1. Break Down Your Makeup with Cleanser
Your daily cleanser should be sufficient to take off foundation and blush. “Massage the cleanser over your face and let it sit for 15 seconds, and don’t forget your hairline, under your chin, and around your ears. Then wipe with a wet, white cotton washcloth, so you can really see that all the makeup is gone. If your foundation is long- wearing or you use a face brush, you can go over your face with remover first,” says Verel. Keep gently scrubbing until no more foundation or blush comes off on the washcloth.
2. Always Be Gentle with Your Skin
“The process of taking off your makeup should be gentle and should never leave your skin dehydrated or irritated,” says Mercier. “I like to use a cleansing oil, which won’t dry out your face. Using your fingers, swipe a small amount of oil across your lids, eyebrows, and lips, and then lightly massage it all over your face. This will soften your skin and loosen the makeup, so you don’t have to rub like crazy. Then take a flat, square cotton pad — I like these better than the balls, which can be rough — and pour a little cleansing oil on it. Go over the same spots again, being careful not to scrub back and forth. Just skim the surface in one direction to pull up the color.”
3. Take Advantage of Steam Heat
You can also steam your face before washing. Fill up your sink or a bowl with hot water and hover your face over it for a minute or two. The steam will loosen up your pores and make it easier for the cleaner to penetrate the skin deeper to remove makeup and debris. This might have the extra time to steam your skin, but it’s a good occasional option. You can even add a drop of lavender essential oil for extra soothing, spa vibes.
4. Give your Eyes Extra Attention
Mascara and liner are the hardest to get off, but you don’t want to scrub — the skin around the eyes is sensitive. Cotton balls leave fibers behind, so use a cotton pad and either an oil-based (for waterproof products) or dual-phase (for everything else) remover specifically for the eyes. Pre-soaked pads are fine. (Verel recommends pre-moistened Ocusoft and Systane pads.) Close your eyes and hold them over your lids and lashes for about ten seconds to give the remover time to dissolve the product before wiping.
“When you wear waterproof mascara, swap the cleansing oil for a waterproof-eye-makeup remover. Otherwise, you’ll have to rub so hard to loosen the color that your lashes will break. Soak a pad with remover, press down softly on the lashes for a few seconds so the formula soaks in, and then slowly move the pad across the eyes.
5. Get Rid of Any Excess Oil
After you’ve removed your eye makeup, take another pass with a dry cotton pad to make sure you get off any last bits of product and the excess makeup remover, too. This final pass will prevent mascara circles in the morning and improve your makeup application the next day. No one likes to wake up with raccoon eyes.
6. Use an Oil-Based Makeup Remover to Remove Long-Wearing Lipstick
A cotton pad soaked in liquid or cream makeup remover should take off most lipsticks. You need an oily formula only if the lipstick is long-wearing or intensely pigmented, however.
7. Avoid Baby Wipes
“I cringe when I see women using baby wipes to remove their makeup. Those do not get the job done, and when I tell women this, they say, “But baby skin is so sensitive, this must be good for my face.” Well, a baby’s butt isn’t covered in makeup that requires special ingredients for proper removal,” says Mercier.
What to Do After Cleansing Your Skin and Removing Makeup
Now that you’ve gently removed your makeup and cleansed your skin, you can follow up with any toner, moisturizer, or serums you like to use. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll be ready to take on the day with squeaky clean skin. All your hard work the night before will pay off when you can jump straight to your sunscreen and day serums, rather than having to start by washing off last night’s makeup.
That’s right — you don’t necessarily have to wash your face in the morning if you washed it the night before. Your skin is already clean at this point, and if you suffer from dry skin, washing it the morning can actually further strip the skin of moisture. You do need to always wash in the morning, however, are people with oily skin. People with oily skin should wash again in the morning to remove oil buildup from the night before
But whatever your skin type, washing at night is a must-do. Commit tips on how to remove makeup to memory and implement them into your daily routine. We’ll all have nights we forget, but hopefully removing our makeup at night is the exception, not the rule!