Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Makeup Removal Ideas

At the end of the day, all I want is to clean off my makeup.  After a long work day or a late night out, all my skin wants is to breathe.  But what is the best way to remove your makeup?

Hi Abra :: 

I saw something on your Instagram story that you don’t use makeup remover wipes anymore.  Why did you stop?  More importantly, what do you use now?

:: KC

I stopped using the Simple makeup remover wipes for a few reasons.  One, they’re an added expensive that really adds up when you need to use two wipes every day.  Two, I started to think that the wipes might be making my breakouts worse (my skin has been calmer since I quit).  And third, I’m trying to be more conscious about how much trash I produce, and this was an easy way to eliminate some.

So what do I do instead?  I have two ways of removing makeup that both work very well.

First, I use Kopari Coconut Melt to remove my makeup.  Is it better than the coconut oil you get at Trader Joe’s?  The company says so.  I think it’s smoother and better quality, but your mileage may vary.

Be wary though, coconut oil can clog your drains.  I remove it with toilet tissue or muslin cloths to keep it out of my sink drain.  The great thing about muslin cloths is they also exfoliate.

My second option are these FaceHalo microfiber makeup remover rounds.  I like them a little better than the Makeup Eraser because they’re easier to pack and easier to wash (I use a mesh bag).  The rounds really do a great job with just a little water.

Need something cheaper?  These face rounds off of Amazon are 14 for $14.

If you have a favorite way to remove your makeup, please leave it in the comments.  Because the solution that’s right for me, may not be a good fit for someone else.

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    24 comments

  1. StepH says:

    I use simple micellar water on cotton rounds. It takes all my makeup so quickly without any rubbing or pulling. Micellar water is actually all I use to clean my face now and I have seen huge improvements in my skin… no more acne!

    December 27, 2018/Reply
    • Steph says:

      I have tried a bunch of micellar waters and the best ones are the Simple brand and the bioderma sensibo (that one is harder to find)

      December 27, 2018/Reply
    • Anna c says:

      I use the Simple micellar water too, in conjunction with my Neutragena eye make-up remover. I like waterproof eye make-up a bit too much for the micellar water to be completely effective on its own. I usually do the Neutragena, then the micellar water, (both with cotton rounds) and finish with a rinse of lukewarm water.

      Dove makes a micellar soap, which I’ve been using on non-make up days (which are getting more and more frequent), and really like, but I know that bar soap is not most people’s preferred face wash option.

      December 27, 2018/Reply
    • MEL says:

      Love micellar water. I use it on a soft washcloth that I replace daily, so I reduce my trash.

      December 28, 2018/Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Another vote for micellar water! I use Garnier, which comes in a huge bottle for a great price (I prefer the original version, not the one for waterproof makeup). I use a muslin cloth with it to remove makeup, and it does a great job. I have had great improvement in my skin’s clarity since using this method for the last ~year.

      December 29, 2018/Reply
      • SC says:

        I use the Garnier micellar water too, works for everything except super waterproof eyeliner (which I don’t wear on a daily basis). For that I keep a tiny tub of Clinique cleansing balm on hand. I follow micellar water with Murad’s exfoliating cleanser to keep my skin clear.

        December 30, 2018/Reply
  2. Sandra says:

    An esthetician told me to use a mild cleaner (I use CeraVe) on my face and then remove the cleanser with a baby wash cloth and keep rinsing the cloth until all your makeup is removed. This has worked well for me and doesn’t involve an extra step such as a micellar water or makeup wipe. And the cloth manages to remove more makeup than just my hands and also gently exfoliates.

    December 27, 2018/Reply
  3. Sarah says:

    I use these with a facial cleanser:
    https://www.amazon.com/S-T-Lilscrubbies-2-Count/dp/B0136MDZFK/ref=asc_df_B0136MDZFK/

    I switched from the eraser cloth and pads because washing them is a small but extra step and the scrubbies do the job and rinse clean. I keep one in the shower and one by my sink. Been using the same ones for months and they hold up well.

    December 27, 2018/Reply
  4. Katelyn says:

    Two step cleansing is the only thing that really works for me.

    I first use Banila Co Clean Zero Cleansing Balm. It’s available on Sokoglam.com https://sokoglam.com/products/banila-co-clean-it-zero-classic right now with free shipping (I think Amazon also sells it). You smooth this onto dry skin with your hands and rinse off. It also removes eye makeup. This balm isn’t nearly as greasy as coconut oil and won’t clog drains or leave your hands greasy.

    I do a quick second wash with Cerave cleanser. It’s super fast and removes any final residue.

    December 27, 2018/Reply
    • RR says:

      I second the Banilla cleansing balm. I love the purity one! Highly recommend!

      December 27, 2018/Reply
  5. Sarah says:

    I used to use coconut oil for makeup removal (still do when it’s all I have!), but switched over to jojoba oil over the past year. I’d used jojoba for years as a moisturizer but not for makeup removal. It works just as well as coconut oil, but without the potential allergic reaction, viscosity, etc. It’s pretty cheap and available everywhere. Jojoba oil + cotton rounds = cheap and effective makeup removal!

    December 27, 2018/Reply
  6. Devon says:

    I double cleanse in the evening – I use cleansing oil and then a gentle foaming cleanser (burt’s bees for both!). The oil breaks the makeup (no matter how heavy) and the cleanser gets rid of any residual without overdrying my skin. In the morning I just use the foaming cleanser. I have sensitive/dry skin that overproduces oil and this removes EVERYTHING. It doesn’t hurt or help my skin – I’d rather leave the serums and moisturizers to fix and add things back in.

    December 27, 2018/Reply
  7. Blair says:

    Another vote for the double cleanse method! I converted six months ago and am not going back. I’m currently using True Botanicals pre-cleanse oil and cleanser, but I’ve also loved Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp followed by a cream cleanser (I paired with Origins Checks & Balances, one of my favorite cleansers that leaves my face feeling super clean but not dry).

    December 27, 2018/Reply
  8. Jo says:

    Clinique Take The Day Off is the best makeup remover (first cleanse) I’ve used.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
    • L says:

      I second this! I love it!

      December 28, 2018/Reply
      • Bke says:

        This one made me break out. I’ve had better luck with the oil cleansers from dermalogica, Burt’s bee and neutrogena.

        December 28, 2018/Reply
  9. Colleen says:

    I started using Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo to remove my makeup after a friend told me that her dermatologist had recommended it. It works like a charm and it’s super gentle on my skin. l wear waterproof mascara because normal formulas disappear on me throughout the day so I sometimes have to do two rounds of the baby shampoo to completely remove my eye makeup which doesn’t bother me but could be annoying for others.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  10. LC says:

    I use Boscia’s Makeup Break Up oil cleanser to remove my makeup. I start with my eyes so it has a chance to sit and break up my mascara and eyeliner, then massage it all over the rest of my face. I use a microfiber cloth soaked in warm water to remove – I bought a big pack of them on Amazon – then follow with a foaming cleanser.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  11. Siri says:

    Another vote for double-cleansing in the evenings! I use an oil wash to break down my makeup, followed by a super gentle second cleanse (I use the Glossier Milky Jelly). It’s the only combo I’ve found that leaves my skin feeling soft/hydrated but not stripped and gets my skin clean enough that the cotton pad I use for my toner afterwards doesn’t pick anything up.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  12. Jenn says:

    I either use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and Cerave Hydrating Facial Wash or Pixi/Caroline Hirons’s Double Cleanser. My skin is too sensitive for facial cloths though so I remove all of the above with water. Both combos are great!

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  13. Karen says:

    I want to put in a word for replacing cotton rounds with reusable cloths. I find that Trader Joe’s Amazing Kitchen Cloths do a great job of applying toners and removers.

    https://www.livingtraderjoes.com/trader-joe’s-super-amazing-kitchen-cloth/

    I bought a pack with a royal blue towel, cut it up into little squares and haven’t used a cotton round for this purpose since. Rinse them out, then throw them into a mesh bag and machine wash on hot with the bath towels. They wash up great and are always on-hand. Been using/washing the same ones for years at this point and they’re still going strong.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  14. Bethany says:

    I rub cold cream into my damp face, then wipe with a wet wash cloth. Then wash with a proper face wash. There’s no waste at all with this method! I have a ton of wash cloths and I just throw them in the washer with the rest of my linens.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  15. Steph says:

    I actually use baby oil with cotton pads to remove my makeup. My mom used this method for decades and I just came around to it. I follow-up with Cetaphil face wash.

    December 28, 2018/Reply
  16. Kristen says:

    I use cotton balls doused in micellar water, follow up with Makeup Eraser clothes (usually to get off the remaining mascara) and then a very gentle cleanser (I use the Publix brand version of CeraVe).

    A couple of times a week I’ll use my Clairsonic, also I use R+F Unblemish face wash in the mornings and some nights.

    December 31, 2018/Reply