Best Way to Remove Makeup

Best Way to Remove Makeup

We are taking it all off! …Our makeup, that is!

It’s a groan-provoking subject; we get it. After a long day of slay, you barely have enough gas to slouch into your comfiest sweats, let alone muster the energy to remove that impeccably executed day-to-night winged eye and perfect contour job (R.I.P.)! But failing to fully remove your makeup can lead to clogged pores, irritation, and even premature aging. GASP! So, stick with us as we outline the best way to remove makeup for a healthy and happy complexion!


Main Takeaways: The importance of removing one’s makeup cannot be overstated. But certain approaches are better than others to ensure that nothing nefarious gets left behind.

Good to Know: Water is critical when cleansing, but only oils dissolve oils. So, make sure whatever you use to remove your makeup contains (or is at least attracted to) oils to gently wick away your oil-based cosmetics.

Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser and Rose and Shine Rose Water Toner.


Looking for the perfect cleanser to help remove makeup? We've got you covered.

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Makeup Removal as Skin Care

Removing your makeup is critical for skin health and doing it well calls for more than just one step… no matter what any product package tells you. But sending your makeup down the drain the right way can be super simple and quick, as long as you apply the right products in the right order.

But with tons of products marketing themselves as effective makeup removers, which ones actually work and how should you use them?

Products for Makeup Removal


Cleansers, particularly water-based cleansers, are super essential, but they aren’t the best at removing makeup on their own. We have talked about double cleansing before, and we are super fans! Reserve the use of traditional cleansers for the second step - washing your face after makeup and oil-based impurities have been removed. Choosing one that contains some oils, like our So Clean! which features coconut oil, will ensure that any leftover residue or makeup traces are as good as gone!

Makeup Remover

“Makeup removers” have been in production since the Jurassic era; just kidding, but this might as well be true! Remember seeing that enormous tub of cold cream permanently affixed to your more-mature relative’s bathroom counter as a kid? Well, products like these are pretty antiquated, especially when you consider their ingredients. Though loved by many, it’s honestly really hard to find traditional makeup removers with clean, mild, and/or ethical formulas.

Nowadays, many of them come in wipe form, which is even worse. Often touted as a one step, no-rise solution to makeup dissolution, consumers are led to believe that you can simply swipe and sleep. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Makeup wipes don’t effectively clean your skin. Let’s say that again. MAKEUP WIPES DO NOT CLEAN YOUR SKIN! They do however smear dirt, oil, makeup, and dead skin around your face, with a pre-moistened cloth that does double duty by:

A. grinding traces of that unwanted stuff deeper into your pores.

B. creating unnecessary and often non-recyclable waste for the environment.

Between all the rubbing and questionable ingredients (e.g., alcohol, harsh cleansers, parabens, animal fats, formaldehyde-releasing chemicals that would be super hard to I.D. on a back panel, etc.), repeated use of makeup wipes can actually promote things like low grade inflammation, clogged pores, and premature aging. Further, following the package’s instructions and failing to wash your face after the use of these undisclosed villains is a recipe for disaster. You’ll leave all sorts of unwanted nasties on your face and that’s never cute. Ditch the wipes. Seriously. Better yet, ditch “makeup removers” altogether. They beg too many questions and better options exist; we promise.

Micellar Water

Micellar water is a facial cleansing product powered by microscopic micelles, or tiny clusters of surfactant molecules. For each molecule, there’s one side that’s attracted to oil (which sweeps away oil-based impurities like makeup), and one side that’s attracted to water (allowing the micellar water to be rinsed off [or wiped off, as many micellar waters claim to be rinse-free]).

Micellar waters are a decent option. Their molecular structure helps them win it in the makeup removal department, while the light water-based formula works great for those with oily skin or folks who sport more natural looks without ultra-heavy makeup. They’re also much gentler than traditional makeup removers and their ingredients tend to be less criminal.
Our beef with micellar water is two-fold:

  1. It’s liquidy, so you must use a pad for application. Could you avoid disposable cotton and just use a washable makeup remover pad? Sure; but you are going to want to be exceedingly light handed to avoid irritation or pore impaction. And you absolutely have to wash and dry your pad after every use. You hear that? Every SINGLE use! No exceptions.
  2. This “no-rinse” is a no-no! Even the gentlest micellar water contains cleansers. They may be mild, but they are cleansers nonetheless and will leave behind a residue if left unrinsed. Further, these cleansers are so mild that while they can effectively loosen any makeup or oils, they don’t really cleanse anything. So, a one-step facial cleansing routine is never the way to go, particularly if you are a makeup wearer.

If you aren’t so heavy handed with your makeup and prefer a light approach to makeup removal, give micellar water a try. But opt for one infused with moisturizing and calming botanicals, like Dessert Essence’s Cucumber & Aloe Micellar Facial Cleansing Water …And don’t forget to rinse! Then refer to our How-To below for follow up steps.

Coconut Oil

The coconut craze is real! If you think putting food on your face sounds coco-NUTTY, allow us to set the record straight. Coconut oil offers a range of benefits for your skin, with moisturizing, nutrifying, antibacterial, and healing properties. Further, as a makeup remover, its prowess is unmatched! Use requires no cleansing pads or cloths - just a quick emulsion between fingertips before gently massaging onto your skin and it’s lights out for your lewk! There is debate as to whether or not coconut oil could be comedogenic, so those with oily skin are encouraged to slowly integrate it into their routines, but many dermatologists say that coconut oil offers way more benefits than risks. For fool-proof, frill-free makeup removal, coconut oil is a great choice!

Ok, so let’s put it all together! Here’s your infallible start-to-finish makeup removal routine for a perfect clean.

How to Remove Makeup

1. Take it off!

First, rid your skin of any makeup and impurities you can visibly see. Gently sweep micellar water or coconut oil around your face in circular motions for about 30 seconds, or until everything has been completely softened and dislodged from where it was originally applied. Then RINSE (no matter what your product says) with lukewarm water.

2. Cleanse.

Now gently massage in your facial cleanser for about a minute. This gets rid of any leftover residue or trace impurities. Rise and gently pat dry with a clean cloth.

3. Tone and moisturize.

Follow up with a toner to clarify the skin even further. Try our Rose and Shine for added hydration and don’t forget to lock it all in with a nourishing, nutrient-rich moisturizer.

4. Be kind to your eyes.

The last thing to keep in mind is that your ultra-delicate eye area requires uncompromisingly gentle attention. We think coconut oil is the best eye makeup remover for protecting and preserving the delicate skin around your peepers, even if you choose not to apply it all over your face. But no matter what you use, be sure to have an extra soft touch, zero rubbing, and once your eyes are clean and makeup-free, follow up with a life-giving Eyes Eyes Baby!

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