Sleeping with your makeup on is perhaps the most felonious beauty crime someone can commit, but it's not entirely unheard of, even in this modern age. It's especially heinous if you're on the perpetual pursuit of perfect skin. Even though more and more makeup brands are launching impressive formulas touted to last a full 24 hours with budge-proof stamina, that doesn't necessarily mean you should actually try it. I can count on one hand the number of times I've worn my makeup for 24 hours, and, I mean, I'd like to keep it that way.
At both WWW HQ in Los Angeles and London, we're accepting of our given skin profile, but there's always a little desire for our pores to look that tiny bit more minute, our skin to be little smidgen clear and our complexions to be as humanly glowy and healthy as possible. Not surprisingly, how we take our makeup off and the specific formulas we use play a major role.
Because we're obsessed with our skin looking it's very best au naturel, we're sharing the 11 makeup remover formulas we swear by. These are the cloths, milks and waters we depend on to banish every last trace of our makeup (even long-lasting waterproof formulas) with little to no effort. Curious to see which makeup removers are always stowed inside our bathroom cabinets and on our dressing tables? Keep scrolling!
"I tend to stick to oil-based makeup removers as they always work wonders for my skin. bareMinerals' cleansing oil turns into an emulsion when wet and then removes everything in one go. It's worth noting that I do then use another facewash after using an oil-based makeup remover."
"One of the more affordable cleansing oils I like is this one by Japanese brand DHC. It works just as well as the more expensive brands and has never failed me when I need to get rid of every scrap of makeup."
As a beauty editor, I know cleansing cloths and makeup remover wipes are seen as the "lesser" option compared to oils, micellar water and milks, but honestly, I just can't quit them. As long as I'm gentle around my eye area and follow up with my weight in eye cream, I feel like it's fine?
If I had to choose, these Ole Henriksen ones are my favourite. They're fast, mess-free and efficient and an essential part of my evening skincare routine if I've worn makeup that day. I've tried some truly horrific wipes in my day that are either A) irritating and harsh or B) completely worthless at actually removing makeup, but I've been obsessed with these ultra-gentle cloths since discovering them in the aisles of Sephora back in college. In addition to removing every last stitch of makeup (and quickly), they actually leave my skin insanely hydrated and glowy thanks to key ingredients such as borage seed oil and a nutrient-packed blend of vitamins C and E plus provitamin B5. These will be your best bet on those inevitable nights when you get home way past your bedtime and need a skin fix fast.
These iconic cleansing cloths from Koh Gen Do come in at a *very* close second for me. Sure, they're an investment at about a dollar per cloth, but they basically transform your makeup removal routine into a Japanese spa ritual from the comfort of your bathroom (a situation I'm definitely not mad at). Each cloth is strategically soaked with a mineral-rich concoction of rosemary, sage, lavender, artemsia princeps leaf, ginger root and andperilla ocymoides, which work in tandem to cleanse, nourish and protect the skin. You know the phrase "It's the little things in life"? Yeah, these epitomise that.
Capping your spending at £5? Look no further than these £3 nurturing makeup remover cloths from British skincare brand Simple. One of the few products I routinely pick up—especially if I'm traveling and forgot makeup remover—I can always count on the über-gentle blend of vitamin B5 and vitamin E to remove my makeup with little to no effort or mess. Oh, and my fabulous 71-year-old mom is also a fan.
Like I said up top, when it comes to makeup remover, I definitely gravitate toward wipes just because of how efficient, fast and mess-free they are. However, I do make exceptions for a few fabulous formulas, which I'll shed light on here. First up: this French potion from Collosol.
Usually, anything described as milky is pretty much the last thing I want to put on my face, but this stuff is amazing. That's not too surprising considering it was first conceived in a Parisian pharmacy back in the '50s. Famous French actresses who were looking for an amazing makeup remover would use it regularly, so a pharmacist concocted this unique milk-water hybrid to satisfy customers' demand while abiding by pillars of ancient beauty ritual. To this day, the formula is still covetable both in the UK and across the pond (for those in the know) and is gentle enough to keep skin soothed and happy but effective enough to banish oil, makeup and other environmental debris in one fell swoop.
Just as I adore Koh Gen Do's iconic makeup wipes (see above!), I'm also into its just-as-iconic cleasning spa water, and I keep a big, pumpable jug (with the below pure cotton cloths) on my bathroom vanity at all times. In all honesty, I don't usually use the water alone (when I wear makeup, it's full-coverage), but I will use this soothing elixir as a second security step post–wipe-down to make sure my skin is 100% clean, soothed and happy before I start in on the rest of my evening skincare routine. It has the same botanical composition as the wipes and, unlike a lot of liquid makeup removers I've tried, never leaves my complexion feeling oily, tacky or riddled with annoying residue.
"I like to go in with micellar water after the milk cleanser to get any stubborn makeup or product off. I'll completely soak a cotton pad in this stuff and go to town. I pay extra attention to my hairline and the areas around my eyes and eyelashes."
"It's a bit of a running joke in the office how much of an Elemis addict I am but this is my ultimate desert island product. It is gentle enough for my sensitive skin, but is rich enough to make it feel like a real treat to my skin. It melts off makeup and I often just use this and no other product to take off all the makeup on my face."
"I personally really like a milk makeup remover because it feels simple and kind on my skin, and is perfect for those days when you would rather just fall asleep without taking off your makeup…"
"Of all of the makeup removers I've used, Bioderma's micellar water is the one I rely on most. I've been using it for a decade at this point, and it's always my go-to product to gently take off my makeup. Plus, it requires just a cotton pad and no water, so it's perfect for travel."
"I'm obsessed with any micellar water, but when I'm wearing stubborn waterproof mascara it just doesn't cut it. Enter Glossier's Milky Oil. This lightweight cleanser combines my beloved micellar water with a weightless oil to dissolve away every single trace of my makeup. It also contains Pro-Vitamin B5 so you feel like a silky smooth angel post use."
Up next: The over-40 women we follow for great skin tips.