Best Makeup Removers For Acne 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Best Makeup Removers For Acne 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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We have all heard skincare experts and dermatologists advising us to remove our makeup before going to bed. Not removing makeup can lead to a long list of skin problems that are not easy to get rid of. Makeup can clog up the pores leading to persistent breakouts.

Remnants of makeup can also lead to premature signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles in the face. The best makeup removers for acne are the ones that gently lift away particles of makeup, pollution, dirt, and impurities without you having to pull or tug.

Even though there are a lot of makeup removers available in the market, some are more effective and purposeful than others for acne-prone skin. We have made a comprehensive list of the 8 best makeup removers for acne to help you with your search.

Top 8 Best Makeup Removers For Acne 2021

1. Bioderma – Sensibio H2O – Micellar Water – Cleansing and Make-Up Removing

Bioderma - Sensibio H2O - Micellar Water - Cleansing and Make-Up Removing - Refreshing feeling - for Sensitive Skin

The Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar cleansing water and makeup remover is infused with fatty acid ester micelles that are unique and very similar to the skin’s natural composition. These micelles effectively capture 99% of impurities and cleanse the skin without drying it out or causing any irritation. It also removes 99% of makeup and 78% of heavy metal particles.

This micellar makeup removing water is specially curated for sensitive and acne-prone skin. The formulation does not contain any oil, alcohol, or parabens and has a non-sticky watery texture that hydrates the skin without making it look greasy. The DAF patented complex is very gentle, soothing, and increases the tolerance threshold of even extremely sensitive skin.

Bioderma is a scientifically crafted brand that invented dermatological micellar water, making their micellar water one of the best makeup removers for acne. No energy to wash your face? Just wipe off your makeup with this micellar water, as it is a non-rinse cleanser. Formulated with the purest active ingredients present in their optimum concentrations, it removes makeup without clogging the pores.


  • It has a watery texture that does not make the skin sticky after usage.
  • It has a very subtle scent that does not irritate the acne-prone and sensitive skin.
  • It gently removes 99% of the makeup.


  • It is not oil-based and does not effectively remove waterproof makeup.
  • It is a bit on the pricier end.


2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover for Oily Skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover for Oily Skin, Oil-Free

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, a good oil-free makeup remover will be your best friend. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover has a non-oily formula that gently wipes away makeup, dirt, and impurities from the skin without any harshness. Dermatologically and ophthalmologist tested, this makeup cleanser has dirt encapsulating micelles that effectively traps and removes any traces of makeup, oil, and dirt.

It is infused with the benefits of purifying zinc that absorbs and removes excess oil and sebum from the face. It can also remove harmful particles of pollution twenty times smaller than the skin’s pores. You do not have to undertake the hassle of washing this off as it is a no-rinse cleanser.

This micellar water formula contains Poloxamer, a gentle chemical used in the solution for contact lenses, making it very mild and non-irritating. Glycerin hydrates the skin while antioxidant-rich thermal spring water imparts calming effects. It is free from parabens, alcohol, soap, and oils and is one of the best makeup removers for acne prone skin.


  • It effectively cleanses the skin of pollution particles that are not visible to the naked eye.
  • It is non-comedogenic, making it perfect for oily and acne-prone skin.
  • Cleansing with this makeup remover requires no harsh rubbing.


  • It is not cost-effective.


3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Liquid Eye Makeup Remover

Neutrogena Oil-Free Liquid Eye Makeup Remover, Residue-Free, Non-Greasy, Gentle & Skin-Soothing Makeup Remover Solution with Aloe & Cucumber Extract for Waterproof Mascara, 5.5 fl. oz

Say goodbye to the painful pulling and tugging that your skin has to go through when you remove makeup. The Neutrogena Oil-free Liquid Eye Makeup Remover is a dual-phase and oil-free makeup remover that is specially formulated to gently remove even the most stubborn makeup and impurities without irritating the skin. This strong and active liquid makeup remover effectively cleanses the skin and gives a refreshing feeling.

This makeup remover is dermatologically tested to suit users who wear contact lenses. It does not agitate the sensitive and thin skin around the eyes. Soothing aloe vera extract and cucumber extract present in this makeup remover add extra hydration.

It has a lightweight formula that is 100% free from oil and does not leave behind any greasy or sticky residue. It is one of the best makeup removers for acne at an affordable price that does not clog up the pores or cause any allergic reactions. Just shake the bottle to activate the product and gently wipe away any waterproof makeup.


  • It has a unique formula that is 100% oil-free and effectively removes stubborn and waterproof eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner.
  • It does not leave an oily or greasy residue.
  • Aloe vera and cucumber extract give a cool and refreshing feel.
  • It comes in at an affordable price.


  • The packaging of the product is inconvenient for usage and susceptible to spill.


4. Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover

Cetaphil Gentle Waterproof Makeup Remover, 6.0 Fluid Ounce

Cetaphil is a brand known for its non-irritating and non-comedogenic formulations that work on the skin very gently but effectively. Their Waterproof Makeup Remover is no different. Infused with enriching botanical extracts, this makeup remover removes all traces of makeup, even waterproof ones.

It is tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists to deliver amazing results without tugging or pulling at your skin. It is formulated with aloe vera extract, ginseng, and green tea extract that calms the skin and refreshes it.

It is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic that does not clog the pores and prevents breakouts, making it one of the best makeup removers for acne. This bi-phase makeup remover activates after shaking it and gets rid of makeup, oil, dirt, and impurities effortlessly. It makes the skin clean, fresh, supple, and hydrated.


  • It is non-comedogenic and is suitable for all skin types.
  • It does not have any fragrance.
  • It features the additional skin benefits provided by aloe vera, ginseng, and tea tree extracts.
  • It easily removes makeup without stinging the skin.


  • The bottle of this product has a large-sized mouth that pours out a lot of product and leads to a lot of wastage.


5. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit

Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Stre

Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit removes makeup and targets several other skin problems. This kit contains the CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, the CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, and the CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment. It is one of the best makeup removers for acne prone skin and suits people suffering from cystic acne.

It is formulated with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide and 2% salicylic acid. Both these ingredients are known for their properties of fighting and healing acne and blemishes from their cores. Benzoyl Peroxide is a chemical with good penetrative power and seeps deep into the pores to give quick and visible results. Salicylic Acid unclogs and cleanses congested pores.

This multipurpose cleanser kit removes makeup, dirt, and pollution from the skin. Additionally, it reduces the appearance of pores and gets rid of acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes. It is free from parabens and fragrance and is cruelty-free.


  • It helps to reduce persistent cystic acne.
  • It reduces redness and blemishes.
  • All the products in this kit are lightweight and perform as advertised.


  • The products must be followed with a thick layer of moisturizer as they may dry out the skin.


6. Onsen Japanese Natural Milk Lotion Cleanser

Onsen Japanese Natrual Face Wash, Anti Aging Gentle Cleanser, Makeup Remover, Cleansing Milk for Sensitive Skin, All Natural, Purifying Organic, Non Foaming Facial Cleanser - 5.6 fl oz/165 ml

Organic meets natural, with the Onsen Japanese Natural Milk Lotion Cleanser. It is formulated with all-natural and certified organic ingredients and is free from parabens and artificial colors. It is rich in milk lotion and gently cleanses away light makeup without drying out the skin.

It is scientifically crafted with the patented Micro Water ComplexTM that brings you the goodness of Japanese hot spring water. Japanese hot spring water has vital minerals, botanical extract, and antioxidants that renew and rejuvenate the skin. It has a greaseless texture that does not leave a sticky residue on the skin.

This cleanser is infused with thalassine that is a type of sea chamomile known for its anti-aging properties. It relaxes the muscles and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Other ingredients present in this face cleanser are hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, C, E, and sweet almond oil that works synergistically to make the skin hydrated, supple, and bouncy.


  • It restores the pH balance of the skin and reduces the appearance of open pores.
  • It is enriched with thalassine that has anti-aging properties.
  • It instantly cleanses and moisturizes the skin at the same time.


  • The fragrance of this product can irritate the senses.


7. Be Fancy So, So Coco Makeup Remover Cream & Cleanser

 Be Fancy So, So Coco Makeup Remover Cream & Cleanser, Face Wash with Coconut Oil, Aloe, Vitamin E, Sensitive Skin, Non-Pore Clogging, Vegan, 6 oz

The Be Fancy So, So Coco Makeup Remover Cream is a cream-based makeup remover that melts into the skin and gently removes all traces of makeup, dirt, and impurities. It does not dry out the skin and keeps the sensitive layer of the skin intact. The natural oils and emollients present in the formulation break down the chemical particles of makeup to give you squeaky clean skin.

Formulated with a rich blend of oils like coconut oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, and apricot kernel oil, this makeup remover targets several skin concerns. Coconut oil moisturizes the skin without clogging the pores, while grape seed oil tightens the skin and reduces under-eye circles. Gamma linoleic acid present in apricot kernel extract has anti-inflammatory effects that treat eczema.

Vitamin E and aloe vera extracts hydrate the skin and prevent signs of aging. It also contains organic gotu kola rich in amino acids, beta carotene, phytochemicals, and fatty acids that reverse aging. The formulation does not contain parabens, phthalates, talc, and artificial fragrances.


  • It is suitable for all skin types.
  • It is non-comedogenic and does not clog the pores.
  • It has a rich and creamy texture that does not leave any greasy residues.


  • It is not effective for removing waterproof makeup.


8. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, For Waterproof Makeup

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, For Waterproof Makeup, 13.5 Fl Oz

You can use the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water in a variety of ways. It can be used as a makeup remover and as cleansing water for hair color stains, excess self-tanner, and dirt. It gently cleanses the skin without having to put much pressure on the skin.

The micelles present in this micellar water act like magnets for undesirable particulate matter on the skin. Just a few gentle swipes help get rid of stubborn and waterproof makeup without any harshness. It has an oil-free formula that does not leave a sticky feeling on the skin and is one of the best makeup removers for acne.

It is one of the best selling drugstore makeup removers and is free from harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, silicon, and fragrance. The no-rinse formula makes it convenient and easy to use.


  • It effectively removes makeup without clogging up the pores.
  • It is very pocket-friendly.
  • It does not dry up the skin.


  • It separates quickly into its bi-phased texture and has to be shaken again for reapplication.


Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Makeup Removers

Makeup removers are formulated with micelles that slowly breakdown particles of makeup. However, in that process, it can clog your pores and cause more acne. That is why it is very important to consider a few factors before investing in a makeup remover.

1. Ingredients

Ingredients can make or break a makeup remover. Many makeup removers are formulated with alcohol. People with acne-prone skin must steer clear from alcohol cleansers as they can irritate and dry out the skin. Its prolonged usage will age the skin a lot faster.

Many makeup removers are specially curated for acne-prone skin. They feature ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which help in eliminating acne and pimples.

Ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber are amazing to calm and soothe the skin. It is important to look for a non-alcoholic and anti-acne formula while buying the best makeup removers for acne.

2. Texture And Finish Of The Makeup Remover

If you have acne-prone skin, your skin is likely to feel oily and greasy from time to time. A makeup remover that is oil-free and watery in texture is ideal. Ingredients like purifying zinc are good for removing excess oil and sebum.

The best makeup removers for acne prone skin are the ones that do not leave any greasy or oily residue after you use it. A no-rinse formula is like a cherry on the cake when you do not have the energy to wash and rinse your face with water. You should go for makeup removers that effectively remove all makeup and hydrate the skin at the same time.

What’s your choice?

There are numerous makeup removers in the market that clog pores, are comedogenic, and are terrible for removing makeup. Most of them are average in quality and performance. It is imperative to find the best makeup removers for acne-prone skin to ensure that your skin’s health is intact and improved.

Lightweight, watery yet moisturizing formulas that are non-comedogenic are the best makeup removers for acne prone skin. Finding the perfect product that suits your skin is indeed a difficult task. We hope our list of the 8 best makeup removers for acne could filter your choices and erase some confusion.

FAQs on Makeup Removers For Acne

Q1. Why Is It Essential To Remove Makeup?

Removing your makeup before going to bed is extremely important. Acne-prone skin releases a lot of oil and sebum overnight. These oils combined with the particles of makeup, dead skin cells, and bacteria may clog up the pores. This leads to persistent skin problems like acne, breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, and open pores.

Moreover, tiny particles of mascara and eyeliner may get inside the eyes and cause severe eye infections and inflammation. Mica present in reflective eyeshadow and highlighting powder can cause possible allergic reactions if left on the skin overnight. Lipsticks can make the lips dry and flaky if not removed properly.

Q2. How To Effectively Remove Makeup?

Makeup removers are formulated with tiny particles called micelles. These micelles effectively lift off makeup particles by dissolving and breaking them down. When using a water-based cleanser, you can pour it out on a tissue, press it down on the skin for some time and slowly wipe it off. Pulling or tugging at the skin is a complete no no!

Cream-based makeup remover can be simply massaged onto the skin and wiped off with a microfiber cloth. It is a good idea to wash your face with a good cleanser for a double cleansing effect. This makes sure that your skin is free from even minute makeup traces and is ready for your skincare regime.

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