The Best Facial Cleansers and Makeup Removers

I have tried a lot of different facial cleansers and makeup removers over the years. But none of them compare to these products. I’m rounding up eight of my favorite facial cleansers and sharing how, why and when I use each one.

The Makeup Removers

IT COSMETICS CONFIDENCE IN A CLEANSER // Holy clean! This face wash is unbelievable. The first time I used it I literally did a double take in the mirror and actually said “wow” out loud. I was clearly impressed and it quickly became a skincare staple for me. I wear a lot of mascara – two to three layers of two different mascaras. Daily. So I need a strong makeup remover to wash all this eye makeup off. This is the first cleanser I’ve used that gets every single trace of mascara off without leaving me with raccoon eyes. Trust me when I say this is the best facial wash I have ever used.

BIODERMA MICELLAR WATER // Because I wash my hair about once a week, I rely on this product to remove makeup without risking getting my hair wet. There are a lot of micellar water makeup removers out there, but the Bioderma Sensibio H2O is my favorite. It’s also the first french pharmacy beauty product I ever tried! It’s a cult favorite in the fashion and makeup world and for good reason. This product soothes, refreshes and moisturizes all while removing even the most stubborn eye makeup. It’s also formulated without fragrance, alcohol, or parabens. I use this daily with these cotton pads – organic, unbleached and never leaves cotton fuzz on your face!

IT COSMETICS BYE BYE MAKEUP // This 3-in-1 makeup melting cleansing balm is a really cool product. It’s a facial cleanser, makeup remover, and anti-aging serum all in one. I love using products that not only work well but also have added benefits and this is definitely one of those products. The formula is infused with deep-cleansing extracts and botanicals to remove all traces of makeup and dirt without irritating your skin. The formula also contains their skin softening serum concentrate, collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, and antioxidants. So this makeup remover is PACKED with goodness. It requires a little work to remove waterproof mascara but does a great job removing everyday makeup without any major pulling and tugging of the eyes.

DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL // When it comes to cleansing oils, this Japanese beauty deep cleansing oil is one of the best I’ve tried. For those with oily skin, don’t shy away from this cleanser. The oil formula has more benefits for oilier skin types than you’d think. It’s made with an antioxidant-rich olive oil so it nourishes your skin leaving it soft and never greasy. And it’s pretty damn good at getting off every last bit of makeup. If using waterproof mascara, it does take a little scrubbing to get all the product off and will sometimes leave you with raccoon eyes, but it’s so nourishing I like using it anyway and then removing any last traces of eye makeup with micellar water. This cleansing oil is so good, according to DHC there is actually one sold every 10 seconds worldwide!

The Facial Cleansers

GLOSSIER MILKY JELLY CLEANSER // This is such a great cleanser. At first, I gave in to the hype of the Milky Jelly Cleanser because come on, it’s Glossier. But I was pleasantly surprised after the first use. It’s surprisingly gentle on the skin – and the eyes (made with the same cleaning agents in contact lens solution)! It has a pH-balanced, creamy gel formula made with a blend of five skin conditioners leaving you with healthy and soft skin. And it’s true! It delivers everything it promises – except for makeup removal. This works great when used on dry skin to remove face makeup, but when it comes to heavy mascara and liner, I find it leaves a black mess. So I leave this cleanser for light or no makeup days. And I’ve been using it pretty frequently! I just love the way it makes my skin feel. You can also hear more about my thoughts on this cleanser here.

KOH GEN DO CLEANSING SPA WATER // I was introduced to this cult-favorite cleanser recently and I have fallen in love with it. It works great for removing any traces of leftover makeup, dirt, and impurities from the day. I actually prefer this on my skin over the micellar water but it doesn’t do as good of a job at removing eye makeup. But if you’re someone who suffers from redness or sensitive skin, I would highly recommend giving this product a try. It’s Koh Gen Do‘s best selling product and coveted by makeup artists around the world. The spa water is infused with mineral-rich hot spring water and six essential herbs that protect and nurture the skin. I apply the cleanser with the same cotton pads I use with micellar water every morning when I wake up to remove any dirt, sweat or impurities from sleeping. You’d be surprised what’s on your face when you wake up in the morning!

BOSCIA DETOXIFYING BLACK CLEANSER // I save this Detoxifying Black Cleanser for problematic days when I have skin issues like texture, large pores, dullness or oiliness. It is packed full of activated charcoal known to minimize the appearance of pores, remove excess oil, treat acne, soothe skin irritations – it literally sucks out impurities from your skin. It’s the ultimate detoxifier. The cleanser actually warms skin on contact which opens the pores to lift away dirt and oil and helps combat acne and blemishes. Truly a game changer for skin issues.

BAREMINERALS CLAY CHAMELEON CLEANSER // This skin transforming purifying cleanser uses Brazilian red clay, mineral-rich sea salts, papaya and bamboo extracts to remove impurities and gently detoxify without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It leaves your skin feeling soft, supple and helps with oiliness and breakouts. It also smells incredible thanks to bergamot and mandarin. This product is technically a cleanser (perfect for weekend mornings) but I also prefer to leave it on for about 10 minutes as a mask. I love that it doesn’t dry out my skin!

What are your favorite facial cleansers? Have you tried any of these products before? Let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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