The 15 Best Makeup Removers, Hands Down

Ah, makeup wipes. A topic that has sparked much debate in the skincare world. In my experience, though, the consensus among the experts I’ve spoken to is that they aren’t great. Why, you ask? Well, it mainly has to do with how much rubbing is involved and the ingredients in the wipes. It isn’t the best makeup remover, especially for certain skin types.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Take Peter Young’s advice on the matter. He’s a board-certified dermatologist and Facet Skincare’s medical director. “People with sensitive skin should avoid makeup wipes,” he says. “Even the motion of wiping your skin can be abrasive and irritating if you do it often. Wipes also use cleansing agents just like face wash—but unlike face wash, the instructions do not include rinsing them off. This can be very irritating to your skin. Many makeup wipes also contain high levels of alcohol and other harsh ingredients, which can cause dryness and irritation of your skin.” 

If that wasn’t enough to convince folks with sensitive skin to back away, Young has another tidbit for you. “The cleansing ingredients that wipes use to remove makeup may cause reactions,” he says. “In addition, makeup wipes usually contain preservatives and added fragrance, which can cause allergic skin reactions like contact dermatitis.”

Believe me, as someone who has had contact dermatitis, you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. Even if you don’t necessarily have sensitive skin, using harsh agents and large amounts of alcohol on your face every night probably isn’t great anyway. I know you’re now wondering what to use instead. Don’t worry—we have you covered there, too. Keep scrolling for all the best makeup removers in every category (except wipes, thank you). Whether you like liquid remover, balm, or simple micellar water, there’s definitely something for you.

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