As much as I wish there was one, there truly is no face wash out there that can remove makeup and properly cleanse your skin in one. Believe me—I've tried them all. Some products claim to do both, but they often leave a greasy residue that just doesn't feel right without an additional water-based cleanse. Most days, I stick to an old-fashioned double-cleanse routine, but sometimes, that isn't even enough to release the death grip waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and highly pigmented eye shadow have on my eyes. That's when I reach for my trusty eye makeup remover. I've been using the same one for years because it poofs away makeup so fast you'd think it's magic, but I also realize that not everyone's eye area (and budget) is the same. If you're in the market for a good remover, look no further. I'm sharing the 13 formulas I'd 100% vouch for below.
What to Look for in an Eye Makeup Remover
Choosing a good eye makeup remover is all about knowing your skin type and the type of makeup you'll be removing. If you have dry skin, you'll probably want to stick to an oil formula, balm, or dual-phase water-and-oil formula to help remove makeup. If you have sensitive eyes or wear contacts, a gentle remover with micellar water and no harsh ingredients may work best for you. Many eye makeup removers for sensitive skin and eyes will be labeled as such. Those who are prone to breakouts might want to stick to a simple micellar formula or oil-free remover that's designed to take on stubborn waterproof formulas. See a few of our favorite formulas below.
Best Overall: Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
Pros: Budget-friendly, highly effective on waterproof makeup, gentle on the eye area, oil-free.
Cons: Leaves a bit of a residue.
This simple, effective liquid eye makeup remover from Neutrogena has been my ride-or-die for years. Sometimes, it's literally the only thing that completely removes waterproof mascara and eyeliner without me basically having to scrub my skin off. It's easy to use, provides the right amount of slip without tugging at your skin, and is totally oil-free for any acne-prone folks out there. I've tried a lot of removers at this point and still love using a cleansing balm to remove a whole face of makeup, but this one will always nab the top spot for me when it comes to the eye area.
Customer Review: "Easily removes any trace of eye makeup, even waterproof. I have sensitive eyes and this works great with no stinging or burning."
Best Drugstore: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water
Pros: Budget-friendly and can be found at the drugstore, removes eye makeup gently with micellar water, great for sensitive skin, provides a soothing effect.
Cons: Takes a few cotton pads to completely remove all makeup.
For those looking to infuse a bit of Parisian magic into their beauty regimens, this French pharmacy favorite is a must-have. It's great for a number of skincare practices, including the removal of stubborn eye makeup.
Customer Review: "I've used several brands of micellar water, and I keep coming back to this one. I'm not brand loyal to very many products, but this is one. I use this with a microfiber face cloth to avoid cotton pad waste. On no-make-up days, it can be a one-and-done cleaner to remove sunscreen and sweat. On full-face makeup days, it's a fantastic second step to make sure you get it all. I find it effective at removing any leftover eyeliner and mascara left behind by my first cleanse too (but it's not my primary eye cleanse)."
Best for Lash Extensions: Lashify Melt Away Remover
Pros: Designed to remove lashes and eye makeup gently and quickly, helps moisturize the eye area, helps maintain lash health.
Cons: Not fragrance-free.
Lashify's exclusive formula is designed to remove lashes and eye makeup in one fell swoop. It even moisturizes the eye area and helps keep lashes healthy.
Best Balm: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm
Pros: Noncomedogenic, can remove a whole face of makeup, gentle on the eye area.
Cons: May need an extra remover for stubborn mascara.
As far as cleansing balms go, this one from Farmacy never lets me down. It's one of the best balms I've used that's capable of removing a full face without leaving any residue. It definitely works well on light mascara, but you may need to use another remover to fully get off stubborn or waterproof formulas.
Customer Review: "I have tried other makeup removers as well as other cleansing balms. Had I started with this one, it would have saved me time and money. I use this as stage one of my double cleanse in the shower with AMAZING results. If needed, I follow up with Milk Makeup’s micellar water over the eye area for extra stubborn eye makeup. It’s magic and nourishing. I can’t recommend enough!"
Best Wipes: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleansing Makeup Remover Wipes
Pros: Contains skin barrier–supporting ceramides, noncomedogenic, alcohol-free, great for both sensitive and dry skin, includes glycerin to help lock in hydration, plant-based cloth.
Cons: May leave a residue.
I'm not usually an advocate for makeup wipes since they often contain drying alcohols, but this option from CeraVe is hydrating and contains skin barrier–supporting ceramides. The wipes are also plant-based, noncomedogenic, and totally alcohol-free.
Customer Review: "These wipes are the softest I've gotten! They clean up just about everything, even the lipstick I've got that won't budge for a day. The package seals well and would be just fine [when] traveling."
Best Liquid: Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover
Pros: Gentle on sensitive eyes, unique oil-water formula, conditions and refreshes skin.
Cons: Not fragrance-free, expensive.
Reviewers live for this gentle oil-and-water combo, saying over and over again that it's one of the gentlest options out there.
Customer Review: "I wear waterproof mascara only and it takes a powerful remover to get it off. I never have to tug or rub with this product, unlike others. I also have the most sensitive skin around my eyes that reacts to everything. I currently have only one eye moisturizer that I can use due to allergic reactions. This stuff is like magic!"
Best Pads: Garnier Micellar Eye Makeup Remover Pads
Pros: Great for contact lens wearers, infused with micellar water for gentle makeup removal, no harsh tugging required.
Cons: Not as hydrating, may not be suitable for dry skin.
These micellar-infused pads easily remove mascara and eyeliner with just a light, simple swipe.
Customer Review: "This is a perfect eye makeup remover. It is gentle yet gets all the makeup off. Also, it is not oily."
Best for Sensitive Eyes: Klorane Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover
Pros: Oil-free, fragrance-free, designed for sensitive eyes, organically farmed cornflower mimics the pH of tears.
Cons: May be too drying for drier skin types.
The name on this bottle says it all: Organically farmed cornflower is at the center of this potent formulation, which mimics the pH of tears so that it doesn't sting the eyes.
Customer Review: "This is one of those products that I've used for at least a decade, and every time I 'get bored' and decide to try something new, I regret it. I use this remover every day with a Q-tip to clean up under my eyelashes, corner of the eyes, and any mistakes with eyeshadow/mascara. It never dries out my sensitive eye area. It always cleans up the make-up mishaps, even waterproof mascara if I get to it timely. I've wasted so much money trying other products; none of them came close to the quality of Klorane's eye makeup remover."
Best for Mature Skin: Paula's Choice Omega + Complex Cleansing Balm
Pros: Contains omega-rich oils like jojoba and meadowfoam-seed oil to hydrate skin, softens skin, removes makeup easily.
Cons: May require an extra remover for stubborn mascara.
This omega- and jojoba oil–rich balm is great for mature skin types since it effectively removes makeup and adds a lot of hydration to the skin.
Customer Review: "Removes my makeup. Great first step for my double cleanse! I have sensitive skin, and this does not break me out or dry out my skin when combined with my other cleanser."
Best Organic: Eminence Organic Skin Care Herbal Eye Makeup Remover
Pros: Formulated with soothing calendula, lavender, and chamomile, rich in vitamin E, hydrates skin, helps improve elasticity.
Cons: Pricier than most options.
This organic formula from Eminence gently removes stubborn makeup without stripping the skin. It contains soothing ingredients like lavender, chamomile, and calendula along with hydrating vitamin E.
Customer Review: "I love this eye makeup remover. It doesn't sting if it accidentally gets in my eyes, and it does a great job removing eye makeup. I especially like the pump delivery process. Makes it so easy to use with no waste."
More Eye Makeup Removers I Love
Glossier's oil-rich remover melts away waterproof formulas in a flash. It contains both a lightweight oil and micellar water to do double duty and dissolve makeup easily. It also contains skin-conditioning provitamin B5, so it won't dry your eye area out.