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For Sensitive Skin: Makeup Removers Tried & Tested

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Makeup removal is an essential step in our end-of-day beauty routine. We all know the effects of improper makeup removal – dirt and impurities accumulated on our skin can cause clogged pores, inflammation and irritation. Add to that sensitive skin and you’ll have a whole new level of skin problems.

Makeup removers work by dissolving makeup with oil, water, gel or cream-based solutions. On my sensitive and acne-prone skin, oil removers don’t work that well, but those specifically for the eyes and lips are safe.

Here are my thoughts on some makeup removers I have tried/am trying:

Water-Based Makeup Remover

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Bioderma Sensibio H20 – I think anyone who wears makeup must have gone through at least one big bottle of this. Be wary of fake ones though! I once saw a ‘good deal’ on Qoo10 and it turned out too good to be true. The liquid smelt like kerosene and felt soapy. It would have been detrimental if I’d used it. There are other ranges under Bioderma – the blue one is for dry & dehydrated skin, green for combination & oily skin, but I only use the red as it’s supposedly the most gentle for sensitive skin. It stings my eyes though.

Plante System Cleansing Micellar Water – I bought this at a Guardian at Changi Airport as I forgot to pack a makeup remover. Oh my goodness, how it burnt my skin! >.<” I stopped using it after one use.

TDF Therapeutic Makeup Remover – I bought this only because it was on sale. Retail price $32 and I bought it for $15. Score! I think it’s a decent makeup remover, but only good enough for light makeup. It takes a lot of product and cotton pads to really get my skin near clean.

Chanel Eau Douceur Cleansing Water – Love the classic packaging, love the pump, love the luxurious scent, love the quality, don’t love the price. Lol. Can’t believe I paid over $50 for water. But I’d say the quality is well worth the money. It is really gentle on my sensitive skin and leaves behind this beautiful slightly waxy on the skin, giving it a natural-looking glow. In terms of efficacy, it’s not exceptionally better than the others.

Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Water – (not pictured) What intrigued me initially – the dispenser which works like those nail polish remover pump dispenser where you push down the top – is what turned out to be rather annoying. Even with a bigger piece of cotton pad, it squirts off in random directions every time. It’s not ideal for targeted removal too coz you can’t get the right amount of product on a cotton bud. It leaves behind a sticky residue which I prefer to rinse off. Dispenser and residue woes aside, I love the refreshing scent.

Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Makeup & Acne Remover – (not pictured) This is the latest water-based makeup remover in my collection. Saw it off a YouTube ad and thought it sounded pretty interesting! The ‘reduces acne’ claim was the one that made me go out and get it. It is alcohol and fragrance-free, does not sting my skin, and removes makeup and impurities very well. One large cotton pad is enough, compared to 2-3 pads with the other water-based removers.

Wash-Off Makeup Remover

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Dr Nu:ell Enzyme O2 Bubble Cleanser – I was quite crazy about it for a while. It dispenses a thick gel which you apply on dry skin. 20 seconds later it will foam up and you ‘move’ the dirt away before splashing all the dirt off with water. My skin always feels smooth and clean after that. If only the packaging could be improved! There’s always so much product wasted inside the bottle and if I dig it out and transfer it to another container, the product doesn’t function quite as well anymore.

TDF Wash-Off Cleansing Lotion – I bought this together with the cleansing water. Luckily I bought the small bottle coz this doesn’t work for me at all. It always leaves my skin super dry, and when I move my facial muscles it feels like cracks on a cement wall.

Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream – Oh this is not a makeup remover per se but I like it for removing all the dead and rough skin on my lips. If I know I’ll be wearing pigmented lipstick or one that will show imperfections the next day, I will use this the night before.

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser – I’ve heard about this cold cream cleanser since a long time ago and how it’s the HG makeup remover for many people, especially those with dry skin. Does not sit well with my oily skin and doesn’t clean very well either.

Gel Makeup Remover

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Biore Aqua Jelly Makeup Remover – Gels or jellies are to me somewhere in between oil and water-based makeup removers. This Biore one is what I use every time I have a swatch fest on my hand – either for a post or just for fun. Haha. It removes even the most pigmented of lipsticks very quickly and doesn’t require the use of cotton pads.

Sephora Ultimate Oil-In-Gel Lipstick Remover – If you want to remove only lipstick and keep the rest of the makeup on, this might work for you. It’s more concentrated than other jelly removers but effectively removes even very red lipstick.

Bifesta Cleansing Gel – I did like this but after a while my skin didn’t respond well to it anymore.

Eye & Lip Makeup Remover

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MAC Eye & Lip Makeup Remover – This does well what it’s supposed to do. It is pricey but can last a very long time.

Biore Makeup Remover For Eye & Lip – I have lost track how many bottles of this I’ve gone through. Maybe 20? Lol. I’ve been using this eye makeup remover for many years! It removes stubborn waterproof makeup and doesn’t sting my eyes. I’ve been using less of this recently because there is no need to apply mascara now that I have eyelash extensions.

Watson Gentle Eye & Lip Makeup Remover – Ah, this was a mistake haha. I can rub until my eye area is sore and still have plenty of mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow residue left.

So these are currently what I have in my makeup remover section! Do share with me what are your favorites! 😀

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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.