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Learn How To Remove Makeup Without Wipes

by Beverly Hills MD

June 25 2021

There’s an epidemic sweeping the nation. It’s this: addiction to makeup remover wipes. Deep down, wipe lovers may feel guilty about the waste. They may even suspect that wipes aren’t that effective (they aren’t). But some wipe addicts may not even remember how to remove makeup without wipes. If you’re ready to ditch the habit and learn some makeup removing tricks without wipes, read on.

What Are Makeup Wipes?

Makeup wipes are single-use, disposable cloths that are soaked with makeup remover or cleanser. Their purpose is to easily whisk off makeup residue and cleanse your skin with a simple swipe.1


The active ingredients typically include a surfactant to dissolve and a solubilizer and emulsifier to help lift makeup. Some wipes contain potentially concerning ingredients, like alcohol and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals and preservatives.2

Why Are Makeup Wipes So Popular?

The appeal of makeup wipes is understandable. At the end of a long day when you just want to lay your head on your pillow ASAP, a multi-step skincare routine may seem daunting. Just use a disposable makeup cleansing wipe and you’re done, right? People who love makeup wipes do so because:


  • how to remove makeup without wipes | BHMDThey don’t require you to bend over the sink and splash warm water on your face like a cream cleanser, gel cleanser, oil cleanser, or any cleanser does.
  • They are travel-friendly.
  • They may be more affordable than your favorite cleanser.
  • They are all-around convenient.
  • You can use them while your head is already on your pillow.3

Why Are Makeup Wipes Bad For You?

Even with all of their convenience, some beauty experts recommend skipping disposable wipes. Here’s why:


  • They are environmentally damaging (most aren’t biodegradable) and will likely end up in landfills.
  • Many wipes don’t actually clean skin. They spread around makeup and make your skin look clean.
  • Some wipes may push makeup or debris deeper into your pores.
  • Chemicals in makeup wipes may cause irritation, especially on delicate skin.
  • The physical act of scrubbing with a wipe may irritate sensitive skin.4,5

Why You Should Always Remove Your Makeup Before Bed

If you’re choosing between removing your makeup with a wipe or not at all, a wipe could still help you out in a pinch. Turns out, removing your makeup (especially heavy makeup) is just as important as you’ve been told.
Here’s why you always want to remove your makeup before bed.


  • dull skin | BHMDLeft on your skin, some makeup may cause clogged pores and breakouts.
  • Skipping a facial cleanse might make your skin appear dull.
  • Sleeping in your makeup might harm your skin barrier.6

The point here is that you shouldn’t ditch your makeup wipes in favor of leaving your makeup on all night. Your best course of action is to develop a makeup removal routine that can replace your wipes.

Here’s How to Remove Makeup Without Makeup Wipes (Or Makeup Remover)

If you want to know how to remove makeup without wipes, you’ll need a plan that you can go to just as easily as a wipe.

1. Do Your Nightly Skincare Routine (Or A Short Version Of It)

Even if you’re exhausted, you’ll probably be glad once you get into your nightly skincare routine. In fact, it’ll probably relax you and help you fall asleep faster.7 If you’re using a high quality cleanser, your regular skincare routine may be enough to remove your makeup without wipes.


Try starting your skincare routine as soon as you come home, rather than right before bed when you’re more likely to be tired and over it. Here’s an easy-to-follow nightly routine.


  1. Pull back your hair.
  2. Cleanse with a gentle cleanser, and rinse with lukewarm water.
  3. Pat dry.
  4. Dat in your serum.
  5. Pat on your eye cream.
  6. Moisturize.8

skincare routine | BHMD

Sometimes, the best we can do is wash our face and smear on a bit of moisturizer before we hit the hay. If you’re having one of those days, be kind to yourself — and know that skipping one day of your skincare routine will not send your skin into a tailspin.

2. Use Natural Oils To Remove Makeup

What happens if you see streaks of waterproof eye makeup under your eyes after you’ve cleansed? If you have sticky residue from long-wear makeup or stubborn mascara, you may need more than just cleanser.


Rather than reach for a makeup wipe, try experimenting with natural oils. Oil dissolves oil, so they may be a good choice for removing waterproof, stubborn makeup, which tends to be oil-based. Oil can also remove oil, dirt, and grime.


After you’ve cleaned your face, pour a few drops of oil onto a clean cloth. Cotton pads, cotton balls, or even your fingers will work, too. Gently dab at the waterproof mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, or any other waterproof makeup products that need to be removed. Then rinse with warm water.9

Natural Oils That Work Well For Removing Makeup

rosehip oil | BHMDYou can use a natural oil in the same way that you’d use an eye makeup remover or wipe. If you’re trying to replicate the ease of a makeup wipe, keep a bag of cotton pads right next to the oil on your bathroom counter. Here are a few to consider.

Rosehip Oil

This fragrance-free plant oil has a high amount of linoleic acid, which may be helpful for skin blemishes.


This light, stable oil has beneficial properties that may help moisturize the skin.

Hempseed Oil

This non-comedogenic oil can help wipe off makeup.

Grapeseed Oil

This lightweight oil can help moisturize and balance as it removes makeup.

Jojoba Oil

The consistency of jojoba oil is similar to skin’s sebum, so it may help balance skin oil.

Sunflower Oil

This non-fragrant oil may help remove every inch of makeup from your face.

Argan Oil

argan oil | BHMDArgan oil may help remove stubborn eye makeup without clogging pores or causing irritation.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can help slough off dead skin cells.

Sweet Almond Oil

This gentle oil may help cleanse makeup from your skin without causing irritation.10,11,12


Skip: Coconut oil, as it is considered to be comedogenic and may clog pores.13


You may also want to try these other gentle ingredients to remove makeup.


  • Micellar Water
  • Rose Water
  • Aloe Water14

Before using any new product on your face, do a spot test and see how your skin reacts. Do not ingest these oils internally. Speak with your dermatologist before starting a new routine.

3. Finish Your Cleansing Routine

After you’ve gently removed traces of makeup with your oil, you may want to cleanse your face or rinse one more time to remove the oil.

Other Makeup Removal Tricks That Makeup Artists Swear By

rinsing face | BHMD

Need more makeup removing tricks without wipes? Here are a few tried-and-true makeup removal tips that’ll have you ditching those makeup wipes in no time.


  • Let your cleanser sit on your face for 15 seconds to break down your makeup before rinsing it off.
  • Use a light hand, and always be gentle – gently massaging in cleansing oil is just as effective as roughly wiping it on your skin.
  • If you have time, hop in the shower. The steam from the hot water will work in your favor.
  • Be sure to remove cleansing oil after use.
  • Avoid baby wipes. They don’t have the ingredients that will break down makeup.
  • Always end your makeup removal routine with moisturizer to set yourself up for success the next day.15,16

Be Gone, Makeup Wipes

Once you develop a makeup removal routine that you love, you likely won’t even miss your beloved makeup wipes. Your skin, the environment, and your wallet will thank you.


Learn More:
Makeup Tips: How To Find Your Foundation Shade
Vitamin E For Skin Care: What Are The Potential Benefits And How Do You Use It?
19 Surprising Ways You’re Giving Yourself Wrinkles


Beverly Hills MD Dermal Repair Complex