The Total Cleanse: Steps to Fully & Properly Removing Makeup

Cleansing your face might seem like a pretty straight forward concept. Wash your face until you don’t see anymore makeup left. Right? Wrong.

Just as there’s an art to putting on makeup, there’s an art to taking it off.

Here are the proper steps to ensure you cleanse your face properly, which will allow your other skincare products to fully penetrate and absorb for most effective results.

Step 1: Double Cleanse

Apply an oil-based cleanser with dry hands onto a dry face. This includes cleansing oils and balms (Read more about how double cleansing works here: Double Cleansing: Why Everyone Should Be Doing It!)

Step 2: Remove Eye Makeup

You want to remove your eye makeup first, because they can leave a film behind that will prevent your eye cream from penetrating. Soak a flat cotton pad in liquid, eye-makeup remover. Place on lid. Let sit a few seconds. Wipe. Repeat until all eye makeup has been removed, and cotton pad wipes off clear. Make sure to also come from underneath your upper eye lashes, to get mascara, liner, and shadow that has creeped down into your lashline. Be gentle. This step does take some time and uses up a decent amount of product. This is why I recommend using an inexpensive, eye-makeup remover. It’s better to use more of a cheaper makeup remover and get all your makeup off, than using less of a more expensive remover that could leave skin-damaging makeup particles behind.

Step 3: Regular Cleanse

Use a cleansing device and regular, water-based cleanser to fully remove makeup and leftover makeup remover. Your cleanser can be foaming or non-foaming, like a cleansing milk. Whatever is best for you skin type. Your cleansing device can be anything from a washcloth to a Clarisonic (Read more about which might be best for you in Tool Time: Face-Cleansing Devices)

Dry your face. Proceed to Step 4 immediately. The longer you wait, the more water evaporates from your face, dehydrating it.

Step 4: Micellular Water/Toner

To completely remove all remaining traces of makeup and oil, apply micellular water or toner to a flat cotton pad and wipe all over your face. Micellular water is better at removing leftover its of makeup, but if all you have is toner, use that (Read more about micellular water here Micellular Water: What the What?).


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