June 25, 2022
Last Updated on May 11, 2023 by Dominique de MerteuilHome » Vintage Beauty »
Top 10 makeup removers 2023.
Top 10 Makeup Removers for Dry & Sensitive Skin
- Pond’s Cold Cream
- Shu Uemura Botanicoil Indulging Cleansing Oil With Plant Extracts
- Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
- Eve Lom Cleanser
- Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil
- Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
- Dr Irena Eris Cleanology Face and Eye Make-up Removing Milk
- Avène Micellar Lotion Cleanser & Make-Up Remover
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
- Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
If you love makeup as much as I do, I never go outside without wearing red lipstick and mascara, and if you also want healthy-looking skin, you will appreciate this post and my top 10 makeup removers of all time.
The list of best makeup removers is mainly for skin like mine, dry, sensitive and prone to allergic reactions. Once, I even ended up in the hospital from using a natural leave-on beauty mask. Needless to say, I’m the perfect test subject for beauty products and in the words of Oscar Wilde,
I’m a man of simple tastes. I’m always satisfied with the best.
The Importance of a Makeup Remover
There are many crimes a woman can commit against her skin. The one that leaves the most damage is going to sleep without removing makeup. Dry skin, blackheads, premature ageing and the sudden appearance of spots and fine lines should be enough to scare any female into starting a rigorous daily beauty routine.
I have very capricious and demanding skin, and I have to be careful what I apply to it. I’ve learned over the years that it’s best to stick to what works, leaving experimentation to the teenagers. For my list of top 10 makeup removers, I chose products I’ve been using for a long time and can wholeheartedly recommend to all of you.
Heavy makeup, like the one I’m wearing in the pictures below, needs a heavy-duty makeup remover that is also gentle on the skin.
DISCLOSURE: I’m part of an affiliate program, and I get a small commission for purchases made through the links in this post. That’s how I keep my website alive, for which I’m very grateful to you. Shopping via my affiliate links comes at no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed here are mine. I only write about products that I love and wholeheartedly recommend!
A Comprehensive Review of My Favourite Makeup Removers
I’ve been using & testing various makeup removes for over 20 years. Some were a complete waste of money, and others, to my surprise & delight, turned out to be an unexpected hit.
Here is my honest review of the best makeup removers suitable for dry & sensitive skin.
Pond’s Cold Cream
Cold Cream, as we know it was invented in Rome by Galen, a physician druggiest, who belonged to the court of Marcus Aurelius.Armand.Cosmetics: Their Purpose and Proper Use.1935,p.6
A brief history of the Pond’s creams-one of the best makeup removers on a budget
- The pharmacist Theron T. Pond started Pond’s in 1846 by selling an all-purpose remedy product with hazel, later known as Pond’s Extract.
- It cured bruises, sunburn, wounds and whatnot. In the early 20th century, through prolific ad campaigns, Pond’s became synonymous with skin-care products.
- Pond’s Cold Cream and their Vanishing Cream were brilliantly promoted together under the slogan ‘Every skin needs two creams.’
- The first was to be used as a cleanser in the evening and the latter as a day cream.
- And even though the popularity of Pond’s products has declined over the years, there are still die-hard fans like myself who will stand by the effectiveness of Pond’s Cold Cream as a makeup remover.
I doubt that the formula is what it used to be 100 years ago, but who am I to judge, I have not been using it since its invention.
Pond’s Cold Cream is the most budget-friendly makeup remover on my list but that doesn’t mean that it’s not as good as its more pricey companions. It’s perfect for normal, dry and very dry skin, but might be too greasy for oily skin.
The reason why I don’t use Pond’s Cold Cream makeup remover all the time is that I no longer live in the US and the cream is not available in the EU.
Hollywood movie star Myrna Loy used the Woodbury cold cream to retain fresh and youthful skin.
‘To be lovier in Close-ups’ says Myrna Loy ‘try my Woodbury Beauty Nightcap
Shu Uemura Botanicoil Indulging Cleansing Oil With Plant Extracts
I’ve been using the Shu Uemura cleansing oils, I’m a huge Shu Uemura fan, for nearly 17 years, and they are on top of my list of the best cleanser and makeup removers. It was my No.1 choice when I lived in London, but sadly, Shu Uemura beauty products are no longer available in the EU. I solely rely on the mercy of friends travelling from the US to either London or Warsaw and bring me a suitcase filled with cosmetics I can’t buy in Europe.
The delicate Shu Uemura Botanicoil Indulging Cleansing Oil With Plant Extracts is perfect for normal and dry skin but for oily, I recommend the Shu Uemura POREfinist2 Sakura Refreshing Cleansing Oil.
The oil removes even the most stubborn makeup and leaves the face feeling fresh and moisturized, although cream is always recommended after the use of any makeup remover.
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water
The Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is my favourite makeup remover on the go.
Bioderma makeup remover is very gentle on the skin, and that makes it ideal for even the most sensitive skin type.
I love that Bioderma doesn’t require rinsing which makes it a great travel companion. All you need are a couple of makeup pads, and a mirror and you can change your makeup even in a taxi. I did that once.
The part where I had to remove the makeup went smoothly, but applying lipstick in a moving vehicle, did not go so well. One thing to note, if you have dry skin you will definitely need a good moisturizer after using Bioderma Sensibio.
Eve Lom Cleanser
The list of top 10 makeup removers wouldn’t be complete without Eve Lom.
It’s a deep cleanser, exfoliator and makeup remover that doesn’t dry the skin and removes even the most stubborn makeup, and waterproof mascara.
It’s a little bit different from the traditional makeup remover and you can’t rush if you want to do it right.
You massage your face with a specially woven Muslin Cloth that comes with the cleanser in order to properly exfoliate and improve circulation.
I love Eve Lom and use it when my skin needs that something extra that a regular makeup remover can’t provide.
Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil
There are very few Shiseido products left that I haven’t tested yet. I’ve been addicted to their creams for many years now. You might be interested in my Top 10 Shiseido Products.
Shiseido cosmetics are superb and Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil is no exception.
I love that it can be used on dry or wet skin, although I prefer to use it on dry skin.
Shiseido makeup remover gets rid of all makeup without stripping the skin or leaving a greasy filter, which is why it’s on my list of top 10 makeup removers.
Shiseido Facial Cotton
The Shiseido Facial Cotton pads are perfect for sensitive skin.
If you choose Eve Lom cleanser, you won’t need the Shiseido pads because it comes with a cloth. Otherwise, it’s a must-have product.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is the newest edition to my top 10 makeup removers list.
I’ve been “testing” Clinique’s Cleansing Balm for the past three months. And it ticks all the boxes of the perfect makeup remover.
- It’s suitable for all skin types, although I can only speak for my dry skin.
- It doesn’t cause any irritation to my sensitive, prone to allergic reaction skin.
- You don’t need to use much of the product to remove layers of makeup.
- It’s non-greasy and non-drying.
- This great makeup remover is gently priced in comparison to many other makeup removers.
Dr Irena Eris Cleanology Face and Eye Make-up Removing Milk
I’ve not been so excited about discovering a beauty brand in years! Dr Irena Eris is a Polish brand available in the EU. Sorry to all of my American readers, but I hope that the brand will start selling its amazing products soon in the US.
I’ve been using their creams and face masks for about eight months and my skin looks and feels amazing! If I was to compare Dr Irena Eris to another brand, it would be Shiseido.
The gentle Face and Eye Make-up Removing Milk contains shea butter and golden algae responsible for very soft and well-hydrated skin.
Avène Micellar Lotion Cleanser & Make-Up Remover
The perfect makeup remover for sensitive skin.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Avène brand but have you ever tested their Micellar Lotion Cleanser?
If your skin is hypersensitive and you are scared of experimenting with new products but are desperate to try a new-to-you makeup remover, Avène could be the perfect choice for you. I say, could be, because sensitive skin is difficult to please, and what’s right for me, might not be right for you.
The micellar lotion cleanser is very soothing and non-drying, even to the lips.
As I mentioned earlier, I wear red lipstick every single day, even when I work from home, so I need a cleanser that is gentle to the lips.
This product ticks all my boxes, same with Shiseido and Shu Uemura oils. For extra lip love, I recommend Kiehl’s Buttermask Lip Smoothing Treatment!
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
Another old-time favourite makeup remover that never disappoints. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser is suitable for all skin types.
It’s paraben as well as fragrance-free and contains my beloved avocado oil that acts as a moisturizer.
I’ve never had any bad reaction to any of Kiehl’s creams or cleansers and I always make sure that I don’t run out of the Buttermask Lip Smoothing Treatment as well as the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.
Always have those two products with me when I travel!
Do you have hooded eyes & love winged and cat-like eye makeup, but don’t need help with the eyeliner? If the answer is yes, then this post is definitely for you!
Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
I was sceptical at first about my friend’s excitement over the Drunk Elephant brand, and it took a bit of convincing on her part to get me to give them a try.
The reason for it is that I cringe every time I hear the terms; green, vegan, organic or 100% natural beauty products and if you wish to find out why read my cautionary tale below.
The Drunk Elephant brand is different in its approach to beauty products from many other brands on the market. I love their philosophy,
We never take into account wheter something is synthetic or natural, instead choosing ingredients based on biocompatibility.Drunk Elephant
The Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser takes everything off without stripping the skin.
I love the texture and the soothing effect. I’m thrilled to report that the product didn’t cause any irritation to my skin and left it feeling smooth and hydrated.
Also, you need very little product to remove a lot of makeup. Definitely money well spent because it will last you for a long time!
Caution: Natural & Organic Beauty Products are Not for Everyone
Every single time I publish an article about my favourite skin care or makeup products, someone asks if the recommended products are 100% natural or organic.
A few years ago, I learned the hard way that natural skin care products are not for everyone. A trip to the ER as a result of an extreme allergic reaction to a natural ingredient in my natural face mask cured me of wanting to try other natural beauty products again.
At least for a while. I don’t want to scare you with a picture of my swollen face that prevented me from opening my right eye for several hours, but believe me when I say that I would have been perfect as a monster in a 1980s horror film.
Yes, that’s me on a drip in the hospital.
Interestingly, when I posted about the unfortunate incident on Instagram, I received over 80 messages from women all over the world who had a similar experience with natural cosmetics.
The top 10 makeup removers I included in my list have not caused any allergic reaction to my sensitive skin.
As always, proceed with caution when trying a new beauty product, in particular a natural one, because you don’t know what you might be allergic to!
And if your skin falls in love with your discovery, stock up on it because you never know, same time next year your favourite brand might no longer be available in your country. Sigh.
Shop The Top 10 Makeup Removers!
Shu Uemura is known for the best cleansing oils on the market. Botanicoil Indulging Cleansing Oil with Plant Extracts is perfect for normal and dry skin, and the POREfenist2 Sakura Refreshing Cleansing Oil is great for oily skin.
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is suitable for normal, dry and oily skin. It doesn’t cause irritation, the product is non-greasy and non-drying. You don’t need to use much of the product to remove layers of makeup.
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SarahJune 25, 2022
Dominique, you always have the best recommendations. I’m sorry to hear about your allergic reaction to a natural beauty product. Funny how we are let to believe that if something is natural it automatically means that it’s good for us and as you demonstrated, it’s not always the case! I’m adding the Shu Uemura cleansing oil to the basket right now!
Dominique de MerteuilJune 25, 2022
Thank you for the lovely comment!
Yes, I think it’s important to talk about the potential danger of using natural and organic skincare products. Thankfully, I used it at home a week before my trip to Italy and not during the trip!