Is Makeup Remover Bad For Your Skin?

Every beauty lover knows that there are staples in a routine and then there are fun products to add in. Makeup remover is one of those staple products. If you're wearing makeup throughout the day, there is a good chance that makeup remover is in your routine at night. But is that beauty product that you use every night actually bad for your skin? It's time to do a deep dive, so you know exactly what's sitting in your makeup remover and how to effectively use it.

Let's get real, it's 2022 and clean beauty is taking over. People are questioning everything, including the ingredients in their skincare items. Makeup remover is one of those beauty items that can be easily overlooked. You likely know that it takes makeup off, but it turns out that it's actually leaving some ingredients on your face at the same time.

Some of the ingredients from makeup removers could actually be harmful to your skin. Here's everything you need to know about makeup remover, so you can make the right choice for your skin.

Your makeup remover could contain skin irritants

There's a good chance that you've never read the ingredients in your makeup remover. No shame, my friends. Even if you did look, you likely wouldn't understand what's in it. According to the Huffington Post, while the ingredients do a good job at taking your makeup off, they could also be irritating your skin.

"Although quick and easy to apply, many makeup removers contain active cleansing ingredients, which may remain on the skin unless washed off," Dr. Susan Stuart, founder and medical director of La Jolla Dermatology, tells Huffington Post. "If they remain, the residue from them may expose the skin to excess amounts of various chemicals including emulsifiers and surfactants. These can dry the skin and also irritate it. Some of them also contain various preservatives including formaldehyde, which can be an allergenic, as well as fragrances."

Bottom line: You need to wash them off your face afterwards. If you don't, your skin could get extremely irritated. So while makeup removers aren't necessarily bad for you, they aren't good for your skin, either. 

No need to stop using makeup remover

Although there could be chemicals in your skincare that irritate your skin if left on, that doesn't actually mean that you should stop using makeup remover. We know that sounds confusing, but hear us out. 

Taking off your makeup is good for your skin, so all you need to do is follow up with a face wash, according to Healthline. "Removing makeup, dirt, and grime from the day will help prepare the skin for your skincare regimen, as well as support the skin in its overnight regeneration and renewal processes," Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist, tells the publication. 

Basically, it all comes down to making it a part of your nightly skincare routine. You know, not just the only routine. So no matter how tired you are or how quickly you want to jump into bed, you should make sure you're removing your makeup and washing your face at night.

Here's how to use makeup remover safely

Now that we know how important makeup remover is, let's make sure you're using it correctly. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when using makeup remover is scrubbing too hard (via Real Simple). Whether you're using a cream makeup remover with your hands, a water-based product with a cotton round, or a makeup removing wipe, there's a chance that you could be rubbing too hard.

According to Real Simple, the safest way to remove your makeup is to use a cotton towel or round and remove makeup gently in circular motions. You'll also want to be careful not to tug at your eyes, which is the most delicate skin on your face.

So as crazy as it sounds, your nightly routine should include removing your makeup and your makeup remover. Those are two of the biggest steps in the nightly skincare routine. If you're not already adding those in, then you might want to.