Taking our makeup off at the end of the day is one of the most important parts of a healthy skincare regime. But a lot of conventional products in this space contain ingredients that are not so pretty that's why opting for natural makeup removers is by far the better option. Taking our makeup off at night helps our skin breathe and renew and reduces the risk of acne and pimples. But finding the right one for your skin can be a challenge, we've chosen a selection of different skin types to help you find one perfect pick for you.
Makeup removers are either water-based which is good for people with acne-prone skin who need a deep clean to manage too much oil or oil-based which are great for people who have dry sensitive skin and need something that won't strip the skin of its natural oils.
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The type of makeup remover you choose will also depend on the type of makeup you wear. Water-based works better with water-based makeup and oil-based cleaner/remover will work best on oil-based makeup.
Natural makeup removers can come in different types: cleansers, micellar water, balms, and wipes.
When shopping for non toxic makeup removers consider the following criteria:
Like all of the beauty articles here on The Eco Hub, we always take a few things into account because not all green beauty products are created equal and we want to make sure we always pick the best for you.
1. Is it made locally?
Is it produced nearest you or made locally like these amazing Canadian green beauty brands are to me?
2. Is it made of natural ingredients?
This is where things get really interesting, remember what goes on your body goes in your body. A lot of conventional makeup removers contain either formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. They use these because they do a great job at reducing the risk of bacteria or mold forming in the product. But, not only is this ingredient highly flammable, but it has also been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone are common in makeup removers too. Again these are used as preservatives and are actually classified as pesticides and can be highly toxic to our organs, brains, and ecosystems. They are highly corrosive and are banned in many counties.
Best to avoid these in my humble opinion!
3. Is it certified organic?
Organic ingredients are also favorable where ingredients can otherwise be made using unsustainable production practices involving undesirable chemicals like conventional pesticides. In some cases, brands are certified organic, or ingredients used may be certified organic.
4. Is it vegan?
Here we want to make sure that none of the ingredients used in the product are derived from animals or insects.
5. Is it cruelty-free?
The cruelty-free certification means that products are not tested on animals which is great even when we aren’t vegan.
6. Is it Palm oil-free?
We look to avoid palm oil or any of its derivatives wherever possible since it is largely produced unsustainably — threatening wildlife and ecosystems in the regions where it is produced.
7. Are ingredients sustainably sourced?
We also want to know where the ingredients used are coming from and how they are made. Safe production methods and ethical working conditions are important at every stage of the supply chain. Brands that disclose the origin of their ingredients get a major plus in our book.
8. Does the company use eco-packaging?
As inconvenient as it can be, the packaging is a huge deal. Plastics are clogging up our waterways and oceans–and both fish and seabirds are turning up with bellies full of it, it's important for companies to at the very least try to reduce their packaging waste.
Top picks for Natural Makeup Removers
1. ei SKiN
ei SKiN Euphrasia Natural Makeup remover is ideal for sensitive skin and most skin types. The hero ingredient is Euphrasia Officinalis or Eyebright, it's a herbal ingredient that helps to brighten the skin thanks to its antioxidants and flavonoids. It also works as an astringent that has antibacterial and inflammatory benefits for the skin. It contains a blend that’s geared to tackle the skin-stressing and energy-zapping effects of environmental pollution, with ingredients that include Aloe, cucumber, and chamomile all of which are great to treat and heal the skin. If you wear contact lenses this is a great choice for you.
This all-natural, non-oily makeup remover is vegan and cruelty-free and can help with acne-prone skin, dehydrated skin, and puffy eyes. In fact, it's one of the best natural removers for acne-prone skin.
ELLA i SKiN is based in Canada, all of its products are made locally and meant to target common skin conditions. Their products are certified organic by the USDA’s National Organic Program and all of the ingredients are naturally and organically sourced and free from synthetic dyes, preservatives, parabens, and fragrance. (ships to the USA)
Natural Micellar water is really great for all skin types because it helps to remove impurities from the skin by drawing them to the surface and can also be used as a face wash. 100% Pure Rose Micellar Cleansing Water will remove everything from makeup to sunblock to excess oil.
It's natural and cruelty-free and formulated without harsh detergents, sulphates, and chemical preservatives (looking at you Formelduehdye). The combination of Rosewater and chamomile give this a soft, heavenly scent. If you need a natural makeup remover for oily skin, this is your best bet.
100% Pure is known for its natural and effective skincare products that are cruelty-free and sustainably sourced. Its mission is all about improving the lives of people and animals, to date, they have donated 226,681 meals to shelter dogs and have worked with over 50 charitable organizations. When you buy a product from 100% Pure a bowl of food is donated to help an animal in need!
To say that we love this brand would be a huge understatement, they are one of your top picks for eco-friendly gifts, their zero waste lip balm is the bomb and if you want a natural and organic face moisturizer that will leave your skin gleaming, this is the brand for you. Wildcraft Care's non-toxic makeup remover is oil-based and will remove your makeup easily.
It does so gently with 10 power-packed natural ingredients like organic honey, organic Aloe vera juice, organic jojoba, and organic Rosehip seed oil. It's also infused with witch hazel which is used widely in natural skincare because of its multi-purpose properties, we'll talk more about this in the DIY section. This is one of the best natural cleansing oils for dry skin, it will remove stubborn eye makeup beautifully and leave your skin feeling hydrated and fresh!
The honey is the magic in this potion, it's antibacterial and does wonders to help repair the skin,
It's gently on the eyes and washes off easily too.
Wildcraft Care is based in Toronto, Canada, the owner Laura is a master formulator who has been in the industry for many years. All of her products are mostly organic and 100% cruelty-free. This is also one of the most affordable natural makeup removers. (ships USA and Canada)
If you love a balm then this eco-friendly makeup remover is for you. Once you apply this to your face this skin-calming balm uses the powers of Naturopathica's signature supercritical manuka honey to sweep away dirt and makeup. Manuka Honey is one of the most potent natural ingredients and has healing properties both for the skin and body. It's deeply moisturizing, will aid in your skin's PH level, and get rid of dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling soft and supple.
This product is not vegan but it is cruelty-free. Naturopathica believes "herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and holistic wellness should be coupled with cutting edge science to offer deeper beauty to all". The Manuka honey is sustainably sourced in New Zealand, and all workers and vendors are paid a fair living wage.
This gentle gel natural makeup remover is seriously so good thanks to the meticulous attention to ingredients. This high-performance blend is plant-based and infused with phytonutrient-rich sea minerals that will help to wipe out free radicals. Grapeseed, green tea, and Hawthorne berry are rich in omegas 3,6, and 9. It's great for all skin types and will get rid of even the most stubborn dirt and makeup.
The honey they use is ethically sourced and provides so many skin benefits. Josh Rosebrook started his career at the age of 10! Since then he's been formatting some of the best natural products in the market today. All of the products adhere to ethical, sustainable, and fair trade practices. They are cruelty-free and believe strongly in equality for all.
Okay, this one is on the pricey side at $159 per bottle, but it's a super high-end luxury cleaning experience. You don't need to use very much of this sustainable makeup remover, it will do wonders at removing stubborn makeup and dirt. Wildcrafted Prickly Pear, Moringa, shea butter, and beneficial probiotics are some of the standout ingredients in a blend that will glide into your skin seamlessly.
This clean beauty makeup remover has gentle emulsifiers in it which makes it a breeze to wash off, but at the same time, it's not greasy at all. It's gentle and great for all skin types.
Each of their ingredients is sustainably and ethically sourced. The Shea butter is sustainably produced from a UN Global Compact project in West Africa and the Moringa is wildcrafted from the Arizona high desert and the result of a 3+ year collaboration with a wildcrafting group.
Kypris is a certified B Corptitaon that is vegan cruelty-free, organic, sustainably farmed, and packaged in beautiful glass containers that can be reused in your home.
We've never tried anything like this before and we have tried our fair share of products. This stuff works and feels dreamy going on. Just last year Caudalie's cleaners had a makeover and all became VINOCLEAN, a new collection of "eco-responsible cleansers with vegan and highly natural formulas".
There are four of them in the collection and they are all top-notch! But the Cleansing Almond Milk makes it to the top of the list thanks to the nourishing sweet almond oil, soothing cornflower water, and anti-oxidant polyphenols that hydrate and protect the skin. The application is soft, silky, and simply satisfying.
It's perfect for all skin types, but if you have sensitive eyes, this natural eye-maker remover is perfect for you! Makeup, dirt, the build-up will just melt away! It's also cruelty-free.
Caudalie is a leader in organic and sustainable skincare and is committed to reducing packing waste by offering consumers products that are "100% recycled recyclable or refillable, using less plastic, paper & metal."
This gorgeous Fecnhg brand was born on a vineyard when owner Mathilde Thomas realized the power of grape seed phenols. They are also members of 1% For The Planet.
Never thought zero waste makeup remover would be a thing, but it is thanks to Ethique. Like their non-toxic shampoo bars, their face cleanser and makeup remover bars are gentle and moisturizing on the skin. These zero waste natural makeup remover bars, called SuperStar, are perfect for all skin types and made with high-performance plant-based super natural ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil, and cocoa butter.
These "multi-tasking wonder bars" are can be used as face cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup removers and they do a bang-up job on all three! They are vegan, cruelty-free, and contain zero palm oil. They are perfect for all skin types, especially dry ones.
Ethique is a Certified B Corp that carries a wide range of natural beauty products and natural cleaning products. We've featured them before in the non-toxic shampoo guide. They are all about being plastic-free and since 2012 they have been able to keep 9 million plastic bottles from entering being made, they also donated 20% of their yearly profits to charity!
Mad Hippie offers an organic makeup remover that's cream-based. It will clean your skin without disturbing the PH balance and is created with a blend of good-for-you ingredients to hydrate, nourish and balance the skin with a holistic blend of Organic Jojoba Oil, Algae Extract, Green Tea, and Shea butter. It's a gentle formula that will break down dirt and makeup. It's non-foaming and has been described as a "miracle worker" by Allure. Dirty Hippe is vegan, cruelty-free, and free from parabens, petrochemicals, GMOs, phthalates, and SLS.
Mad Hippe is a "hippies on a mission" founded by couple Sam and Dana they formulate everything in the USA and have strict standards when it comes to how the ingredients are sourced and used. 1% of every website is dedicated to a conservation charity and they have a program in the USA with TerraCycle where customers can send in the plastic containers to ensure they are being recycled.
What is the best homemade makeup remover?
Finally, there is always the option to make your own DIY natural makeup removers. This will not only save your money but will also reduce the amount of packaging you are bringing into the home and if you are trying to set up a zero-waste bathroom it's a great choice.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind though. If you have dry skin you want to avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or fragrance. Use gentle mild soaps and opt for ingredients like Glycerin, Green Tea, and Grapeseed Oil.
If you have combination skin, mild and gentle soaps and cleansers are best, and avoid alcohol and scrubbing too much. The best ingredients to use are jojoba, rose, burdock, and comfrey.
For sensitive skin use gentle natural and organic hypoallergenic ingredients that are low foaming, try aloe gel and rose water.
For oily skin use non-comedogenic ingredients that don't clog pores. Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera, and jojoba oil are really good.
No matter what you are making at home, it's important to always do a patch test, especially if you are using essential oils, even though they are considered "natural" you can still have allergies and other skin issues develop.
A final word on natural makeup removers
To keep your skin super healthy you need to take care of it and that means removing your makeup before bed and setting up a daily regime that includes cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your face. When it comes to cleaning you want to do it morning and night, don't use harsh cleansers, and never scrub vigorously. Use organic ingredients whenever possible and avoid harsh detergents and preservatives that can irritate your skin. Remember to always rinse well. If you are using an oil-based cleanser try a washcloth or reusable makeup rounds to remove all traces of cleanser, then gently pat your skin dry.
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