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We get it: Sometimes, the last thing you want to do when you get home after a long day out is wash your face and take off your makeup. But trust us, removing your foundation, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, and whatever else you’re wearing is one of the absolute best things you can do for your complexion.
There are actually quite a few reasons why you should spend those few extra minutes wiping all the product on your face off before hopping into bed—even if you’re exhausted.
1. Not removing your makeup can lead to the development of breakouts. Um, say what? Yep, it’s true. Is your skin prone to pimples or on the oilier side? Well, then your skin builds up sweat and oil while you sleep, so any makeup that is left on overnight can mix with that buildup, leading to further pore congestion. And, as you probably already do know, clogged pores can lead to zits.
2. Not removing your makeup can lead to a dull-looking complexion come morning. This one goes out to all the girls with dry skin: If you snooze in your makeup, day-old foundation, powder, and eye shadows can settle into creases and fine lines. This can cause your skin to look a little lackluster (and even make you appear older than you really are!).
3. Not removing your makeup blocks your nighttime anti-aging efforts. If you think you can apply anti-aging skin care products on top of your makeup at night and have them work effectively, you’d be wrong (sorry!). When it comes to anti-aging skincare products, your best bet is to apply them to clean skin—that way they won’t mix with makeup residue and clog your pores instead.
Taking off your makeup doesn’t have to be such a chore. Here are the most common ways to remove the stuff on your face:
1. Makeup remover wipes or towelettes. These can be used daily and are awesome as a pre-step for washing your face. Makeup-removing towelettes can clean your skin of foundation, concealer, and eye shadow. Another perk: They’re convenient to pack, so you can toss them in your suitcase if you’re traveling or your gym bag if you have a sweat sesh planned and want to refresh afterwards. Opt for wipes that are alcohol-free, since these will be less likely to dry out your skin.
2. Toner. Yep, you can use toner as a pre-step to cleansing. To use, add a few drops of toner to a cotton pad, then gently wipe it across your skin. Just keep this in mind: Some toners can be drying or contain high levels of alcohol, so look for a non-drying formula.
3. Micellar water. This skin care product has been beloved by Parisians for years—and for good reason. Micellar water utilizes micelle technology—small, round cleansing molecules suspended in a solution to attract, trap, and gently remove dirt, makeup, and other impurities from the skin. The really cool thing about micellar water is that it’s a no-rinse cleanser—it removes even waterproof mascara without needing to turn on your sink. The L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser comes in three varieties: normal to dry skin, normal to oily skin, and all skin types. To use, saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water of your choice. If you need it for all over your face, gently wipe the pad over your skin. If you’re just using it for eye makeup removal, hold the paid over closed eyes for a few seconds, then gently wipe.
4. Cold cream. This heavy moisturizer is an emulsion of high concentrations of mineral oil and waxes in water, and it can actually be used as a makeup remover. Dip a makeup wipe into the cream, and gently swipe it across the parts of your face where there’s heavy makeup (maybe you wore a seriously thick and glittery eyeliner, for example). Don’t forget to wash your face afterwards!
5. Cleansing oil. Do you have dry skin or wear heavy eye makeup? Cleansing oil might be your makeup remover match, since it can be nourishing and less harsh, especially around the delicate eye area. (Don’t worry oily skin types: You can use cleansing oil, too—it won’t clog pores.) Apply a few drops to a cotton pad and dab it across your skin. The reason why it works: Oil attracts to oil, so a cleansing oil can attract the makeup and oil on your skin and help lift it off. Follow up with your regular cleanser.
No matter which type of cleanser you use, remember to always follow up with moisturizer to lock in hydration and keep your skin looking its best!