Best eye makeup remover

Eye Makeup

Natural oils, like coconut and olive, can make safe, effective and affordable makeup removers.

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Which eye makeup remover is best?

Eye makeup is an integral part of a stand out makeup look, but it can be difficult to take off. Eye makeup removers are specially formulated to dissolve and remove stubborn, even waterproof eye makeup that’s meant to stay on for long periods of time. Not all eye makeup removers are created equal. The best eye makeup removers won’t require heavy scrubbing or leave behind too much residue, and they’ll work well while still being gentle on sensitive skin. 

Our top pick, the Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent, is a highly effective and easy to use unscented makeup remover.

What to know before you buy eye makeup remover

There are countless varieties of eye makeup remover available. Learn about the different varieties to decide which kind will work best for your skin type and makeup preferences.

Eye makeup remover types


Cleansers are one of the more popular types of eye makeup remover. They come in a bottle in liquid form and should be used with a cotton pad, cotton ball or swab to remove makeup from the area. Some require rinsing after use, as they may leave residue behind. 


Lotions are a moisturizing makeup removal option and may be less harsh on sensitive or dry skin. They usually don’t require scrubbing to dissolve makeup and can simply be wiped off after use, leaving skin clean and moisturized. Most lotions aren’t safe for use on the eyes and can’t be used for eye makeup.


Oils-based makeup removers are great for heavy duty makeup that’s not water soluble. They’ll dissolve even the most stubborn of waterproof or costume makeup. Oils will moisturize the skin, but they may exacerbate oily skin. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to check what kinds of oils are used, as many use mineral oils.

Micellar water

Micellar water is a more recent addition to the world of makeup removers. It consists of tiny balls of oil molecules suspended in water that attract dirt without leaving residue on the skin. Micellar water is gentle and usually unscented. It’s also safe for use on the entire face, including the eyes.


Pre-soaked makeup removers are great for easy use. They usually come in pad or wipe form, meaning you don’t need to use a separate cloth or cotton pad to remove your makeup. They can dry out after long periods of time.

What to look for in a quality eye makeup remover


For those with oily skin, oil-free makeup removers can be a necessity. These usually leave less residue on the skin than oil-free cleansers, but they can contain harsh ingredients that might irritate sensitive skin. 

Natural ingredients

Many makeup removers harness the power of plant based ingredients, such as aloe, cucumber, chamomile and others. These are gentler and less irritating to sensitive skin than harsher cleansers and can offer additional skin healing and cleansing benefits.


Many makeup removers are scented to one degree or another, but scented products can irritate sensitive skin or bother those who have sensitivities to fragrance. However, fragrance-free options are quite common. Check carefully for products that either contain a scent you like or no fragrance at all.

How much you can expect to spend on eye makeup remover

Eye makeup removers aren’t terribly expensive, though there is variety in price. Expect to spend between roughly $7 for cheaper, drugstore brands and up to $30 for high-end eye makeup removers.

Eye makeup remover FAQ

Do I have to wash my face after using eye makeup remover?

A. For makeup removers that leave a residue, like cleansers or oil-based removers, many people like to cleanse after using makeup remover. This additional step can be helpful for those with sensitive skin, but it’s not a necessity, especially for micellar water and lotion-based cleansers. 

What are the advantages of using eye makeup remover?

A. It’s important to remove your makeup before going to sleep at night, as leaving it on can cause styes, ingrowns and even infections. Eye makeup is often waterproof and designed for long wear, which can make it difficult to remove except with dedicated eye makeup remover.

What’s the best eye makeup remover to buy?

Top eye makeup remover

Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent

Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent

What you need to know: A non-oily eye makeup remover that’s effective and gentle on sensitive skin.

What you’ll love: Reviewers call this their desert island makeup remover, due to its effectiveness. It’s also unscented, making it a great choice for those who are sensitive to fragrances.

What you should consider: Some people had trouble removing waterproof mascara with this remover.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top eye makeup remover for the money

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

What you need to know: A budget-friendly makeup remover that works on even the most stubborn makeup.

What you’ll love: The low price point makes it great for everyday use. It’s an oil-free formula perfect for oily skin. Reviewers swear that this removes even the most stubborn eye makeup.

What you should consider: The formula, though oil-free, felt greasy to some users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Beauty By Earth Makeup Remover

Beauty By Earth Makeup Remover

What you need to know: A skin soothing and eco-friendly makeup remover.

What you’ll love: This product is organic and doesn’t contain the mineral oils commonly found in other products. Ingredients like aloe and green tea will actually help cleanse and heal the skin.

What you should consider: It has a light scent, which some users may dislike. Some users also found they had to scrub more to remove longer-wearing makeups like waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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