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Makeup Removal: Are You Doing It Wrong? Tips for Skin-Friendly Makeup Removal

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Oct 31st 2023

Makeup Removal: Are You Doing It Wrong? Tips for Skin-Friendly Makeup Removal

A full face of makeup can make any of us feel like the picture of glam. You’re out on the town, looking like a million bucks with your closest friends or the love of your life. But then you get home, exhausted from painting the town red, and the thought of removing all that makeup isn’t exactly appealing.

Whether you’re donning that full face of glam or just your day-to-day makeup look, removing it properly is crucial for your skin’s health and your appearance…in the morning and further down the road. To make sure you’re laying a clean face on your pillow every night, follow these top tips.

Steer Clear of Scrubbing

I know, you want to get that makeup off as quickly as possible so you can go to bed, but vigorous scrubbing isn’t the answer. When you apply makeup remover, you should wipe it gently along your skin. For more stubborn makeup, you can hold the remover on the area for a few seconds before wiping and repeat as needed. But in any case, scrubbing with your makeup remover will irritate your skin and could contribute to wrinkles in the long term.

Choose Your Makeup Remover Wisely

Makeup remover might be one of the most inexpensive items in your skincare routine but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. There are different types of makeup removers for different skin types – for example, some are hydrating makeup removers so they’re optimal for dry skin while others are oil-free makeup removers so they’re best for oily skin.

Use Applicators That Stay Intact

Sorry to all of you finger-painters out there but makeup remover typically works best when it’s used with some type of applicator, not fingers. But not all applicators work as well as others. Cotton balls aren’t ideal because the cotton is often very loosely held together so they may leave bits of cotton behind.

So what are your best applicator options? Cotton pads work better than cotton balls. A soft washcloth can be an excellent choice too, and so can facial sponges.

Match Your Remover to Your Makeup

Your skin type isn’t the only thing you should take into account while you shop for a makeup remover. You need to think about the types of makeup you wear too, and for that, you might need a couple of different makeup removers.

For example, some makeup products are made to be resilient like waterproof mascara, waterproof eyeliner, and long-wear lipstick. For these products, your garden-variety makeup remover might not cut it. You might need a waterproof makeup remover for those areas.

But make sure you only use each makeup remover the way it is directed – don’t just buy what you need for the toughest makeup and use it everywhere. For example, if you use a specialized eye makeup remover for your eye area, use a gentler makeup remover for the rest of your face.

Always Follow Makeup Removal with a Cleanser

Makeup removers are all about clearing something off your skin, so your skin should be clean after you use them, right? Not exactly. Makeup removers are formulated strictly to remove makeup, not to remove the other debris and impurities that can clog your pores and hinder your skin health. Plus, some makeup removers leave behind a residue of their own. Make sure you always follow up your makeup remover with a cleanser and then continue with the rest of your skincare routine.

Use Makeup Wipes Sparingly

Makeup wipes are a tired rockstar’s best friend (or at least they seem that way). You can just have them by your bed to grab and de-glam when you plop down for the night. Unfortunately, they aren’t the best solution.

Like other makeup removers, makeup wipes often leave behind a residue, and if you just toss aside your makeup wipe and fall asleep, that residue has all night to potentially clog your pores or irritate your skin. They can also harbor bacteria if you keep them past their expiration date.

Makeup wipes can be a solution in a pinch, like when you’re traveling and can’t bring your usual makeup remover. And if you’re exhausted at the end of the night and a makeup wipe is all the skin care you can muster, they’re better than sleeping in your makeup. They shouldn’t become a habitual part of your routine, though.

Maintaining Beautiful Skin with and without Makeup

As much as makeup can be an asset to your look on a day-to-day basis, you don’t want to compromise the health and appearance of your skin in the process. The removal techniques above can help you make sure you’re using and removing your makeup safely so you can look amazing with makeup or without it.