The best makeup removers you can buy

  • It’s good for your skin to remove makeup every night, but it can be a pain without the right makeup remover.
  • Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is our favorite makeup remover because it’s fast, effective, foolproof, and it can be used repeatedly without stripping your skin.

However tempting it is to fall into bed after a tiring day or a big night out, removing your makeup is a must. If you want healthy-looking skin, it’s the golden rule.

At night, your skin repairs itself, so if it is caked in makeup, it can cause more harm than good. Not only can leaving your makeup on overnight clog your pores and cause breakouts, it can accelerate the aging process, leaving you with dull skin and wrinkles. And, you’ll end up with smudges all over your pillow!

A good makeup remover should easily remove all traces of makeup without much, if any, rubbing. There’s an array of different types of makeup removers out there, from micellar waters and wipes to cleansing oils and lotions, each with different benefits and uses.

We’ve done our research and tested the best makeup removers on the market to come up our top recommendations. Whether you’re a devout double cleanser or prefer removing makeup on the fly, there’s something on this list for everyone.

Here are the best makeup removers you can buy:

Updated on 10/23/2019 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated links, formatting, and prices.

The best makeup remover overall


If you want a classic, no-fuss makeup remover that is effective, affordable, and has instant results, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is a winner.

Touted as a miracle cleanser that doesn’t need rinsing, Micellar water has seen a revival in recent years and is all the rage. Bioderma, considered the Queen of micellar waters, has a cult following. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is the best-selling version, and one bottle is sold every two seconds, according to the French company.

This award-winning, one-step makeup remover is designed to remove all makeup even waterproof mascara instantly. There’s no need to rinse, no oily residue, and no irritation. The oil-free, hypoallergenic formula is enriched with soothing cucumber extract and has been designed for sensitive skin, but it is ideal for all skin types.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is hugely popular with celebrities, and makeup artists, and is often used on runways as it is foolproof, efficient, and can be used repeatedly without stripping skin. An added bonus is that it is multipurpose, acting as a toner and moisturizer, too. If you are looking to simply your skincare routine, it’s ideal.

In testing, I was very impressed at how quickly it removed all my face and eye makeup leaving my skin soft, clean and refreshed with no residue. It worked well on water-resistant mascara and heavier eye makeup but I needed to use more liquid.

It’s not just me who loves this must-have from French pharmacies, it features on Style Craze and Women’s Health Magazine best makeup remover lists. It is one of Amazon’s bestsellers, getting an average of 4.4 out of 5 from more than 2,700 shoppers.

Although Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is the most popular Bioderma micellar water, you can also buy Bioderma Hydrabio H2O for dehydrated skin and Bioderma Sebium H2O for oily, blemish prone skin

Pros: Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, fragrance-free, oil-free, can be used on both face and eyes

Cons: None

The best makeup remover oil


For gentle but effective makeup removal in just one step, Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is hard to beat.

Fans of clean beauty will love this 2-in-1 cleanser and makeup remover from Japanese brand Tatcha. It promises to gently melt impurities, erase all traces of even long-wear and waterproof makeup, and deliver soft and silky skin. It is designed to thoroughly cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture, leaving it balanced and nourished.

The soothing formula contains Japanese camellia oil, a lightweight ingredient that is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, plus anti-aging superfoods such as green tea, rice, and algae that aim to restore healthy-looking, youthful radiance

To use, simply apply one to two pumps to your hands, massage onto dry skin, then rinse with water. Oil cleansers are often used as part of a double cleanse routine. This is where you first use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and follow it with a traditional lathering cleanser and water to give your skin a thorough clean.

However, the beauty of Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is that you only need to do the first step. It is safe to use around the eye area, too, but be sure to remove contact lenses first.

In testing, I liked the subtle smell of the oil. It emulsified into a milk when I added water and removed my makeup effortlessly. My skin felt clean, soft, and smooth, and there was no residue. I was nervous the oil formula might irritate my skin or cause breakouts, but it didn’t react.

It’s not just me who loves Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, it is highly rated by sites such as Women’s Health Magazine and Elle. It also gets 4.5 out of 5 on Sephora with one customer saying, “You only need a small amount to fully cleanse all your makeup off including mascara and liner.”

Pros: Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, safe for eye area, anti-aging, does not contain mineral oil, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, free from SLS, parabens, and phthalates.

Cons: Pricey, better for face makeup

The best cleansing oil solid

Banila Co

The cult-favorite Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original was reformulated with cleaner ingredients and a higher melting point so you won’t have to worry about it leaking all over your gym bag in the summer, or even your luggage while on a tropical vacation.

Despite our love for oil cleansers, one of the major downfalls is that it’s an oil and has immense potential to leak out onto just about everything in its vicinity.

But that won’t happen with solid oil cleansers, and this one from Banila Co recently got upgraded with a higher melting point to withstand hot bathrooms and hotter summer temps. This also means you can shuttle it back and forth to the gym, and even take it on vacation, without any worries.

The original mineral oil formula, which was questionable and potentially irritating for some people, has also been upgraded to a cleaner one with ester oil and vitamin C-rich fruit extracts.

To use, scoop a bit of the cleanser with the included spatula (or just use your fingers), gently massage over your skin, be amazed at how smooth the solid melts into a thin oil, and rinse off with warm water. The water should turn a little milky as it emulsifies the oil and washed clean. The result is a super fresh complexion with zero oily residue.

The solid balm more than 600 5-star reviews on SokoGlam and the brand claims it sells a tub of the cleansing magic every three seconds.

Pros: Doesn’t melt easily, clean mineral oil-free formula, portable, inexpensive for the value

Cons: Smallest 3.38 oz. size may not be considered travel-friendly for some

The best foaming cleanser


If you’re looking for an effective traditional foaming wash-off cleanser to remove your makeup, Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash is hard to beat.

Clean beauty fans rejoice, this wallet-friendly face wash from drugstore brand Pacifica makes removing makeup a breeze. It performs as well, if not better than foaming cleansers from premium brands.

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash promises to remove makeup, cleanse, and tone your skin and deliver a glowing complexion. The lightweight gel-based formula is packed with natural, plant-derived ingredients such as coconut water, sea algae complex, and papaya extract that will nourish your skin.

I’m a huge fan of wash-off cleansers as I like the completely clean feeling you get. In testing, I loved the delicious tropical coconut smell. The liquid gel foamed up nicely and felt gentle on my skin. It washed away all my makeup and my skin felt squeaky clean and soft, but not dry.

Pros: Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, vegan, cruelty free

Cons: Those with very dry skin might find it too drying

The best makeup remover wipes

Koh Gen Do

For convenient and effective makeup removal when you’re on the go, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths are superb.

These oil-free, no-rinse wipes are a favorite with makeup artists as they are formulated to gently but quickly remove all traces of face and eye makeup including stubborn waterproof mascara, while at the same nourishing your skin.

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths are ideal to leave by your bedside for the days when taking off your makeup seems too much of a chore, for use pre- or post-workout, or when you’re traveling.

The organic cotton cloths are pre-moistened with mineral-rich spa water infused with essential herbs including rosemary leaf, sage leaf, lavender, and ginger to protect, calm, and hydrate your complexion.

In testing, I found the wipes felt thick and luxurious and had a pleasant scent. One wipe cleaned off all my face and eye makeup, quickly and easily, leaving my skin feeling soft and refreshed. There was no sticky residue and no irritation.

Pros: Suitable for all skin types, good for sensitive skin and eyes, effective on waterproof mascara, free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance, oil-free, alcohol-free, no need to rinse

Cons: Pricey

The best milk cleanser for makeup removal


Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser is gentle but effective, easily removing makeup and impurities without needing to rinse.

Milk cleansers are ideal if you have sensitive or blemish-prone skin as they are known to be gentle, removing makeup and impurities without stripping your skin. Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser promises to take everything off including mascara and lipstick without leaving a sticky residue in just one step, and leave you with a glowing complexion.

The no-rinse formula contains lightweight ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to moisturize and spring water to soothe and soften your skin. To use it, you simply massage it onto your skin and remove the excess with a cotton pad.

In testing, the milky liquid had a pleasant fragrance. It quickly removed all my makeup leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated.

Pros: Suitable for all skin types, ideal for sensitive skin, no-rinse formula, free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, gluten-free, non-drying

Cons: None

Check out our eye makeup remover guide


The best eye makeup remover you can buy

Eye makeup is notoriously stubborn and difficult to remove, so you need a good, safe makeup remover in your arsenal.

To save you time and trouble, we have researched and tested the best eye makeup removers on the market according to consumers and experts, to come up with the best of the best. Only ophthalmologist-tested eye makeup removers are featured in this guide.

Here are the best eye makeup removers you can buy:

Check out our other skincare buying guides

Shutterstock/Alena Ozerova

The best exfoliators you can buy for any skin type or budget

Whether you’re new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skincare pro, Glossier’s Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow. Here are all the best exfoliators we recommend:

The best moisturizers you can buy

Everyone wants healthy, smooth, and soft skin. Dry skin not only looks dull and flaky, it also feels tight and itchy. The solution? A good moisturizer. Our favorite moisturizer for both face and body is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, but there are several others that we would also recommend. Here are the best moisturizers you can buy:

The best sunscreen you can buy

Daily use of a good sunscreen will fend off sunburns today, and help prevent the skin damage that leads to aged, wrinkled, blotchy skin later on in life. Here are our top picks for the best sunscreen you can buy:

The best clay masks you can buy

Clay masks are an easy and cost-effective way to give your skin a boost without hitting the spa. Our top pick is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask because it is a super affordable all-natural mask that deep cleans your pores. Here are all of our recommendations for the best clay masks you can buy:

The best body oil you can buy

If smooth, supple skin is what you’re looking for, then the Fresh Sugar Ultra-Nourishing Body Oil is the bottle you want to reach for. Or, one of the four other best body oils you can buy:

The best face cream for dry skin

If you’re one of those people whose face feels flaky whether it’s December or August, finding the right face cream can be difficult. But if full-on hydration and protection are what you’re after, Dr. Jart+ Ceramindin Cream is your best bet. In addition, we have four other face cream we would recommend that you check out: