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​15 Best Non-Irritating Makeup Removers For Every Skin Type, Per Dermatologists

They're non-irritating, too!

Best makeup remover for your skin
Getty Images

I know this may be an unpopular opinion (don't @ me), but I actually love taking off my makeup. I know, I know. But, hear me out. Not only is it amazing to wake up to clear skin free of raccoon eyes, but I honestly enjoy the physical process of seeing and feeling makeup melt off my face, prepping my skin for the plethora of serums, moisturizers, and oils I plan on layering on top.

As both a skincare product hoarder and someone with dry skin, I'm really picky about what I choose to put on my skin, but I'm especially picky with cleansers, because they can be particularly drying. "A good makeup remover effectively dissolves water and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural, protectant oils," says dermatologist Dr. Elyse Love, MD. "Avoid products that leave the skin feeling stripped, irritated, red, or tight."

Get a sneak peek at some of the best makeup removers:

And, dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD agrees that when looking for a good makeup remover, it's integral for it to be non-irritating. But, how do you actually go about finding a makeup remover that effectively removes makeup, but not your skin's natural oils? Engelman says to start by reading ingredients labels. "Avoid chemicals like added fragrances, parabens, formaldehyde releasers, as these can irritate the skin," she says. "Makeup should come off easily and comfortably using the right remover. You shouldn't have to scrub too hard. If you do, get a new one!"

Dermatologist Dr. Anar Mikailov, MD also emphasizes the importance of reading ingredients labels when you're looking for a good makeup remover, advising that people stay away from alcohol, because it can be drying, as well as added dyes or fragrances because they can be irritating. TLDR? "If your skin is bright red or stings after using the remover, move on to another," says Mikailov.

But, there's just one last box to tick off your perfect makeup remover. Dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara, MD says that's important not to choose anything that has a gritty consistency or exfoliant, since that can disrupt the skin's barrier health.

No matter your skin type, whether you're oily, acne-prone, sensitive, or even have eczema, see below for 15 dermatologist-recommended makeup removers that meet every one of those qualifications above. Who knows? Maybe with the right one you might actually starting looking forward to removing your makeup (or, at least not hating it).

1. La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water

          Best Overall
          Micellar Cleansing Water
          La Roche-Posay amazon.com

          Gohara raves about how great this micellar water is. "I also love that it's gentle and feels refreshing. It can even tackle gliding off the biggest makeup molecules," she says. Here's looking at those of you who love waterproof mascara (same, tbh).

          2. Bioderma Sébium Foaming Gel

          Best For Oily Skin
          Sébium Foaming Gel
          Bioderma amazon.com

          For her clients with oily skin, Gohara recommends Bioderma's foaming cleanser. For just $9 and the fact that it has thousands of five-star reviews, I'd say you can't really go wrong with giving it a shot.

          3. Dove Beauty Bar

          Best Budget Buy
          Beauty Bar
          Dove amazon.com

          An oldy but a goody, Gohara loves recommending Dove's beauty bar. "It deposits moisture into the skin as it cleanses and removes makeup," she says. For a whopping 14 bars at just $15, it's a total bargain. But, if you don't want to end up with a whole stash, feel free to grab just one bar here.

          4. Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

          Best Gentle Formula
          Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil
          Biossance amazon.com

          As a personal fan of Biossance as a brand, I love that Mikailov recommended this. "It's very gentle, dissolves long-wear makeup, and rinses off cleanly so there’s no makeup residue left,". I can fully attest to it doing all of that without any stinging or irritation.

          5. Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm

          Best For Waterproof Makeup
          Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm
          Glow Recipe amazon.com

          You've seen Glow Recipe's Watermelon Glow Face Mask all over TikTok (and yes, it's fully worth the hype), and according to Mikailov, the brand's cleansing balm is an all-star product, too. "It dissolves stubborn makeup including waterproof mascara, emulsifies easily with water, and rinses cleanly without leaving any waxy feeling behind," he says. "The papaya enzymes in it act as gentle exfoliant as you massage it on your skin."

          6. Farmacy Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

          Best For Dry Skin
          Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm
          Farmacy amazon.com

          My personal favorite to use on my dry skin, I may or may not have three backups of this makeup remover in my stash...just in case. It easily removes thick layers of foundation and waterproof mascara without making my skin feel sensitive. Engelman is a fan, too. "I love Farmacy's cleansing balm—it’s a clean formula that gently yet effectively removes stubborn makeup," she says. The benefits don't stop there. She says the turmeric extract and papaya enzymes even help brighten and even out the skin at the same time."

          7. Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Cleanser

          Best Makeup-Removing Milk
          Vegan Milk Cleanser
          Milk Makeup sephora.com

          Engelman repeatedly touts the benefits of a milk makeup remover for those with sensitive and dry skin, and even to her patients with eczema because milk formulas are extra gentle on the skin. This (vegan) milk formula by cruelty-free brand Milk features ultra nourishing ingredients, too, like argan and squalane.

          8. Eau Thermale Avène Micellar Lotion Cleansing Water

          Best For Acne Prone Skin
          Micellar Lotion Cleansing Water
          Eau Thermale Avène amazon.com

          Nearly every one of the dermatologists I asked emphasized the importance of using a micellar water cleanser if you have acne-prone skin, and Love's a huge fan of this one from French-loved brand Avène. Plus, this one even works on the whole body so it's a great item to keep in your shower if you like to take your makeup off in there after a long day (just me?).

          9. Klorane Micellar Water With Cornflower

          Best Oil-Free Formula
          Micellar Water With Cornflower
          Klorane amazon.com

          By now, you likely know that oils are good for the skin, but I don't blame you if you still feel a bit weird about putting them on your face. While a lot of makeup removers do utilize oils, Mikailov notes this micellar water as a great option that traps dirty and oil while removing makeup. Bonus: He loves the natural fragrance from the cornflower water-infused formula.

          10. Hanskin BHA Pore Cleansing Balm

          Best Deep-Cleaning Formula
          BHA Pore Cleansing Balm
          Hanskin amazon.com

          Another one of Mikailov's faves for acne-prone skin, this one's great for those of you who like a really deep clean. Plus, it contains both beta hydroxy and salicylic acid, both exfoliating ingredients that are great for treating blackheads. Despite those more active ingredients, Mikailov says you won't have to worry about it causing any irritation. "This also has skin-balancing ingredients like jojoba oil, so it doesn’t irritate already irritated skin."

          11. Vaseline Pure Original Petroleum Jelly

          Best For Eye Makeup
          Pure Original Petroleum Jelly
          Vaseline amazon.com

          Chances are, you may already have this one at home on your night stand, but if you're anything like me, you never thought to use it as a makeup remover. "I love Vaseline for eye makeup as it's hydrating, non-irritating, and especially effective at helping eye makeup come off." This one's a great solution if you don't wear much face makeup, and just prefer a bit of mascara or eyeliner for your everyday look.

          12. Avene XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil

          Best For Eczema
          XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil
          Avene dermstore.com

          Everyone deserves to be picky about what they're putting on their face, but if you have eczema, you know it's integral. "While this is designed for the whole body, it’s quite effective at removing makeup," says Mikailov. "It’s formulated with Aquaphilus dolomiae extract, an ingredient with that helps improve eczema, as well as other soothing ingredients."

          13. Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

          Best For Sensitive Skin
          Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover
          Cetaphil amazon.com

          If you've spent any time on TikTok or know anything about skincare, you recognize this product, or at least Cetaphil as a brand loved by those of you with sensitive skin. Plus, it has Mikailov's stamp of approval. "Designed for sensitive skin, it’s formulated with gentle, soothing ingredients like cucumber extract, aloe vera, and green tea," he says.

          14. Ranavat Luminous Ceremony Cream Cleanser

          Best Luxury Buy
          Luminous Ceremony Cream Cleanser
          Ranavat sephora.com

          Engelman loves a makeup remover that features botanical oils, because they're super hydrating. When it comes to botanical-packed formulas, it doesn't really get much better than Ranavat's line of luxury, Indian royalty-inspired skincare. I use the extremely gentle sesame and rose oil-infused cleanser when I really want to indulge and make my skincare routine a whole self-care sesh.

          15. First Aid Beauty 2-in-1 Face Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

          Best Two-In-One Formula
          2-in-1 Face Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover
          First Aid Beauty amazon.com

          Love raves about this two-in-one cleansing oil and makeup remover from First Aid Beauty. "It's a great option because it starts as an oil cleanser to bind and breakup makeup, but it then converts to a foam cleanser to remove makeup, dirt, and debris effectively from the skin," she says. "It also contains good for the skin ingredients like hydrating glycerin and calming colloidal oatmeal." Besides being a great find for those of you with a more minimalist skincare routine (or who love to travel!), Love also recommends it to her patients with dry, sensitive, and eczematous skin.

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