Staff Picks: Our fave ways to remove makeup + cleanse our face

Like any beauty noob, I didn't realize the importance of using a separate makeup remover until much later. I grew up watching my mom slather on Cold Cream, and because I didn't like how it felt on my face and stung my eyes, I relied on whatever facial wash I had available to clear everything off my face. Of course, this led to quite a few breakouts that I initially thought were caused by a product I was using.

I've since learned that there are so many other makeup removal options available and I'm certainly glad (and grateful) that I no longer have to rely exclusively on cold cream to get clean. Here's what we PV girls prefer to use instead!

Liz: What I use to remove makeup depends on how much I have on and how tamad I am at the end of the day, haha. Here are the different scenarios:

  • Heavy event makeup + already falling asleep in an awkward angle on the couch = In Her Element First Wash Cleansing Oil. This can take off my waterproof products! I massage my eye area to break down the thick formulas. I use it right before I shower.
  • Light everyday makeup + I've got no time for this shit = Cetaphil Cleansing Cloths. These wipes are generously wet and kind to my skin! It works fast but never feels drying or abrasive.
  • Light everyday makeup + home early + dull skin = Son & Park Beauty Water. I like that it has skincare ingredients for boosting my tired skin. It's too expensive just for removing makeup, so it's what I pick up when I need that extra TLC.
  • Medium everyday makeup + have some time to dawdle = Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I like this, it's super affordable and it does the job. It can cut through a good amount of long-wearing products as long as there's nothing waterproof.

I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that my current HG facial wash is the In Her Element Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser. I like how soft the foam is, its relaxing luxe rose scent, and how it never feels drying. Basically my dream facial wash! I mean, that's why we made it.

Den: I only discovered double cleansing last year and it has seriously changed my life! I wish I'd tried it sooner! Biases aside, I truly enjoy using In Her Element's First Wash Cleansing Oil because it easily and quickly removes all traces off my makeup, rinses easily, and leaves my skin looking bright. I follow up with a pump or two of the Low pH Rose Gel Cleanser to prepare my skin for BHA and AHA application. Even a single pump actually foams up quite well! I use it with a konjac sponge every few days for some mild exfoliation as my dry skin has a tendency to look grey and ashen,

Angela: I use In Her Element Cleansing Oil. It cleanses really well and I love how it smells, though sometimes waterproof mascara and eyeliner still remain. (May I recommend trying a downward massaging motion? - Liz) When this happens, I use the In Her Element Balm or petroleum jelly. After that, I use a regular facial wash. I'm still on a quest to find my HG facial wash. Right now, I just switch between Perfect Whip and Lactacyd (LOL) and I recently ordered CosRx Good Morning Cleanser but it hasn't arrived yet. On lazy days, I use Garnier Micellar Water then wash with a facial wash.

Stacie: When I started with my makeup journey, micellar water was my best friend. I've repurchased Bifesta over and over again for about three years because it's an easy, fuss-free, non-oily way of removing makeup. When they pulled out, I opened my heart to cleansing balms. In Her Element's Nourish and Cleanse Balm was Liz's gift to all the staff last Christmas, and it's so good! It's marketed as an eye makeup remover, but gurl, you can slather this on your whole face, smell like doughnuts, and emerge makeup-free. I've actually already hit pan on this even if I literally just use about a peso coin size for my whole face.

For my second cleanser, I use the Low pH Good Morning Cleanser from CosRX. This can remove light makeup, too. I got the worst breakout of my life (it was a  complete disaster!) from using a high pH cleanser so I have completely sworn off all of them. 

Tellie: I'm a big fan of double cleansing - I've always thought that facial washes never really got off all of my foundation. I like to start with a biphase remover like Pond's for my waterproof eye makeup and dark lipstick, if I'm wearing any for the day. Otherwise, I just go straight for a micelle water like Labiotte Code-Derm Capsule Cleansing Water. I rinse this with a little water and, with moisture still on my face, get a little bit of foaming cleanser such as Scinic Honey Banana Cleansing Foam. I use sooo little, like half a pea, and work it into a foam on my hands before swishing the foam on my face. Anything more and my face ends up dry and itchy!

Charlie: I've become addicted to double cleansing ever since I've noticed a major change on how my skin looks right after. I have acne-prone, combination skin so I also make sure to pick out products that can help treat it. No matter what I have on, I use cleansing water on cotton pads as my initial cleanser. I've recently tried Garnier's blue micellar water and I'm liking it so far. I follow up with a cleansing oil like BRTC's Pore Tightening Cleansing Oil to melt the rest of my makeup residue. Afterward, I cleanse with a foaming cleanser; I've been loving COSRX's Salicylic Exfoliating Cleanser recently because it helps treat my troubled skin.

Crystal: Philosophy Purity Made Simple is so good that I'm already on my third bottle of this. It touts itself to be a one-step cleanser, and for the most part, it's true. It removes my makeup and cleanses my face that I can get away without using a separate cleanser, yet it feels so gentle on my skin. I still prefer to double cleanse, though, so I still wash my face with another cleanser that I feel like using at the moment.

Katsy: I prefer to "triple cleanse" whenever I wear full makeup. I remove my eye makeup and lipstick with micellar water then use cleansing oil then facial wash. I do this because I don't want the color to spread all over my face (especially stubborn liquid lipsticks) if I go straight to cleansing oil. I also used to just use cleansing oil but after I tried double cleansing, I got hooked! I have to follow up with a facial wash after. Right now, I'm finishing up the Bioderma Micellar Water, Lebaton Ban Ban Dual Cleansing Oil + Cleanser, and the su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. The first two products I can alternate with others but I feel the su:m 37 is a must-have.

Gett: I wear makeup majority of the week. I'm quite fussy about makeup removal, but it's super important that I thoroughly remove it all to prevent any breakouts and irritation. Recently, I've been using a sample of the Clio Microfessional Lip and Eye Remover (got it from a Clio Kill Brown eyeliner set!) to remove eye makeup. It's oil-based so it easily removes glitter and eye liner! When I do wear mascara (Heroine Volume and Curl by default), I take it off with the Heroine Mascara Remover. It's got a bristle-less wand so it just coats the lashes with the remover and melts it all off; it's awesome! On a day-to-day basis, I love to double cleanse. I starting off with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I love how it removes everything so easily, and hate that I can only get this in Japan. Then I follow it with the face soap from my derma.

Marielle: For light base makeup, which is becoming increasingly rare for me, DHC Cleansing Oil does a great job of taking everything off without stinging eyes and drying skin. But for the heavy-duty layers (cushion compact, foundation, full-coverage concealer, powder), Chica Y Chico Killing Star Foam Cleanser is the one to beat. It's supposed to be a 3-in-1 makeup remover/cleanser/exfoliator that eliminates the need for a round 2 of cleansing, but I still prefer to double cleanse. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me why it has to have a sparse smattering of microbeads, because who wants to exfoliate while there's still all that makeup gunk suspended in the cleanser.? As a makeup remover though, it takes away the thickest, stickiest base products in a pinch.

How do you take off your makeup? Are you an oil, cleansing balm, micellar water or makeup remover wipe kinda girl? What are your fave products?