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    19 Of The Best Makeup Removers That Will Leave Your Skin Clean And Nourished

    Because the most satisfying part of wearing makeup is taking it off.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A rice water cleansing oil I think should be a staple in your affordable K-beauty repertoire, removing every trace of makeup while avoiding that super tight feeling of rubbing your skin raw.

    reviewer holding bottle of cleansing oil
    reviewer collage of reviewer removing black eyeliner on hand with cleansing oil

    Promising review: "This product is basically witchcraft, it's so good. I used this cleanser in place of a makeup remover, and it almost disintegrated my makeup for me. I read somewhere that this product wasn't recommended for the eyes, but I used this cleanser on my eyes with my contacts in with no issues. In fact, it took off my waterproof mascara like it was nothing! I simply followed the instructions, applied to dry skin, rubbed in circles, and rinsed. I was so wowed by this product that I basically ran out of the bathroom and tried to get my aunt to take her makeup off with it. There was no burning or feeling of scrubbing like every other makeup remover I've ever used. I then followed up with a foam cleanser. I've been using this routine for a few days now, and I can already see the difference in my skin when I wake up. This is what nice, clean skin looks like! Maybe soon, I won't even have to wear makeup at all. My skin type is combination skin with hormonal breakouts, for anyone who is curious. 10/10 recommend this to everyone I know." —Ashley

    Get it from Amazon for $15.47 (also available with the matching foam cleanser).

    Check out more skincare products for low-maintenance people who want high-maintenance results!

    2. A classic bottle of Garnier micellar water that's a gentle cleanser, makeup remover, toner, and all-around magical skin liquid that I'll never stop buying, because it just takes off my makeup so darn well and feels like...water.

    A pair of hands that are half submerged in water holding a bottle of the micellar water.
    @garnierusa / Via www.instagram.com

    Psst...when Buzzfeed Reviews was still around, this was our low-priced pick for best makeup remover!

    Promising review: "This is around our ninth bottle. I use this to remove my makeup effortlessly. I was noticing I was buying a bottle quicker than I should be until my husband fessed up to using it to clean his face! He absolutely loves it to manage his oily skin, which is funny because I have SUPER dry skin. It works for both of our skin types, so we keep it stocked as much as we can and get the multipacks when they are available! This stuff is liquid gold." —Kendall Forsythe

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97.

    3. Farmacy Green Clean cleansing balm with a ~gorge~ creamy texture, natural ingredients like sunflower and ginger root oil, turmeric and moringa extract, and papaya enzymes for some added gentle exfoliation.

    The cleansing balm with the lid off showing the green balm inside
    closeup of the green texture of cleansing balm

    Plus, the jar and all the pieces included are 100% recyclable!  

    According to former BuzzFeed Shopping writer Christine Forbes: "This was the first oil-based cleanser I ever used. I'm so glad I got a sample because I really sucked at taking off makeup. Luckily, this balm melted into my skin like butter. Rather than scrubbing feverishly with a water-based cleanser, I simply massaged this into my skin. Slowly, my makeup turned to brown sludge and dripped down the drain. My bare face was pretty dang clean and noticeably less dehydrated. I've repurchased this item twice since 2018 because a little goes a long way." 

    Promising review: "This has become my holy grail!!! I cannot even describe all of the ways that I love this product. It removes all of my makeup and feels like it removes every ounce of pollution/oil on my skin because of how FRESH I feel after using it. It smells amazing; a little goes a long way (can get more bang for your buck with this product) and is sooooo soothing. I keep it in my product fridge for an extra soothing effect. When I am having a breakout, I make sure to use this product at night because it feels like it gently exfoliates while also leaving my face feeling hydrated. It also takes away any redness in my face after using it. I have purchased this three times now!" —alexisg0919

    Get it from Sephora for $24+ (available in three sizes) or Amazon for $12+ (starting from mini size).

    4. A pack of oil-free Almay eye makeup-removing pads that are made of...wait for it...100% biodegradable fibers, so you can feel a little better about using as many as you need to take off every ounce of your makeup. 

    model using eye-makeup removing pad to remove eye makeup
    reviewer photo of the pads

    Promising review: "These things are like magic. I have been wearing prominent eyeliner for most of my makeup-wearing career, and I had accepted as a part of life that it would always be a pain to remove. I've tried a lot of different products that people lauded as being awesome for eye makeup removal, and while some worked a lot better than others, nothing really made the process 'easy.' Now, I have found these, and they are a game-changer. I used them for the first time last night, and I could not believe it: 90% of the makeup came off with the first swipe, and the rest came off with the next. Nothing smeared. I am still incredulous this morning. From now on, this will definitely be my go-to product." —Elana

    Get a pack of 80 from Amazon for $5.05+ (available in 80- or 120-count jars).

    Check out more easy-to-use products to help you ease into a skincare routine!

    5. A DHC cleansing oil infused with olive oil and vitamin E, leaving your skin moist and healthy without stripping it of its natural oils. Japanese cleansing oils are a cult fave for skincare nerds everywhere, and now, it's your turn to obsess.

    collage of model removing black waterproof mascara with cleansing balm
    model using DHC deep cleansing oil

    Promising review: "This is the best makeup remover cleanser hands down, and I've tried a lot! I wear foundation every day and wouldn't be without this. No cleanser removes makeup better than an oil-based cleanser for those who've never tried. Don't be afraid even if you have oily or problematic skin. I do, and I believe this has actually improved my skin. I suffered from acne for a long time. My skin is better now, and this is all I use. I use at night to remove makeup. Then, exfoliate with a microfiber cloth to remove any makeup left over, and then after showering, I use this again to wash away any residue. I then use it to wash my clean face again in the morning. That's it. No additional cleanser needed, and I find my oil production is more balanced because other cleansers, especially foaming ones, dry out your skin. Only downside is it's hard to find. Amazon is the only retailer that seems to stock it consistently." —Dee

    Get it from Amazon for $27.55.

    6. A moisturizing Neutrogena makeup remover whose balm-to-oil formula will melt away your mask for the day with supreme ease, no raccoon eyes or scrubbing to be found.

    product image of Neutrogena makeup removing balm
    reviewer holding Neutrogena makeup removing balm

    Promising review: "I’ve used a few different brands' makeup removing balms, and so far, this is absolutely my fave! It just melts the makeup right off and doesn’t burn or get gunk left in your eyes. It’s very affordable. You just need a small amount each time to remove a full face of makeup. If you haven’t tried a melting balm or need a new one, this is absolutely the one for you to try. So moisturizing. I love it" —Paige

    Get it from Amazon for $10.87 (also available: a makeup-removing stick for $7.98).

    7. A makeup-erasing cloth that I still don't understand the science behind, but according to these glowing reviews, it sure as hell works: Just use some water, and gently swipe all your makeup away. Like, is it black magic? 

    model holding pink make-removing cloth
    model using make-up removing cloth to remove makeup from half her face
    BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I will admit I was skeptical, but this works, and it works well! I have always hated the way that makeup removers left my skin feeling; plus, half of them don't even work the best. I hate scrubbing at my eyes trying to remove eyeliner and mascara with a makeup remover that's getting into my eyes and irritating them and the skin around my eyes without even removing all of the eye makeup. Well, this product solves all problems. It is ridiculously easy to use, just wet it and wipe away your makeup. It actually removes all of my makeup without scrubbing my skin raw or irritating it with chemicals, and best of all, it actually removes ALL of my mascara. This product feels a bit like magic with how easily and softly it wipes away your makeup. If you wear makeup and do not own this product, then what are you doing? Just buy it." —Sophie

    Get it from Amazon for $13.37+ (available in 13 colors).

    This is also on our list of products with price-defying before and afters

    8. First Aid Beauty 2-in-1 cleanser and makeup remover transforming from oil to foam, reducing your nighttime routine by one blessed step so you can collapse into bed ASAP.

    a soapy bottle of first aid beauty cleansing oil makeup remover
    model with half face makeup removed, holding cleanser
    Target

    Promising review: "This is the most gentle one-step makeup removal cleansing oil I have used. Step one is just using the cleansing oil on its own to break up the makeup — including that stubborn matte lipstick and waterproof liner. Step two is adding water and lathering the oil to a gentle foam to remove the oil and keep cleansing the face. My face is left feeling clean and refreshed." —Jo33232

    Get it from Target for $26.

    9. A vegan, cruelty-free, non-comedogenic Peach & Lily Ginger Melt Oil Cleanser destined to be your new holy grail makeup remover because, yes, we all deserve a holy grail makeup remover! 

    a bottle of ginger melt oil cleanser
    model before and after, with and without makeup
    Peach & Lily / Ulta, Ulta

    Peach & Lily is an affordable Korean beauty-inspired skincare line founded by Alicia Yoon!

    Promising review: "This is the fourth cleansing oil I've tried out in search of my go-to. This one seems to be the winner! I love the consistency, not greasy and not too runny. There is hardly a smell at all, which I'm happy about, as the last one I tried had too strong of a smell. Takes my makeup off so well, easy to wash off, and doesn't linger. The packaging is so nice and cute, too, which is a bonus!" —Sydney

    Get it from Ulta for $32.

    Check out more K-beauty products that are ridiculously good at what they do.

    10. Juno & Co. Clean 10 Cleansing Balm made, by some grace of the skincare gods, with only 10 ingredients, including the star brightening ingredient, Japanese pearl barley.

    photo of Juno & Co. cleansing balm
    reviewer photo of showing clean skin and lashes

    Check out more viral TikTok beauty products that actually work!

    Promising review: "I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!!! I found it on TikTok, and OMG!! It works so well. I don't have to sit there and rub the crap out of my eyelashes to get the waterproof mascara off. I will admit, it doesn't take 100% of the makeup off, but about 95% of my makeup comes off. It is not water-resistant, as emulsifying it with water helps take the makeup off. I have not found a better makeup remover, and yes, that includes micellar water (which also works well but leaves my skin feeling oily). With this cleansing balm, my face feels hydrated and smooth. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!!!!! 1000/10 would recommend!!!" —Deetje Frederick

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99

    11. An unscented, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic 2-in-1 Aveeno foam cleanser and makeup remover formulated for the most super-sensitive of super-sensitive skin, and that reviewers say actually reduces redness!

    bottle of Aveeno calming cleanser + makeup remover
    reviewer holding bottle of Aveeno cleanser

    Promising reviews: "I've always had oily, acne-prone skin, and then menopause came along. Now, my face gets dry and flaky. I've had to figure out all new skincare products...substances I'd have NEVER previously put on my face. Aveeno calming cleanser is foamy, gentle, and has no perceptible scent. It makes my skin feel clean, and since I've been using it, I haven't had any more flakiness. It also seems to calm down rosacea redness." —Jenn Challis

    "I have very sensitive skin. Almost everything will either break me out or irritate my skin, even products geared toward those two issues. This face wash has been my go-to for 10 years and is all I'll ever need! It cleans without over drying and calms easily irritated skin. I wear a decent amount of makeup every day for work, and this works as a great makeup remover as well (even on eyes). Can’t recommend enough." —Olivia Parrott

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    12. A hydrating (and super affordable) e.l.f. cleansing balm containing hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides — like chugging a tall glass of water every time you use it.

    product image of the E.l.f. cleansing balm
    reviewer photo of the cleansing balm and spatula

    Promising review: "I've tried a lot of balms from high-end to drugstore, and this one is by far my favorite. It has a very light, almost not there scent. It does what it says, and it doesn't bother my sensitive eyes. With the price so affordable, and it's vegan and cruelty free, it's a win for everyone." —Amy B

    Get it from Amazon for $11.

    13. Lancome eye makeup remover that's been kicking around for a while now — IYKYK — but is a classic for a reason. This little number makes dissolving even the most waterproof mascara look supremely easy, and I personally swear by it.

    product image of the eye makeup remover with caption
    model before and after, eye makeup on and removed
    Lancome USA

    To use, shake the bottle to combine the oil and water phases, soak a cotton pad, and hold and press to your eye. Voila!

    I've been using a sample size of this stuff for an endless amount of years, and it's truly like magic. It dissolves even the most waterproof of mascara in a couple seconds with zero residue. 

    Promising review: "I have been a using it for over 18 years and have tried many other lookalike 'similar' products, both higher end and drugstore. Chanel, Clarins, Mary Kay, Almay, Neutrogena, etc. I always come back to bi-facils. I wear waterproof mascara only, and it takes a powerful remover to get it off. I never have to tug or rub with this product, unlike others. I also have the most sensitive skin around my eyes that reacts to everything. I currently have only one eye moisturizer that I can use due to allergic reactions. This stuff is like magic!" —Original

    Get it from Nordstrom for $32+ (available in three sizes).

    14. An oil-based cleansing balm making your nighttime routine a luxurious, spa-like affair, in addition to getting rid of all the gunk that accumulates in your pores throughout the day.

    image of pink cleansing balm on bed of red balls
    reviewer before and after with face full of makeup, and fully cleansed

    Promising review: "I got a sample-sized version of this balm from IPSY, and I absolutely loved it, so I bought a full-sized version from Amazon with the same great results. I’ve always hated removing makeup, as micellar water and other makeup remover liquids always leave residual product on my face, even after rubbing my skin raw with cotton rounds or wipes. They also tend to break me out. Not so with Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero balm! I just rub a little chunk of the balm into my skin, and it instantly melts into a creamy emulsion, dissolving any and all makeup with ease. After washing it off and following up with my regular face cleanser, there is not a hint of makeup residue to be found. It’s a game-changer, and everyone who wears makeup or gets their face dirty regularly should try it. Plus, I no longer have to waste cotton rounds on makeup removal, which is great for the environment!" —Janet

    Get it from Amazon for $17+ (also available in purifying, revitalizing, nourishing, and pore clarifying versions).

    15. A gentle Paula's Choice makeup remover you can use on your face as well as your eyes, because sometimes, you're at the end of a rather long evening and truly can't be bothered to undergo more than one step. 

    product image of the makeup remover
    reviewer photo of the makeup remover next to used cotton pad

    Promising review: "I've used a bunch of different waterproof makeup removers, and I always have to rub when to get all the mascara off, which usually burns a little and irritates my eyes. Paula's Choice is AMAZING! I use a cotton pad and just hold it on my eyes for 20-30 seconds, and it wipes away. Nice and smooth with zero burn. You MUST try this! Worth every cent!" —Jenn Mehrtens

    Get it from Amazon for $19.

    16. A makeup-removing cleanser so you can wash away the built-up pollutants, crusted up foundation, general skin gunk, and all the bad vibes of the day while treating your skin to a super nourishing treat. 

    model pumping cleansing oil into hand
    model washing face with cleansing oil
    Dermalogica

    Promising review: "Great product! Thanks to this, I can actually look forward to washing my face at night whenever I wear makeup. I treat it like my own personal spa time. I wash my hands first and then dry them, since I don't wanna rub oil with dirty fingers all over my face — just the thought of that stresses me out enough to break me out! After cleaning my hands, I massage the oil all around my face for a few minutes — and I really take my time massaging it, especially around my temples to calm down any tension that I've developed throughout the day. A little does the job, but I like to use a full pump because the makeup slides right off. Then, I moisten my hands and massage the milky emulsification off, and along with it goes any makeup, including any stubborn mascara or waterproof gel liner. I've tried other makeup removers in between but always go back to this one — if you take the extra minute or two to really massage it in, I promise it won't leave a single trace of any makeup behind!" —Mahpara

    Get it from Amazon for $13.50+ (starting at travel size).

    17. A makeup remover scientifically designed to maintain your skin's natural microbiome, and that's available in several versions, each one formulated specifically to help with a different skin problem.

    product image of the makeup remover for sensitive skin
    Gladskin

    Gladskin is a Dutch skin science brand that creates products that help with inflammatory skin issues like eczema and rosacea.

    This makeup remover is available in a normal version for sensitive skin, for eczema-prone skin, acne-prone skin, and rosacea-prone skin.

    Promising review: "This cleanser takes off even eye makeup, yet doesn’t leave you with oily skin. It is just refreshing. I use it morning and evening. Have not had any eczema breakouts since using Gladskin." —Marsha T.

    Get it from Gladskin for $20.

    18. A 3-in-1 cleansing stick (that's cleanser, makeup remover, and moisturizer) that condenses all the good stuff into one handy-dandy receptacle for a quick fix while you're on the go.

    woman using cleansing stick on her face
    GIF of woman using the cleansing stick on her face
    Alleyoop

    Alleyoop is a woman-owned small biz making products that aim to make your makeup routine more efficient and sustainable.

    Promising review: "I really love cleansing balms, and this cleansing stick comes in super clutch when I am on the go and I want to wash my face in under five minutes. This cleansing stick is SUPER easy to use and fun to apply to the skin. This cleansing stick has quickly become my favorite self-care product!" —Ashlee

    Get it from Alleyoop for $22.

    19. A Clinique makeup remover for lids, lashes, and lips that will beat up your matte lipstick, black eyeliner, and most waterproof mascara without even breaking a sweat.

    product image of the makeup remover next to dirty cotton ball
    Clinique

    Promising review: "I don't think there is anything this product can't remove. This remover is amazing. Takes barely any product, and it removes so much — without needing to rub hard! Plus, it doesn't irritate the eyes. You would think an oily feel would cause...I don't know...leaking of your eye product, but it doesn't. You put a little of the remover on a cotton pad, wipe, and bam! I highly recommend this. It is awesome." —jtlopez16

    Get it from Sephora for $13+ (available in two sizes).

    You, appreciating how well your makeup remover works just as Leslie Knope appreciates Ann:

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    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.