Sometimes no matter how thoroughly you scrub and lather up, it seems like you just can't get all your makeup off. We've been there. Despite our best efforts, we're left wondering how to remove makeup completely. We talked to dermatologists and makeup artists to get their best tips for getting every last bit of makeup off our skin. Read on for seven pro tips to help you get a perfectly bare, makeup-free face.
1. Take Your Time
When it comes to removing eye makeup in particular, the slower you go, the better. "Let the technology do the work," says dermatologist Hirsh. "Apply makeup remover and let it sit, and sit some more. Give it a couple minutes, say while you brush and floss." This will soften mascara, liner, and shadow so it slips off easily and thoroughly once you finally wipe. "If you do this, you won’t find smudges under your eyes in the morning anymore," Hirsch says. Giving remover time to work its magic also prevents you from having to rub/scrub with your makeup-remover pad.
2. Soap and Water Works Better than Makeup Wipes
Deep down you already knew makeup wipes sounded too good to be true, right? Wipes can be an excellent initial step in removing makeup—in fact, they're best way to remove makeup before cleansing. But a proper sink session should ideally follow. "Many of us make the mistake of just using wipes and going to bed, but the makeup really is not all off—you still have to wash your face ladies," says makeup artist Red, telling us what we don't want to hear. "Using water and face wash is what's really going to remove residue and prep your skin for a good night regimen. If you use only wipes and then apply moisturizer, you might push dirt into your pores and wake up with pimples or blackheads."
3. Use a Cleanser Made to Remove Makeup
I know what some of you are thinking—no way applying an oil-based product will leave your face cleaner. But the new oil cleansers really can work miracles. "A lot of people don't know that oil dissolves oil."
4. Make Sure to Cleanse the Edges of Your Eyelid
If there's one zone that's frequently neglected during makeup removal, it's the elusive edge of your eyelid, where liner and mascara can build up over time—and lead to eye irritation. Especially if you tight-line your eyes with waterproof liquid, you might need to get in there with a more targeted tool and make sure every last speck is gone.
They break everything down so you don't have to scrub, which results in lashes breaking off and falling out. Speaking of lashes falling out, you also should never tug stubborn mascara chunks off with your fingers—but we suspect we didn't really need to tell you that. To coax clumps off without doing harm, make sure you give your remover enough time to penetrate (recall tip #1), and then press down gently with a flat cotton pad, moving slowly in the direction your lashes grow, to slide the mascara off.
5. Push Your Hair Back and Cleanse Your Hairline
We totally get it: When it's past midnight and your pillow beckons, even an easy step like throwing your hair into a pony can feel like too much effort. But not doing so means you're likely stopping a couple inches short of your hairline when washing your face. "People often accumulate makeup residue around their hairline, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts." Take the two seconds to tie it back. Get all the hair off your face is key to how to remove foundation from faces
6. Flat Cotton Pads are Better than Cotton Balls
"Cotton balls can leave behind residue or break down during usage and leave fibers on your lashes or skin." That can lead to irritation at a time when you're trying to detox and soothe. Always opt for flat cotton pads instead of balls, ideally with a quilted texture. Basic drugstore pads work pretty well.
7. Always Follow Up Makeup Removal with Moisture
Even if you don't have dry skin, makeup removal should always be followed up with at least some targeted moisture. Hydrate it up! Those lips if you've just removed lipstick, and dab on eye cream. "Removing makeup can dry out the eye area, which is the most sensitive skin on your face!" "You need to keep it soft and hydrated."