cleansers for stubborn makeup

11 cleansers that will actually remove stubborn Halloween make-up

Posted by for Beauty

Here are the hardworking balms, washes and milky cleansers to get rid of your Halloween make-up once and for all.

Spooky season is well and truly upon us – in fact, it’s almost over. With Halloween fast approaching (the 31st is this Sunday, FYI), there are a few things to take into consideration besides what you’re planning on wearing. Like, how you’re planning on taking off what you’re wearing. Specifically – your face. 

Because, whether you’re preparing a painfully ironic or unsettlingly scary look (Heidi Klum should be your inspiration for this, BTW), there’s going to be a moment where you try to scrub your Halloween face off and it doesn’t budge. Not ideal. 

When this happens – and it probably will – your first move should be reaching for a cleanser that cuts through make-up and removes even the most stubborn eyeliners, waterproof mascaras and layers of setting powder. Here are 11 stellar options to greet the 1st of November with happy skin and not panda-eyes of Halloween past. 

  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

    CeraVe hydrating cleanser
    CeraVe hydrating cleanser
    CeraVe hydrating cleanser

    Protect your skin barrier after a night of trick-or-treating with a cleanser that a) won’t break the bank and b) helps to repair and hydrate your skin with ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Enter CeraVe’s cult hit, the Hydrating Cleanser.

    For very stubborn make-up, use it as the second step in your double cleanse.

  • Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser

    TataHarper Purifying Cleanser
    TataHarper Purifying Cleanser
    TataHarper Purifying Cleanser

    A beauty-expert favourite, Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser gets rid of even the smallest particles of make-up, pollution and dirt. 

    Yes, it’s more expensive but well worth the price tag if your budget allows for it. 

  • La Roche-Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Make-Up Remover

    La Roche-Posay Respectissime Eye Make-Up Remover
    La Roche-Posay Respectissime Eye Make-Up Remover
    La Roche-Posay Respectissime Eye Make-Up Remover

    Chosen an eye-centric look or planning on experimenting with eyeliner outside of your upper lid? Grab a heavy-duty eye make-up remover like this to remove waterproof mascara and resistant eyeliner formulas. 

  • Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Micellar Water

    Bioderma Sensiobio Micellar Water
    Bioderma Sensiobio Micellar Water
    Bioderma Sensiobio Micellar Water

    For those with sensitive skin, a hard-working formula that doesn’t irritate reactive skin is needed when removing stubborn make-up. Bioderma’s Sensibio H20 Make-Up Removing Solution is just that – it gently breaks down make-up without stripping your skin of its natural oils in the process. 

  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

    Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
    Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
    Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

    A Stylist beauty team go-to, the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is a nourishing option to cut through make-up, leaving skin supple, soft and smooth. 

  • Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

    Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
    Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

    Glossier’s cruelty-free and pH-balanced milky cleanser is formulated to condition (read: hydrate) skin and dissolve oil, dirt and make-up. 

  • La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Milk

    La Roche-Posay Make Up Cleansing Milk
    La Roche-Posay Make Up Cleansing Milk
    La Roche-Posay Make Up Cleansing Milk

    100% hypoallergenic, La Roche-Posay’s Make-Up Remover Milk is an excellent option to eliminate impurities, remove make-up and gently cleanse away the final remnants of a fun All Hallow’s Eve. 

  • Drunk Elephant Slaai Make-Up Melting Butter

    Drunk Elephant Make-Up Melting Butter Cleanser
    Drunk Elephant Make-Up Melting Butter Cleanser
    Drunk Elephant Make-Up Melting Butter Cleanser

    A does-what-it-says-on-the-tin choice, Drunk Elephant’s “make-up melting” cleansing balm works to remove unwanted cosmetic particles with a clever oil-to-milk cleanser formulation. 

    Work into dry skin (a.k.a when you’re still wearing make-up) with dry hands. This allows the oil to break down all traces of dirt, SPF and make-up, both waterproof and otherwise). Then, add water to activate the milky cleanser and rinse well with warm water. 

  • Murad Blemish Control Clarifying Cream Cleanser

    Murad Blemish Control Cleanser
    Murad Blemish Control Cleanser
    Murad Blemish Control Cleanser

    This Murad cleanser uses two different types of salicylic acid to fully remove any residual blemish-causing bacteria – helpful if you’re worried about a post-Halloween breakout.

  • Wishful Clean Genie Cleansing Butter

    Wishful Clean Genie Cleansing Butter
    Wishful Clean Genie Cleansing Butter
    Wishful Clean Genie Cleansing Butter

    Anything with the name butter in it sounds perfect for removing even the hardest of make-up. Wishful, beauty founder and expert Huda Kattan’s brand, formulated a balm-to-oil-to-milk cleanser that works quickly without irritating eyes or sensitive skin. 

  • The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm

    The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm
    The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm
    The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm

    Start with an oil cleanser or micellar water to break down make-up particles, then go in with The INKEY List’s Oat Cleansing Balm to soothe, hydrate and moisturise. It contains two types of oat formulas – oat kernel oil and colloidal oatmeal (especially calming for eczema-prone and reactive skin types).

    Massage onto damp skin and rinse with warm water or leave on for up to 10 minutes for a nourishing face mask moment. 

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