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Makeup Remover Guide: 5 Ways to a Fresh Face

February 19, 2018

Putting on makeup can be a lot of fun—especially if it involves shimmer and gloss. The not-so-fun part, however, comes into play when you have to remove layers of eye shadow, foundation, and blush—and it can become even less amusing when removing heavy eye makeup, eyeliner, and mascara. You may try to remove makeup hurriedly with any old facial cleanser, or you might admit defeat and head to bed with a full face of makeup intact. Doing so, though, will only set your skin up to look dull and dirty the next morning—not to mention, you’d be leaving your skin more vulnerable to potential breakouts. Below, we explain why it’s so important to take off your makeup each night, as well as outline five popular types of makeup remover and how to use them.

Why You Should Remove Your Makeup Every Night

If there’s one thing you should always make time for at night, it’s removing your makeup. Makeup can mix with sweat, dirt, and oils that build up on your skin’s surface overnight. Makeup residue can also mix with dead skin cells, contributing to a pile up on your skin’s surface. In other words, you really should try to turn in with clean skin and a fresh face, so that your skin can work to regroup at its highest potential while your sleep.

That being said, effectively removing makeup can be easier said than done. It can be challenging to remove every stitch of makeup, including stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner formulas. Plus, if you spend too much time rubbing your skin with makeup remover over the same places, your skin can become dry, as some formulas contain alcohol. But, don’t give up—there a handful of makeup remover options available that are appropriate for all kinds of makeup and skin types.

5 Makeup Remover Options

Ready to find your next makeup remover match? Consult our guide to five common types of makeup remover. Here, we explain how they work along with tips for putting each one to good use so that you can go to sleep with a clean complexion.

1. Micellar water. A makeup remover method favored by Parisians has recently become popular in the States. Micellar water can help remove makeup, cleanse, and hydrate skin at the same time—making it another favorite makeup remover method to travel with. Micellar water formulas require no water for wetting the skin or rinsing, making it a perfect product to help you achieve a fresh face while on the go. Dr. Rocio Rivera, head of scientific communications for L’Oreal Paris, particularly favors micellar water formulas because, “These formulas were specifically formulated to attract and entrap dirt without stripping your skin of natural oils.” You can follow the multi-tasking micellar water with a regular facial cleanser—but you don’t necessarily have to. A suitable choice for those with dry skin, micellar water attracts makeup and dirt like a magnet when a few drops are applied to a cotton pad and swiped across the skin.

To give the French-favorite a try for yourself, try one of our options. The L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin hydrates and soothes; the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin purifies and mattifies; and the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof — All Skin Types intensely purifies and removes all makeup (yes, even waterproof!).

2. Makeup up remover wipes or towelettes. Great for daily use and as a pre-step to cleansing, makeup remover wipes can clean skin of foundation, concealer, and eye shadow. They’re also convenient to pack and bring along with you on trips to better help you maintain a fresh face while traveling. Look for makeup remover wipe options that are alcohol-free, as they will be less likely to dry skin if you need to use more than one swipe. Try the L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean™ All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes.

3. Clay facial cleanser. Have a bit more time to dedicate to your makeup removal? Our clay facial cleansers are powered by three different clays and enhanced with other ingredients (more on those later!). They’re formulated to transform from clay to mousse, removing everyday impurities (including makeup) from the surface of your skin without over-drying. Pretty cool, right? To find your perfect clay facial cleanser match, keep reading.

L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox and Brighten Cleanser: This clay facial cleanser is suitable for all skin types and its formula is enhanced with charcoal—so if your complexion looks lackluster, it might be the right one for you. Not only does it help purify the surface of your skin of dirt, oil, and pollution. Use after use, dull skin appears brighter.

L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Cleanser Purify and Mattify Cleanser: This clay facial cleanser is enhanced with eucalyptus and suitable for all skin types. Have oily skin? This one could be for you! It helps remove excess sebum (a.k.a. oil) from the surface of skin for a refreshed look and feel.

L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate and Refine Cleanser: This clay facial cleanser is suitable for oily and combination skin and its formula is enhanced with red algae. It goes beyond daily cleansing to exfoliate. Exfoliation is the process of sloughing away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, which can build up and cause the look of dullness.

Once you’ve determined which of the above three clay facial cleansers above is right for your skin, it’s time to put your new facial cleanser to work! Once a day, squeeze your clay facial cleanser of choice into your hands and add water to transform it from clay to mousse. Gently massage the cleanser onto your face using circular motions, making sure to avoid your delicate eye area. As you massage the creamy clay facial cleanser into your skin, makeup, dirt, and impurities will be removed from your skin.

4. Cold cream. You can use a cold cream, which is a simple emulsion of high concentrations of mineral oil and waxes in water, a heavy moisturizer, or a night cream to gently remove heavy makeup. Dip a makeup wipe into your cold cream and gently swipe across the areas of your face that have heavy makeup, like your eyes if you used a glitter shadow or your cheeks, nose and forehead if you had applied a contour to your face. Cold creams can remove makeup and moisturize skin at the same time, so that your skin is less likely to become dry, even if it takes some time. Be sure to follow up with your regular facial cleanser.

5. Cleansing oil. Using a cleansing oil to clean skin can be a great option if you wear heavy eye makeup or have dry skin, but really it can work for all skin types. If you have oily skin, you shouldn’t be afraid to use this makeup remover method. Cleansing oils will rinse away completely and not clog your pores if you follow up with your typical facial cleanser. Apply a few drops to a cotton pad and dab across your skin. Cleansing oil can be nourishing and less-harsh on dry skin—especially the delicate dry skin around the eyes. Be sure to follow up with a cleanser after, so that skin does not become extra oily as you sleep. “Oil attracts oil, so using an oil to remove makeup is a good option, then wash your face with warm water to remove the oil and follow with your regular cleanser,” explains Dr. Rivera.

Now that you have five foolproof ways to remove your makeup each and every night, there’s really no reason to skip out on the essential skin care step. By starting your skin care routine with one or two of these makeup remover methods, you can ensure that your skin will look its best.

At this point you’re officially schooled on makeup removers, but what about moisturizers? Check out our article, Moisturizing 101: How to Use a Water-Based Moisturizer for Hydrated Skin, to approach one of the most important steps of your skin care routine with care.

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