Time and time again, I am reminded of the No. 1 Makeup Rule in Life: always remove it before you sleep. But after a long day at the office, it’s all too easy to fall into bed with my face still on. I’ve been tempted so many times to skip the makeup cleansing process altogether—and I’m sure a lot of you are guilty of this, too!
Needless to say, a lazy girl like me is always on the lookout for the quickest yet most thorough way to get back to a bare face. I’m biased towards wipes, because they’re so accessible and easy to use. But I’m always open to the latest things on the market—especially the stuff that comes out of Korea and Japan. Those guys know their skincare.
This week, I decided to give 5 Asian makeup removers a try in hopes of finding The One. Using my favorite waterproof eyeliner, I aggressively drew swatches on my arm to test each product’s cleansing strength. I would use the winner to remove a faceful of thick makeup at the very end of this exercise!


1. King To The Kong No. 1 King’s Berry Cleansing Oil by Mizon
Origin: Korea.
Packaging: A clear pump bottle with an adorable gorilla graphic in the front. I like pump bottles because they dispense just the right amount of liquid. I don’t have to be afraid of pouring out too much cleanser and having it go to waste!
Scent: Very mild with a hint of sweetness.
Texture: Since it’s an oil cleanser, it was greasy on my skin—as expected!
Effectivity: It did a pretty good job of breaking down the makeup, but there was still a little residue left after a few wipes. If I had soaked another cotton pad in the oil and scrubbed a little more, I think the makeup would have been removed completely.
2. Clean It Zero Classic by Banila Co.
Origin: Korea.
Packaging: A classy-looking frosted glass tub. I like it a lot because it sits perfectly on a dresser.
Scent: Light and fruity.
Texture: Waxy and soft, similar to lip balm. I expected it to look like regular face cream so I was pleasantly surprised.
Effectiveness: One dollop of wax went a long way. I found that this removed makeup quite seamlessly!
3. Cleansing Oil Facial Cotton Sheets by Bioré
Origin: Japan.
Packaging: A pink plastic box. It was designed in such a way that it was very easy to pull out a wipe.
Scent: Clean and fresh!
Texture: Smooth, gentle, and soothing.
Effectiveness: A single wipe will remove all traces of light everyday makeup. If you’re fully made up, with waterproof eyeliner/mascara, you’ll probably need to use a second wipe.
4. Uru Uru 2-in-1 Cleanser Instant Foaming Wash by Bioré
Origin: Japan.
Packaging: Another pump bottle in a pretty light pink!
Scent: Like a bubble bath.
Texture: Foam! I love foam!
Effectiveness: Upon reading the back label of this bottle, I realized that this foam is not designed to remove waterproof or long-wearing cosmetics. Woops! It’s meant to wash away only light makeup. So if you’re wearing stubborn eyeliner or long-wearing lipstick, I wouldn’t use it alone. Instead, I would start with the wipes and then use the foam as the final step in my cleansing routine to thoroughly remove any leftover makeup.
5. Aroma Washable Cleansing Lotion by Lioele
Origin: Korea.
Packaging: A pink squeeze tube, similar to a toothpaste.
Scent: Very citrusy.
Texture: Super creamy. It felt effortless when I was slathering it over my skin.
Effectivity: Similar to Biore’s foam, I would use it to clean up remaining traces of makeup as opposed to making it my first course of action.


I would give the convenience award to Biore’s makeup wipes, while Banila Co.’s cleansing balm did the fastest job of getting all the gunk out! I think Mizon’s cleansing oil can serve as a more affordable alternative to very pricy designer bottles—you just have to be more patient than I am! As for Lioele’s washable lotion and Bioré’s foam, these would serve you well as the second step in a double-cleansing routine. They really do feel good on the skin.

Photos by Rosanna Aranaz