How to gently remove makeup, according to a dermatologist

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If you wear makeup, properly cleansing your face at the end of a long day is essential to maintaining healthy skin, but not all makeup removal practices work equally well. According to Lindsey Zubritzky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania, the last thing she wants to use is a makeup wipe.

“Makeup wipes are actually the worst thing you could use on your face,” says Dr. Zubritzky in a recent TikTok. “Not only are they bad for the environment, but they literally stain makeup and don’t clean your skin.” He also notices how red his skin gets from having to aggressively wipe his face.

@dermguru There are endless reasons why I despise #MakeupWipes #TikTokTaughtMe #TikTokPartner #MakeupRemoval #SkinTok #DermGuru ♬ Yep (Alcohol) – Joeboy

The correct way to remove makeup, she says, is much gentler.

1. Rinse with a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water

“I always, always, always recommend a double cleanse if you wear a lot of makeup, so you can use a cleansing oil or micellar water or a cleansing balm as a first step,” she says. “If you’re using a cleansing oil, you want to make sure you apply it to dry hands.” She likes to use Naturium Camellia Creamy Cleansing Oil ($20) to melt her makeup. Ella has a gel-to-oil formula that uses fermented camellia oil and extract plus linoleic-rich oils to gently dissolve makeup, oil, SPF, and more.

If you prefer to use micellar water, La Roche-Posay Micellar Cleansing Water ($17) is a great option. It’s made with microscopic oil molecules, called micelles, that are suspended in water and work to remove dirt and hydrate skin.

2. Finish with a gentle cleanser

Next, Dr. Zubritsky rinses out the cleansing oil and does her second wash with a super-gentle cleanser. “It doesn’t have to be anything crazy,” she says. She uses CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($17). It is a non-foaming mace wash made with hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin to leave your face clean and hydrated.

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These products are independently selected by our editors. Making a purchase through our links may generate a commission for Well+Good.

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