Fenty Skin Total Cleans’r Makeup Removing Cleanser

If you’re looking for an oil-free option, look no further than the Fenty Skin Total Cleans’r Makeup Removing Cleanser. The creamy formula may be super gentle upon application, but it packs a punch when it comes to removing your makeup.

  • Type: Cream cleanser
  • Size: 4.9 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “I’ve been using this product for three months now, and I bought the travel size first to try it and I am loving it,” one review reads. “I have a combo skin type and it has significantly improved my oily areas without drying my face out. I really like how my face feels after using it and definitely will continue to include it in my routine!”

6

Best Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin

Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

6

Best Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin

Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

Now 20% Off

Credit: Courtesy Image

Gentle? Check. Fragrance-free? Check. Effectively removes face makeup with zero oily residue? Check. This makeup remover was legit made for your sensitive skin. Bonus: It’s formulated with hydrating aloe vera and soothing ginseng and green tea.

  • Type: Water/oil cleanser
  • Size: 6 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? No

THE REVIEW:Very few things come or work just as they are described, luckily this is one of them,” one review reads. “It does not leave a greasy mess, it just leaves your skin feeling soft. Very good to take off waterproof mascara. Great buy!

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7

Best Makeup Remover Pen

LashFood Chamomile Makeup Eraser Pen

Chamomile Makeup Eraser Pen

7

Best Makeup Remover Pen

LashFood Chamomile Makeup Eraser Pen

From mascara smears to uneven liner, this mini pen helps correct any makeup snafus without affecting the rest of your face. Ingredients like vitamin E and chamomile calm down any irritation while removing traces of makeup around your eyelids and under your eyes.

  • Type: Makeup eraser pen
  • Size: One pen, 0.03 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: I really like using this product to clean up my lip looks!” writes one tester. “I don’t wear a bold lip often—mainly because I don’t feel I’m the best at applying it without mistakes and always reach for a makeup wipe to clean the lines—but since getting this eraser pen I feel like I might wear more color on my lips because of how it’s SO EASY to clean up my look. I feel that I want to get another one to keep in my purse or car so that I can always touch up my look.”

8

Best Makeup Removing Serum

Shani Darden Skin Care Cleansing Serum

Skin Care Cleansing Serum

8

Best Makeup Removing Serum

Shani Darden Skin Care Cleansing Serum

If you prefer a product that does the job of many, hop on board the Shani Darden Skin Care Cleansing Serum train. Formulated as a cleanser with a serum-like texture, this bb removes makeup and gunk from your skin while leaving it hydrated and soft af.

  • Type: Cleansing serum
  • Size: 5 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: This gentle cleanser is fantastic! It has no fragrance, lathers beautifully, and takes off my makeup so well,” reads one review. “My skin is sensitive and tends to have some red patches, but after using this cleanser for a week now, I’ve noticed my skin is clearer, brighter, and hydrated. I love how my skin looks and feels after every face wash.”

9

Best Organic Makeup Remover

One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

9

Best Organic Makeup Remover

One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

Credit: Courtesy Image

This organic cleansing oil feels like an absolute dream on your skin—the combo of vitamin E, sunflower seed oil, beeswax, and papaya seed oil means that your makeup comes off gently and it won’t leave your skin feeling tight or dry.

  • Type: Cleansing oil
  • Size: 4 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “This is the perfect oil cleanser for me. Not too light, not too heavy—cleans off all makeup very easily and smoothly without tugging at the skin,” reads one review. “Double cleanses like a dream—leaves skin moisturized with no residue. Wonderful scent that isn’t too heavy.”

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10

Best Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes

Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

10

Best Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes

Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

Credit: Courtesy Image

If you’re a contact-lens wearer or have super sensitive eyes, this paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free solution is the answer to your waterproof-makeup prayers. Another plus: It’s packed with flavonoids and olive-wood extract that work to strengthen lashes.

  • Type: Eye makeup remover
  • Size: 1.69 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? No

THE REVIEW Literally the best makeup remover I have ever used. Not a spec of makeup (even the waterproof stuff) stays behind and it works great with a cotton round or on a washcloth in a pinch,” writes one tester.

11

Best Makeup Remover for Dry Skin

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

11

Best Makeup Remover for Dry Skin

Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

Credit: Courtesy Image

I’m obsessed with this makeup remover—it definitely lives up to its name. I just work it into my skin, and instantly, my bold winged liner and matte-finish foundation melt away. Plus, the oil blend is perfect for anyone with dry skin—it will leave your skin feeling super smooth and hydrated long after you rinse.

  • Type: Cleansing balm
  • Size: 3.88 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “I absolutely love this product,” reads one review. “I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and have extremely dry skin. I always massage it into my face and apply it more heavily wherever my makeup is thickest. Massaging it in really helps with breaking the makeup down and also moisturizing my skin. Afterward, I just wipe it off with my microfiber makeup remover towel.”

12

Best Micellar Water Makeup Remover

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

Sensibio H2O

12

Best Micellar Water Makeup Remover

Bioderma Sensibio H2O

Credit: Courtesy Image

Whether you’ve got dry skin, oily skin, or fall somewhere in between, you can def count on this makeup remover. The water-based formula is filled with just micelles (bb molecules that dissolve dirt) and soothing cucumber extract—no oil, alcohol, or parabens included, making it a 10 out of 10 option for any skin type.

  • Type: Micellar water
  • Size: 16.7 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? No

THE REVIEW: I love this Micellar water compared to others because it is super gentle, doesn’t leave an oily residue, and doesn’t burn my eyes,” reads one review. “It’s great for taking off makeup or just freshening up without washing your face.”

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13

Best Jelly-Based Makeup Remover

Bliss Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser

Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser

13

Best Jelly-Based Makeup Remover

Bliss Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser

Credit: Courtesy Image

This formula can be used on dry or wet skin. Here’s how: On dry skin, it breaks down makeup with a quick swipe over your face with a cotton pad. On wet skin, its milky jelly consistency is viscous enough to stay on your skin (without sliding off your face) to help dissolve your makeup, dirt, and excess oils.

  • Type: Jelly Cleanser
  • Size: 6.4 oz.
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

THE REVIEW: “This product is everything it claims to be and more,” one review reads. “It has truly become a staple in my routine. I don’t wear makeup daily, but when I do I will double cleanse with this and then go in with my face wash. I have sensitive/acne-prone skin, and this product has never broken me out nor does it dry my skin out. I’ve been through numerous bottles and haven’t found anything I don’t like about it! Highly recommend!”

14

Best Reusable Makeup Remover

Make Up Eraser The Original Makeup Eraser

The Original Makeup Eraser

14

Best Reusable Makeup Remover

Make Up Eraser The Original Makeup Eraser

Now 30% Off

Credit: Courtesy Image

Okay, I know makeup wipes can feel wasteful, which is why this miracle product comes in handy. Simply soak this 100 percent polyester cloth in water, then start removing your makeup. Yup, that’s it. Here’s a tip, though: Machine-wash the cloth before your first use to avoid getting fuzzy bits all over your face.

  • Type: Cloth
  • Size: One cloth

THE REVIEW: “Amazingly effective,” one review reads. “I don’t wear makeup all the time, often because I hate taking it off at night. I’m wearing makeup more than ever because of how easily the Makeup Eraser takes it off.”

15

Best Makeup Remover Wipes

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

15

Best Makeup Remover Wipes

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Listen, wipes are never as great as a full double-cleanse (even wipes should be used before actually washing your face!), but if you can’t be bothered (or are a little ~lazy~), these bbs are better than nothing. All 25 of these premoistened makeup remover wipes are gentle enough to use around your eye area (yes, the formula even removes waterproof makeup) and can clear away foundation and eyeshadow in just one swipe.

  • Type: Wipes
  • Size: 25 wipes
  • Cruelty-free? No

THE REVIEW: “These makeup-removing towelettes are the best!” reads one review. “I usually have to use a few or so with other brands, but with these, I use one, maybe two, and it gets the job done. They do not irritate my skin or leave my skin feeling weird. I am already a Neutrogena fan and my fandom just keeps growing for this brand.”

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What is the best way to remove makeup without damaging skin?

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The best way to remove makeup without damaging your skin is to always go in with a gentle approach and use the correct formula for your skin type and what kind of makeup you’re wearing. If you’re looking to remove your mascara and eyeshadow, use an eye makeup remover—and use it only in your eye area, it’ll be too heavy for the rest of your face.

The same concept applies to makeup removers in general; if you typically wear lighter makeup (i.e., a tinted moisturizer and a bit of blush), a simple cleanser will do the trick (try: Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Remover). If you wear a fuller face (i.e., foundation and waterproof makeup) you should go for an oil-based cleanser (try: DHC Deep Oil Facial Cleanser) and consider doing a double cleanse.

How to choose the best makeup remover:

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Consider the formula

It’s 2023, and there are a million and one different formulations of makeup remover. If you have dry skin or typically wear full-coverage makeup, you can opt for a cleansing balm that will remove legit *everything* while moisturizing the skin. Makeup removers that are micellar water-based (or a liquid formulation) are typically great for skin that’s on the oilier side.

Evaluate the ingredients

As with every skincare product, it’s important to take a peek at the ingredients in the makeup remover. If you have particularly dry skin, look for makeup removers with hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera or other humectants like hyaluronic acid. On the other hand, if you struggle with oily and greasy skin, your best bet is to stick to an oil-free product. It may take a few trials and errors, but you will discover what works (and what doesn’t!) with your skin over time.

Meet the experts:

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Why trust Cosmo?

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Siena Gagliano is an associate editor at Cosmopolitan who writes beauty, with over three years of experience writing in the makeup, skin, and hair spaces. She’s an expert at researching and writing skincare stories, like the best blackhead removal tools and the best clear sunscreens, and feels especially knowledgable about makeup removers thanks to being a beauty editor and therefore trying a million different types. She regularly tests and analyzes makeup removers on her own skin for efficacy while working with the industry’s top dermatologists to assess new formulas and products.

Ama Kwarteng was the associate beauty editor at Cosmopolitan for nearly three years, and has eight years of experience writing about beauty, fashion, and entertainment across print and digital, including the best body lotions for dry skin and how to DIY a facial at home. Her makeup remover picks were based on product reviews, ratings, and personal testing.

Headshot of Siena Gagliano

Siena Gagliano

Associate Editor

Siena Gagliano is the associate editor at Cosmopolitan, where she primarily covers beauty in the makeup, skin, and hair spaces, as well as some fashion and lifestyle. Wanna know how to get the best brows of your life? Gotchu. What about how to achieve ridiculously glowing skin, a super bouncy blowout, or exactly how to use that viral face mask? Check, check, and check. Before joining Cosmopolitan, Siena was a writer at Bustle and several other media outlets. As NYC’s newest resident, she has vowed to find the best (extra) dirty martini this city has to offer—and yes, that means ~attempting~ to try every cute cocktail spot in the city (hit her up with some recs, pls). Follow Siena on Instagram where you’ll see that her account is mostly dedicated to pics of her cute dog and that magazine life.

Headshot of Ama Kwarteng

Ama Kwarteng was previously the associate beauty editor at Cosmopolitan.

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