The best make-up removers to leave your face feeling fresh

Scrub a dub dub.

Makeup remover best

by Jade Moscrop |
Updated on

Whether you wear minimal make-up or a full face, finding the perfect make-up remover can make taking care of your skin a doddle, so it's no wonder we're all searching for that holy grail product.

From micellar water to oil-based cleansers and even oil-free make-up removers, there are plenty of products on offer to help you find your perfect match. It's important to find the ideal make-up remover for your skin type, so we're here to help you out.

Dry/sensitive skin

The last thing you want to do if you have dry or sensitive skin is to go at it with a cotton pad, rubbing away and irritating it. Instead, opt for a cleansing balm or oil-based cleaner that can go to work with minimal interference. What's more, oil-based cleansers will add some much-needed moisture to the skin.

If you're not a fan of oil, milk or cream cleansers will also give the skin a moisture boost while gently removing make-up.

Oily skin

Oil-free make-up removers, foaming cleansers and micellar water are great for those with oily/combination skin.

I'm a firm believer that there's nothing wrong with using an oil-based cleanser if you do have oily skin, (as stripping the skin of too much oil can actually make the skin overcompensate) but you'll probably want to follow it with a foaming cleanser to remove any excess and stop your face feeling like an oil slick the next day.

Combination skin

If you have combination skin, you'll need a product that doesn't strip the skin of its natural oils in the drier areas of your face, but won't clog your pores and make your t-zone mega oily. Opt for a gel, milk or cream cleanser. Some oil-based and balm cleansers will work for you, too.

Normal skin

If your skin is generally well-balanced, you can take your pick of the bunch - you lucky thing. Just make sure to listen to your skin if a new product begins to make it drier or more oily.

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Makeup removers: The best options for all skin types

Garnier Micellar Water Facial Cleanser Sensitive Skin1 of 16

Garnier Micellar Water Facial Cleanser Sensitive Skin

This is the micellar water you'll find on the shelves of many a beauty lover. The 700ml bottle lasts for ages and it removes make-up to leave skin feeling fresh and non-greasy. Suitable for all skin types.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make Up Removing Micellaire Solution2 of 16

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make Up Removing Micellaire Solution

If you've got dry or sensitive skin, this micellar water will work wonders for you. Even tackling waterproof make-up well, many users note that their skin looks and feels better when using it.

Lancome Bi-Facil3 of 16

Lancome Bi-Facil

Many who use this product will never try anything else. It's a little pricier than some on the list, but the reviews prove that it's worth it. Ideal for contact lens wearers and suitable for all skin types.

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter4 of 16

Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

This cleansing butter is a GAME-CHANGER. Ya hear? It melts away even heavy make-up quickly while being gentle on skin and improving overall skin texture. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, dry skin and for those who wear contact lenses.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polishu2122 Hot Cloth Cleanser5 of 16

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser

Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser deserves a place in your bathroom cupboard. Period. It easily breaks down even waterproof make-up and grime to leave skin feeling soft, clean and comfortable. Suitable for all skin types (and will make you feel like you're at a spa).

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel6 of 16

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Not only does this gorgeous smelling cleanser remove make-up well, but it has lots of skin-pleasing benefits, too. It helps to strengthen, brighten, revitalise and restore skin, leaving it soft and refreshed. If you know, you know. It's pricey for the 100ml but it lasts ages and oh my, it's worth it. Suitable for all skin types.

RoC Multi Action Makeup Remover Milk7 of 16

RoC Multi Action Makeup Remover Milk

This gorgeous make-up removing milk is great for those with sensitive skin as it's super gentle, while toning and moisturising the skin for 24 hours. It's also a huge bottle, so it's great value for money.

FAACE Dirty Face Cleanser8 of 16

FAACE Dirty Face Cleansing Wash

This cleanser contains plant-based natural surfactants derived from coconut fatty acids to create a creamy lather without drying out your skin. Rose water, aloe extract and glycerin go to work to help stop any other moisture in your dermis from getting rinsed down the drain. It's a great option for combination skin. Tried & Tested by Deputy Commercial Content Editor, Natalie Corner: "Removing make-up has never been easier than with this gel based cleanser. What I love about it is that you can choose between applying it to dry or wet skin and really lather it up to get every inch of dirt removed. I wear SPF every day and since using the FAACE Dirty Face Cleanser I've noticed I don't have any remnants left after washing my face."

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser9 of 16

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

This natural cleanser is gentle yet powerful, enriched with soy proteins to help maintain overall skin health while it removes make-up. Great for all skin types but particularly good for those with dry and sensitive skin.

Skin Sapiens Oil to Milk Cleanser10 of 16

Skin Sapiens Oil to Milk Cleanser

If you thought your face wash was clever, wait until you try Skin Sapiens' new Oil to Milk Cleanser. It literally turns into this beautiful natural milk formula - ideal as the first part of a double cleanse (and a face full of make-up), leaving skin feeling soft and moist.

Skin Proud Rise And Defend Stress Rescue Kombucha Face Wash11 of 16

Skin Proud Rise And Defend Stress Rescue Kombucha Face Wash

Skin Proud has just launched this incredible kombucha gel face wash - perfect for anyone after a gentle yet effective solution to stressed, sensitive skin. Kombucha not only maintains the natural balance of the skin but also provides extremely calming, soothing and hydrating results.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser12 of 16

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser

If your skin is easily irritated or allergy-prone, this product delivers. It's also formulated for sensitive skin and is ideal for dry skin due to its milky texture. It tackles daily grime and make-up easily, leaving skin soft and clean.

Simple Kind to Skin Make-Up Remover13 of 16

Simple Kind to Skin Make-Up Remover

Gentle and affordable, Simple's Kind to Skin cleanser is affordable and doesn't disappoint. It doesn't dry out skin and is good for those with sensitive skin who don't wear too much make-up.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover14 of 16

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

If you have oily skin, this oil-free make-up remover is a firm favourite for its ability to remove even waterproof make-up.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser15 of 16

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

Suitable for normal and oily skin types, this foaming cleanser helps to hydrate skin, while niacinamide soothes irritation, clears congestion and balances sebum production.

Face Halo16 of 16

Face Halo

Face Halo went viral a few years back, but many people still swear by it - especially the eco-warriors out there. By using just water, you can remove make-up easily and quickly - great for those with sensitive skin.


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How to wash your face properly

Ever noticed that there is still make-up when on your face when you dry it with a towel? Chances are, you're not cleansing properly. It's all about the double cleanse, and while it may be a little more time consuming, it will give you that all-over glow.

Make sure to have your fave make-up remover or cleanser to hand (a micellar water, balm or gel works well for this) and wash your face once. Then, choose a second cleanser that has hydrating and moisturising ingredients for another round, to help to remove every bit of dirt and keep your skin clean and fresh.

Struggle with eye make-up? Here's a tip for you: Place a cotton pad soaked in your fave product and rest it on your eyes for a few moments. Your mascara should budge much more easily this way. Don't rub your eyes as this can damage the fragile skin in that area, as well as your lashes.

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