12 Best Makeup Removers for Sensitive Skin: 2018 Reviews & Guide

Updated 5 years ago

When you have sensitive skin, makeup removal can be a tricky proposition. It’s essential to cleanse your face well without drying it out in the process. And if you use waterproof or long-wearing makeup, cleanup gets even harder.

To assist you in your nightly chore, we’ve chosen the ten best makeup removers for sensitive skin. We hope our reviews will help you discover the ideal products to clean mascara, foundation, and more without clogging pores or causing irritation.

Here are a few tips to get you started. First, you may need an oil-based remover followed by a face wash to clear away waterproof makeup. Second, you don’t need lather to get the job done. And third, makeup remover wipes are handy for travel and cleanup on the go, but not ideal for everyday use.

Top Makeup Removers for Sensitive Skin

Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

If your skin reddens and dries out easily, try the Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover to solve the problem. To begin, it doesn’t contain a fragrance or oils so that it won’t clog up pores. Instead, it has skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera and green tea. And it can dissolve stubborn waterproof mascara in seconds and cleanse your whole face without scrubbing.

Dermatologists and ophthalmologists tested Cetaphil’s remover to ensure that it won’t irritate eyes or dry out skin. Once you’ve wiped away the day, just rinse with water and moisturize as usual.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water for Waterproof Makeup

Micellar water is all the rage, and for a very good reason. It’s safe and gentle for the most sensitive skin, yet it dissolves long-wearing makeup in seconds. Just put Garnier’s SkinActive Cleansing Water on a cotton pad, let it work for a few moments on your skin, then wipe.

The formula has no parabens, sulfates, fragrance, or silicone. But its cleansing molecules attract dirt and oil so you can lift them away from your skin. Micellar water leaves your face soft without the need to rinse, so it’s ideal for travel and touch-ups during the day.

Klorane Floral Water Make-Up Remover With Soothing Cornflower

If you dislike dealing with multiple steps to cleanse your face, try Klorane´s Floral Water Makeup Remover. It’s a makeup remover, cleanser, and toner all in one. Its key ingredient is cornflower that does a gentle deep clean of your skin.

Klorane’s products are typically formulated with botanical ingredients, and this one is no exception. It’s labeled as hypoallergenic because it’s free of dyes and fragrances, parabens, and alcohols.

La Roche-Posay Respectissime Face & Eye Makeup Remover

The La Roche-Posay Respectissime Face and Eye Makeup Remover combines mild oils with a water-based cleanser. Together, these components dissolve and clean away waterproof makeup without the need for scrubbing. In fact, the same cleansing ingredient, Poloxamer, often appears in contact lens solutions because it’s safe for eyes.

There are no fragrances or parabens, and no need to rinse. Just apply the liquid to a cotton pad and wipe away makeup.

Smashbox It's a Wrap Waterproof Makeup Remover

Smashbox makes long-wearing makeup, so it’s only fair that they’ve created a waterproof makeup remover too. Their “It’s a Wrap” formula is safe to use on your eyes, your lips, and all over your face. Put it on a cotton pad, wipe away the makeup, and then rinse with warm water.

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing And Makeup Remover

No review of products for sensitive skin would be complete without including Neutrogena. They are one of the top manufacturers on the market. Their Naturals Fresh Makeup Remover is a one-step cleanser that dissolves makeup and cleans skin, then you don’t need to follow up with a face wash.

Neutrogena points out that you won’t find sulfates, petroleum, dyes, parabens, or phthalates in the formula. Instead, it’s based on the Peruvian Tara seed. This natural ingredient moisturizes and nourishes skin with vitamins B, and C, as well as complex sugars.

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover

If you find it difficult to clean off waterproof mascara completely, try Neutrogena’s Ultra Light Makeup Remover. It contains mineral oil and a lathering ingredient, both of which could irritate very sensitive skin. On the other hand, it’s been tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists and found to be non--comedogenic.

If this product seems like it may solve your problem, test it on a small spot of skin and wait a day to see how you react. And remember to rinse with warm water once you’re done cleansing.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil isn’t for everyone. If you tend to react badly to oil on your skin, avoid this makeup remover. But if you find that ordinary cleansers aren’t getting the job done, this might be the solution.

The formula is based on olive oil and rosemary. The concept is that it rapidly dissolves the toughest makeup while it nourishes your face. Then once you add water, it turns into a moisturizing emulsion that rinses away clean.

L'Oréal Paris Clean Artiste Eye Makeup Remover, Sensitive Eyes

If you go light on foundation and heavy on mascara or eyeliner, you may not want to cleanse your whole face with the makeup remover. Instead, try L’Oreal’s Clean Artiste for Sensitive Eyes. It breaks down waterproof and long-wearing products in preparation for you to use your nightly cleanser. Customers have commented how pleased they are that it doesn’t cause redness or stinging in their eyes.

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Mary Kay’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is made to be safe for contact lens wearers. It contains no fragrance and no pore-clogging ingredients. Instead, this water-based formula will break down your waterproof mascara without drying the skin around your eyes.

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, Paraben-Free

The Body Shop upgraded their Gentle Eye Makeup Remover to avoid parabens, gluten, silicone, dyes, drying alcohols, and fragrances. It’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

They recommend applying the liquid to a cotton pad and letting the pad rest on your eyes for 10 seconds. Then, as you gently wipe downward, you should see mascara, eyeshadow, and liner disappear.

Delon 100% Cleansing Cotton Rounds

Have you ever been aggravated by the lint left behind when you use ordinary cotton balls? When you use your new makeup remover, try these Canadian-made 100% percent cotton rounds from Delon. They are thick enough that you can use both sides. And their pressed design won’t let them shed.


The way you remove your makeup can be just as important as the way you apply it when you have sensitive skin. If you take the time to use a quality makeup remover, you’ll protect yourself from breakouts, dryness, and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.