We all know the golden rule of skincare—never go to bed without removing your makeup. No matter how tired you feel! Turns out, makeup on your skin for long periods of time can clog your pores, cause breakouts, speed up the aging process, and pretty much mess with your complexion. That’s why makeup removers are a god-send for keeping your skin in check.

But surprise, surprise: not all makeup removers are made the same. And since there are so many kinds out there, we decided to put together a little cheat sheet so you can figure out what makeup remover is best for your skin or lifestyle. Whatever you decide, we’re positive these formulas won’t stand a chance against your makeup. Find all 7 different types to get familiar with, below!

BEST FOR: People who don’t have the time

Tempted to skip out on skincare for the night? You’re not alone. But before you give in (and regret it in the morning), give cleansing wipes a chance to save your skin. They’re straightforward, mess-free, and can rid you of makeup with minimum effort. Just choose your wipes wisely! Since these tend to be irritating to the eyes, go for gentler formulas that have soothing and moisturizing ingredients. They’re not exactly the best option for everyday use, but they are the best chance you’ve got when you’re too tamad to function.


BEST FOR: People with sensitive skin

Speaking of no-rinse makeup removers, here’s another favorite: micellar water. Though unlike cleansing wipes, this one’s a much better match for those with delicate skin. It’s lighter, more refreshing, and does all its cleansing without stripping away your natural oils—freeing your face from makeup and grime sans the stinging. (Thank the dirt-attracting micelles for that!) You’ll have to whip out some cotton pads in the process, but considering it’s a French beauty staple? We’d say it’s worth it.


BEST FOR: People who need a gentle but thorough cleanse

If double cleansing is more your thing, then cleansing balms make for the perfect first step. These oil-based formulas kickstart the whole routine because they easily break down makeup, remove dirt, and attract excess sebum to deeply cleanse the face. From the tub, it starts off with a pretty solid consistency, but once applied, this glides over dry skin like an oil—effortlessly removing everything from everyday makeup to waterproof mascara. What’s more, it does all this without feeling heavy, leaving behind oily residue, and drying out skin. Sign us up!


BEST FOR: People who have trouble removing waterproof makeup

But hold up—we’re not quite done diving into oil-based territory just yet. Cue in: cleansing oil. This OG is straight up made of rich, powerful oils meant to get rid of the most stubborn, heavy-duty makeup. Especially waterproof formulas! The only catch is, it’s incredibly greasy. While that means less friction on your face and leaving your natural oils right where they’re supposed to be, you’ll definitely need to follow up with a water-based cleanser straight away.


BEST FOR: People with dry, dehydrated skin

Before the skincare scene blew up, cold cream was a cult-fave when it came to dissolving hard to remove makeup. And while cleansing creams are much more underrated now, they remain to be an old reliable for people with extra parched skin. How so? It’s these thick, nourishing blends packed with oils. These work like a charm to soothe, moisturize, and lift away makeup from your face. Simply massage a dollop over dry skin and gently wipe it away with a soft, wet wash cloth. Seriously, it won’t be hard to notice the difference—no dry or tight feeling, just smoother, glowing skin.


BEST FOR: People who want a more eco-friendly alternative

Of course, if your main goal here is to cut down on waste, there’s always makeup removal cloths. These are pretty popular because they go big on the fact that you don’t need any chemicals, oils, or soap to dissolve the makeup on your face. (Yes, even resistant, waterproof formulas.) Apparently, all you need is this eco-friendly reusable cloth and water. Then you wipe your skin. Really, that’s it! The best part? You won’t have to keep buying a cleanser that runs out. Sounds like a dream come true!


BEST FOR: People with combination skin

Lightweight, dissolves waterproof makeup, and hydrates skin? This cleansing serum ticks all the boxes. Plus, it’s also safe for delicate areas of the face, like the eyes. Not bad for a new type of makeup remover! To activate the formula, you’ll have to wet the face first before massaging the gel over damp skin to loosen the makeup. Rinse with water and voila! Fresher, baby soft skin free from flakes and grease.

WHAT TO TRY: Biore Cleansing Serum, P490

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