The best makeup removers for sensitive skin, according to experts and reviews

From cleansing balms to oils to micellar waters – you’ll find the right product for you here. Wearers of makeup know that removing the day's old (and perhaps dried-out) foundation, eyeshadow, and mascara is a universal relief.

They also understand how frustrating it is when makeup remover backfires and leaves skin burning, sensitive, and red instead of soft and clean. If you fall into the latter category, it might be time to switch to a makeup remover

designed for sensitive skin.

Believe it or not, not all makeup removers are created equal. Jeannette Graf, MD, board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, explains that reactions can occur

with certain formulas "due to harsh chemicals fragrances, or ingredients that may damage the skin barrier."

She adds that some makeup removers may not work at all, resulting in the need for excessive rubbing and scrubbing, which can also cause irritation.

The last thing your skin needs is more damage to its barrier than the environment (e.g. sun, pollution). That's why experts helped us find the best makeup removers — micellar waters, cleansing balms, cleansing oils, and more —

that (when combined with a good cleanser) will leave your skin feeling clean, satisfied, and ready for the next day Get ready for a fascinating day.

1. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water: This micellar water is a best-seller for a reason—it's affordable, gentle, and effective, which is why Graf and licensed esthetician Ian Michael Crumm recommend it.

The formula uses micelles, a type of surfactant that gently draws away dirt and oil like a magnet and added glycerin to leave skin hydrated and smooth. "It's proven to remove dirt, makeup and sunscreen without rubbing or rinsing,

" says Crum.

"But it is still recommended to cleanse thoroughly after removing makeup. Don't just rely on makeup remover."

2. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Face and Eye Cleanser: "This makeup remover is very gentle on the skin and is rich in glycerin, a moisturizer that promotes a healthy skin barrier," says Crumb.

Graff also recommends it adding that it's free of harsh chemicals and fragrances and contains soothing niacinamide. To use, Crumm recommends applying it to dry skin and wiping with a damp cloth.

You can cleanse twice with the same product, or wash separately afterwards to ensure your skin is squeaky clean.

3. Eye Scrub Sterile Makeup Remover and Eyelid Cleansing Pads: Jodi LoGerfo, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., a board-certified nurse practitioner in dermatology and family medicine, recommends these products for sensitive eyes

and calls them her "favorites."

A gentle rub activates the sterile pad to create a gentle lather, and the hypoallergenic, pH-balanced formula dissolves makeup. Just place it on your eyes for a few seconds and gently wipe it away.

"They're great for removing makeup and perfect for travel," one Amazon reviewer wrote.

4. Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Wipes: While the tugging required for wipes may irritate your skin unnecessarily, these wipes designed for sensitive skin should minimize irritation when you need an emergency cleanse.

They contain aloe vera, cotton extract, and glycerin to soothe and moisturize skin, and are made from recycled cotton, making them easier to buy than other disposable wipes.

5. Neutrogena Gentle Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover: Enriched with aloe vera and glycerin, this proven oil-free makeup remover is ophthalmologically tested and approved for the sensitive eye area. It's also under $10 and can even

handle heavy makeup.

"I've been using this makeup remover for a long time and can't imagine using any other product," one reviewer wrote. 6. Jones Road Beauty Cleansing Bar. This convenient, compact solid oil stick is perfect for travel and was

designed by makeup artist Bobbi Brown.

It doesn't strip skin of moisture like traditional cleansers, and thanks to vitamin-rich sunflower, jojoba and avocado oils, makeup becomes effortless. All you have to do is apply it, emulsify the formula with water, and rinse everything off. "If you have dry skin like me, this cleanser is a game changer," Brown said on Instagram. 7. INKEY List Oatmeal Cleansing Balm. "This affordable balm is enriched with almond oil (for conditioning), oat seed oil (for moisturizing) and sunflower seed oil (for hydration). It's gentle and very hydrating, but rarely irritating, ” Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Stryke Club, previously told Prevention. 8. Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. Dry, sensitive skin types can really benefit from removing makeup with an oil-based cleanser that leaves more moisture than it removes. This one from Tatcha is particularly luxurious and gentle, and contains vitamin-rich Japanese camellia oil, which is why reviewers love it. One satisfied customer wrote: "After washing it off, you feel soft and hydrated, but not at all greasy." 9. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. This micellar water is a customer favorite and gets the job done effortlessly. It's not greasy and doesn't even need to be rinsed off. However, experts recommend double cleansing with any makeup remover to ensure all impurities are removed. The simple, gentle formula is safe for all skin types. To make daily use more sustainable, you can purchase some reusable cotton pads. 10. Paula's Choice Gentle Makeup Remover: Shaking the solution activates its ability to dissolve makeup, which is powerful enough to clean easily but gentle enough not to cause eye sting—the worst side effect of poor quality makeup remover. Its main ingredients are soothing allantoin, aloe vera leaf juice extract, green tea and glycerin. “I love this makeup remover! “I wear contacts so I can’t use oil-based makeup removers,” raved one reviewer. “I get styes easily, so I have to be very careful with my eye products. This one is perfect for me! " 11. Clinique Take the Day Off Eyelid, Lash & Lip Makeup Remover LoGerfo recommends this classic remover, which has been around for years and always gets the job done. 11. Clinique Take the Day Off Eyelid, Lash & Lip Makeup Remover LoGerfo recommends this classic remover, which has been around for years and always gets the job done. It's formulated without irritants, fragrance, or parabens, and reviewers say it can even dissolve eyelash glue without leaving any residue. 12. BANILA CO Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm Enriched with papaya, vitamin C-rich cherries and herbal extracts, this cleansing balm effectively removes makeup, dirt, impurities and dead skin cells without leaving a tight and dry feeling. Plus, it smells delicious—just like cherries, which is part of the reason it has over 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. One person said it has a "nice texture, emulsifies well when mixed with water, removes makeup easily and leaves no residue on the skin."

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