Makeup Remover Cleanser
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The 5 Best Eye Makeup Removers for Every Skin Type

Our top choice is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Gentle Eye Makeup Remover.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

While removing your makeup is never as fun as applying it, it's still one of the most important steps in your skincare routine. The best eye makeup removers effectively remove every last trace of makeup and also contain ingredients that will hydrate and soothe your skin. 

We researched dozens of eye makeup removers and took into account skin type, ingredients, and application type to come up with the best options. Our top choice is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. Made of oil and water, this product is compatible with all skin types and can remove light to heavy makeup, including waterproof mascara.

Read on for all of our picks for the best eye makeup removers and learn more about how to choose the best makeup remover for you.    

Our Top Picks

Makeup Remover Cleanser
Credit: ulta.com

Best Overall Eye Makeup Remover: Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

View at Ulta (From $32)

Also available at Nordstrom and Sephora.

Who it's for: People who frequently wear a lot of eye makeup (including waterproof makeup) and need a non-irritating remover.  

Who it isn't for: People looking for a fragrance-free eye makeup remover or one that is inexpensive.

This popular Lancome product combines oil and water to create an eye makeup remover that is both hydrating and deep cleaning. The use of these two ingredients together, which naturally don't mix, is called a bi-phase formula. Think of a bi-phase formula as a two-part action plan to get rid of your makeup. The oil, which is most effective at removing heavier makeup, lifts the makeup off your eyes, while the water basically washes it away and removes any greasy residue left behind. This blend is so effective that it's considered a great waterproof mascara remover.

Because the formula is half oil and half water, it can be used on more skin types than a primarily water-based or oil-based eye makeup remover can. People with dry or oily skin can use this product, as well as people with normal or combination skin. It also works well for people who wear contact lenses. Whatever your skin type, make sure you shake the product thoroughly before use so that the two parts successfully blend together.

Product Details:

  • Type: Bi-phase formula
  • Size: 4.2 or 6.7 ounces
Makeup Remover Cleanser
Credit: amazon.com

Best Drugstore Eye Makeup Remover: Neutrogena Oil-Free Liquid Eye Makeup Remover

View at Amazon (From $6)

Also available at Ulta and Target.

Who it's for: People who have oily skin and people looking for an affordable eye makeup remover.  

Who it isn't for: People who are looking for an oil-based eye makeup remover.  

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Liquid Eye Makeup Remover, which costs less than $10, is a strong makeup remover that is capable of removing waterproof mascara while also being gentle on the eye area. It's also fragrance-free and contains moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin and aloe extract.

This oil-free eye makeup remover is ideal for people who have oily skin and are prone to breakouts. The water in the product gets rid of excess oils that can be clogging your pores and in doing so provides a deep clean that will help prevent any future pimples or breakouts. Although this eye makeup remover does contain moisturizing ingredients, the lack of oil may not be enough for people who have very dry skin. If you do decide to go with this product, make sure to shake well before use, as this activates all of the ingredients. 

Product Details:

  • Type: Water-based   
  • Size: 5.5 ounces
Makeup Remover Cleanser
Credit: amazon.com

Best Oil-Based Eye Makeup Remover: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

View at Amazon ($30)

Also available at Nordstrom and Ulta.

Who it's for: People who have dry or sensitive skin and people who want an all-in-one makeup remover that can be used on the entire face.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer a liquid eye makeup remover.

This Clinique eye makeup remover is best for people who have dry skin. This product is the more moisturizing (and multifunctional) version of the brand's best-selling Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips. In addition to not getting rid of your skin's essential oils, which can happen after applying water-based eye makeup removers, it also contains safflower oil, which is a natural emollient. Emollients work to prevent inflammation and excel at hydrating and smoothing skin because, when applied, they create a barrier that keeps moisture in.

Although a rich balm, this product does not go on greasy. Those with oily skin may instinctively want to back far, far away from this product, but they needn't be worried—it's non-comedogenic, meaning it won't cause blackheads. Plus, another benefit of safflower oil is that it can help reduce the size of existing whiteheads and blackheads. This product is also fragrance-free and has been tested for allergies, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin. After gently applying the balm, make sure to thoroughly rinse the product off with warm water for optimum results.

Product Details:

  • Type: Oil-based balm
  • Size: 3.8 or 6.7 ounces
Makeup Remover Cleanser
Credit: amazon.com

Best Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Skin: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover

View at Amazon (From $11)

Also available at Target and Walmart.

Who it's for: People looking for a gentle eye makeup remover that won't strip the skin of natural oils.   

Who it isn't for: People who frequently wear heavy eye makeup.  

Micellar water, which originated in France, has become a popular tool for both facial and hair cleansing in the U.S. over the last several years. Micellar water is made up of micelles, which are basically little balls of oil that live in the water-based product. The function of these little balls of oil is to rid the skin of dirt and oil that lie within your skin, making them highly effective at removing eye makeup. The oil in the micelles also prevents your skin from becoming dry after using the product.

The Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover is an effective, budget-friendly option that's also alcohol- and fragrance-free, making it a solid option for people with sensitive skin. Although this eye makeup remover is advertised as a no-rinse-needed product, experts recommend using an additional facial cleanser after to give your pores a deeper clean. The only downside to micellar water is that it's not as good at removing heavier eye makeup, including waterproof mascara.

Product Details:

  • Type: Micellar water
  • Size: 8.33 or 16.7 ounces
Makeup Remover Cleanser
Credit: amazon.com

Best Eye Makeup Remover Wipes: Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Face Wipes

View at Amazon ($6)

Also available at Target and Walmart

Who it's for: People who frequently get too tired to take their eye makeup off at night.    

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to create additional waste by using single-use makeup removers.

If you often find yourself too tired to take off your eye makeup at the end of the day, buy yourself some eye makeup remover wipes. These wipes from Cetaphil not only make the process of removing your eye makeup a lot quicker and easier, but they're also excellent at removing stubborn eye makeup, including waterproof mascara. These wipes are also ophthalmologist-approved to ensure that they're safe to use around your eyes.

These Cetaphil wipes were also designed to help with various skin sensitivities, including dryness, irritation, tightness, roughness, and a weakened skin barrier. They're made without parabens and fragrances and contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant, as well as glycerin and aloe extract, both of which are moisturizing. The chamomile extract helps relieve inflammation and redness while the green tea extract is particularly good for soothing acne. What's more, these wipes can be used for all types of makeup, not just eye makeup. However, there is one big con: Makeup remover wipes create a tremendous amount of waste. If you are trying to cut back on single-use products, you should stick with a traditional liquid eye makeup remover.  

Product Details:

  • Type: Water-based wipes
  • Size: 25 wipes per packet

RELATED: We Found the 5 Best Makeup Wipes for Your Skin and the Environment

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Gentle Eye Makeup Remover for its combination of oil and water, which, when working together, can effectively remove even the heaviest of makeup, including waterproof, without drying out your skin. It's also compatible with pretty much every skin type, including dry and oily skin. 

How to Shop for Eye Makeup Removers

Skin Type

The best eye makeup remover for you is all dependent on your skin type. If you have dry skin, you'll benefit most from an oil-based eye makeup remover, as this type of remover keeps your skin's essential oils intact and adds additional hydration thanks to its moisturizing properties. On the flip side, water-based eye makeup removers are better for people with oily skin who need a product that will help manage the excess oil their skin produces. 

If you sit somewhere in between, go with a bi-phase formula or micellar water. These types of eye makeup removers utilize both oil and water to get rid of your makeup, offering a multi-pronged approach that shouldn't elicit significant reactions in your skin. Fragrance-free formulas are always the best option for people with sensitive skin, as some fragrances can irritate sensitive skin.

Application Type

The two most popular eye makeup remover types are liquids and wipes. Which one you use should be dependent on how much eye makeup you usually wear. Wipes are super convenient because they provide a quick and easy way to remove your eye makeup, which can be a lifesaver when all you want to do at the end of a long day or night is crash in bed. 

However, they work best with light eye makeup, such as non-waterproof mascara, a primer, and eye shadow. If you wear heavier eye makeup, such as liquid eyeliner, waterproof mascara, eye shadow, a highlighter, and more, it may take more wipes to get it all off, and test your patience in the process. Plus, wipes result in more waste, so you may decide that a liquid or balm eye makeup remover is better. These types also provide you with more control over how much eye makeup remover you use.  

Questions You Might Ask

What is the best way to remove eye makeup?  

The best way to remove eye makeup is gently. The biggest mistake people make when removing their eye makeup is by aggressively scrubbing their eyes. The skin around your eyes is extremely sensitive, and can become irritated easily when faced with friction. Before you start removing your makeup, make sure to wash your hands to prevent any germs from getting onto your face and eyes. Then, if you're using a liquid, apply your eye makeup remover to a cotton pad. Cotton pads are best because they offer more surface area to apply your remover, as opposed to cotton balls. Also, the strands in cotton balls can come apart and potentially get into your eye if you scrub too hard, which can be very painful.

Apply the cotton pad with the eye makeup remover to your eyes and let it sit there for about 10 seconds. This allows the product to seep in, making for easier makeup removal. After, start rubbing gently in a circular motion until your eye makeup has come off. If the side of your cotton pad has a lot of makeup and you still have more removal to do, simply use the cleaner side. Then, use a cleanser to clean your makeup-free face.

What happens when you don't remove your eye makeup before going to bed?

Not taking your eye makeup off before you go to bed is a big no-no. It can cause a range of health problems, some of which may require you to seek medical attention. Reactions may include eye irritation and redness as well as rashes, infections, styes, and even cysts. If you often find yourself too tired to go through the proper eye makeup removal process, keep a pack of eye makeup remover wipes in your bedside table so you can remove your eye makeup while in bed.   

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a lifelong lover of all things fashion and beauty and a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. She spent hours researching all the components that make the best makeup removers, ultimately choosing the products in this list based on ingredients, application type, and effectiveness.