importance of removing makeup

Makeup Removal and Cleansing. Basic Facial Skincare

The importance of removing makeup becomes evident to us from the very moment we start learning about cosmetics. In the process, we meticulously study techniques for applying eyeshadows, classify different types of eyeliners, and watch online tutorials on proper contouring. However, when it comes to demakeup, most of us are accustomed to grabbing a micellar water from a well-known brand at the supermarket or quickly washing our faces with water, or even worse, going to bed with makeup still on.

Why bother removing makeup at all?

Skin cleansing is essential in principle. Throughout the day, we sweat, sebaceous glands produce sebum, and outdoor dust accumulates on our faces. And if our face is covered with a heavy foundation, eyelids, lashes, and lips are painted, then all this 'layered cake' simply cannot be left as is.

That's precisely why it's crucial to differentiate between the processes of makeup removal and cleansing. These are two separate and essential stages of effective cleansing.

Stage 1: Makeup Removal

So, the first stage: removing makeup. Why is a separate product needed?

The importance of removing makeup becomes evident when we consider the intricacies of the process. Makeup removers are specifically formulated to efficiently dissolve and eliminate pigments and the intricate silicone-based waterproof formulas found in various cosmetic products.

Conversely, cleansers such as gels, and mousses are designed with their own purpose: to dissolve skin sebum, sweat, dirt, and other external pollutants. Combining the roles of two different products yields subpar results. Applying a foaming cleanser over a layer of foundation merely results in the spread of makeup and impurities across the face, rather than effectively eliminating them from the skin.

For removal of waterproof makeup, including that on the eyes and lips, the usage of dual-phase products is recommended. The oily phase of these products excels at removing stubborn pigments. An alternative option is the use of hydrophilic oil.

Selecting a makeup remover that suits your preference is essential. Whether it's milk, hydrophilic oil, lotion, micellar water, gel, dual-phase product, oil, cream, or even emulsions, the crucial factor is to consistently remove makeup prior to commencing the cleansing process.

Stage 2: Cleansing

After parting with makeup, we move on to the second stage: cleansing with purifying products.

These will remove remnants of makeup removers, sweat, oil, and some dead cells from the stratum corneum that have accumulated throughout the day.

For optimal cleansing, choose a gentle product suitable for your skin type. Gels work well if you have oily, problematic skin with acne, while lightweight cleansers are comfortable choices for dry, sensitive, normal, and mature skin.

However, soaps and cleansers with sulfates are better left aside. Their highly alkaline pH, especially in combination with tap water, disrupts the skin's natural healthy pH balance. This, in turn, reduces protective properties and skin immunity, leading to dryness, dehydration, and even acne.

Wash your face with room-temperature water in the morning and evening. Water that is too cold or too hot can strip away the protective lipid layer of the epidermal barrier and damage blood vessels.

To effectively cleanse the skin while washing, take your time – apply the product to damp skin, gently lather, delicately massage for a minute, and thoroughly rinse with water.

Scentual Aroma offers a duo set of products designed to enhance your skincare routine. Among them is the REPLENISH Gentle Cleansing Balm, a luxurious oil-based cleanser carefully formulated with pure botanical components. The balm effortlessly removes impurities, and its nourishing composition ensures easy makeup and sunscreen removal.

The Charcoal Detox Face Cleanser, created from a blend of organic plant oils including hemp, argan, and black seed oils, enriched with plant extracts, is a gentle daily facial cleanser that delicately penetrates pores to remove impurities.

Follow the Sequence

Simply spreading makeup remover all over your face is an inexcusable mistake. Always start with your lips, then clean your eyes and eyebrows, and only after that, move on to your skin. When removing foundation or BB cream, always move from the center towards the edges, and don't forget about your neck.

Don't rush with eye makeup removal. The most complex and time-consuming step in makeup removal in most cases is taking off eye makeup. The skin on the eyelids is very delicate, requiring special care. Never rub them with a cotton pad, trying to quickly get rid of mascara or waterproof eyeliner. Cosmetics won't come off faster because of this, and the skin will eventually be injured. Residues of makeup that get into the eyes can cause irritation and redness.

Therefore, proceed gently: apply makeup remover to a cotton pad and press it against your eyes, wait for a minute for the makeup to dissolve a bit, then carefully remove the makeup, moving from the inner corner of the eye to the temple.


What to Use for Makeup Removal?

The answer is simple: specialized products designed for removing decorative cosmetics. They come in a wide range and differ in composition, their impact on the skin, and how they are used.

Here are several popular types:

  • Oil-based removers allow you to dissolve waterproof or professional makeup in just a few minutes. However, due to their high oil content, they can be comedogenic for people with problem skin. 
  • Micellar water doesn't contain silicones or oils. It effectively removes all substances, cleaning the pores from natural impurities. 
  • Cleansing milk effectively removes water-based makeup. Some manufacturers produce versions of this product specifically for removing long-lasting makeup. It moisturizes the skin well, but it can lead to excess oiliness. 
  • "Three-in-one" products combine cleansing, toning, and makeup removal in one bottle. They can be used without water and are suitable for "problem-free" normal skin. Intended for short-term skin cleansing, for example, while traveling or on vacation.

Makeup remover products for the face are also suitable for morning cleansing, when it's important to remove residues of night cream, natural secretions, and impurities. Choosing the wrong product can cause a sensation of tightness or trigger the overactivity of sebaceous glands and inflammation.

Removing long-lasting makeup is more challenging than water-based makeup. In this case, cleansing and makeup removal are most effectively done with oil-based or micellar-type products.

Main Makeup Removal Mistakes

The most common mistakes in makeup removal include:

  • Not removing makeup at all and going to bed with it on.
  • Using the same cotton pad for the entire face. This will only smear the makeup and harm the delicate skin around the eyes.
  • Using the wrong product, such as attempting to remove eyeliner with micellar water or excessively drying already dry skin with alcohol-based toner.
  • Using regular soap. The normal pH of facial skin ranges from 4 to 6. The pH scale, also known as Potential of Hydrogen, measures the acidity and alkalinity. It ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7 being neutral. Therefore, the pH of makeup removal products should be around 5.5, whereas the pH of regular soap can reach up to 11.
  • Removing makeup with wipes. Wipes are a quick solution and can be used on occasion. However, they are not suitable for regular use as they cannot deeply cleanse the skin. Additionally, wipes contain preservatives to extend their shelf life, and some may be soaked in alcohol.
  • Overwashing. The feeling of tightness after washing is a sign that the skin's hydrolipidic barrier has been disrupted. This can lead to dryness, discomfort, itching, irritation, redness, and breakouts.
  • Using the same product for eye makeup removal as for the rest of the face. The skin around the eyes has fewer sebaceous glands, making it more delicate and prone to dryness rather than oiliness.
  • Forgetting about lips, ears, neck, and hairline. If you think that all the lipstick has been wiped off after a few meals... it's just an illusion. The pores on the lips can get clogged with product and need proper cleansing. As for the ears, hairline, and neck, if you've applied foundation evenly across your face, these areas are likely to have makeup too, ensuring a seamless makeup look. However, we often forget to remove makeup from these areas, which can lead to the consequences mentioned above.
  • Neglecting to cleanse after makeup removal. The main purpose of makeup removal products is to break down the bonds between makeup and the skin and dissolve makeup products. However, regular cleansing and skincare are still necessary to remove residual makeup and makeup removal product, moisturize the skin, and prepare it for restorative sleep.


In conclusion, underscoring the importance of removing makeup is vital for the upkeep of a healthy complexion. The act of removing makeup at the close of each day serves as a farewell to the build-up of dirt and oils. Performing this crucial step before bedtime facilitates skin rejuvenation and much-needed rest.

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