Party season is fast approaching and I know it can be all too tempting to sleep in your make-up. Luckily I’ve found the make-up removers that are high in efficacy but low in effort. Sacrificing your skin for sleep just became a thing of the past…
Cleopatra did it with oils and lime juice, Marilyn Monroe used Ponds Cold Cream, while Marlene Dietrich had a penchant for the Erno Laszlo Cleansing Bar – these beauty icons understood the importance of make-up removal. So how do you remove yours? Old-school soap and water, the quick and easy cleansing wipe, or an arsenal of products to dissolve your ‘face’?
Maybe you do nothing at all. Mintel reports 47% of us skip this bedtime ritual, leaving us not only with unclean skin but a slew of negative knock-on effects. “Sleeping with your make-up on can wreak havoc,” says aesthetic doctor Maryam Zamani. “While we sleep, our skin works to renew itself and recover from the accumulation of damaging free radicals caused by pollution. If your skin is covered in make-up, dirt, bacteria, dead skin and a build-up of oil, you are going to upset the balance of this system and can expect enlarged pores, acne, irritation and an uneven skintone.”
But with brands now offering make-up formulations infused with the same ingredients found in your skincare, such as regenerating antioxidants, there is an argument for sleeping in some make-up. Take Bareminerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment, £45, a tinted powder designed to replenish your skin’s mineral intake while you sleep, improving its natural luminosity. Or genius brand Oxygenetix, for its Oxygenating Foundation, £45, which has breathable peptides that allow oxygen to penetrate the skin and help with its normal renewal process.
However, Zamani reminds us that “not all make-up is made equal”. The route to happy, healthy skin is based on removing every last stitch of make-up, no matter how much you want to crawl into bed. Here are the most effective ways of dissolving it fast.
Micellar Water…the lightning fast make-up remover taking the world by storm
Before it became commonplace on our shores, make-up artists and models alike regularly raided French pharmacies to get their hands on micellar water. Swiftly replacing the need for old-school make-up removers which require you to cleanse after use, it has the ability to dissolve make-up and dirt with ease by way of the small oil particles (micelles) infused into the water-based formula. Globally there has been a 94% increase in micellar water products in the past two years – unsurprising as these one-stop shop cleansers also conveniently defend the skin’s protective barrier from irritants such as iron, zinc and limescale found in tap water, making them the perfect antidote for sensitive skin. Available in variations for all skin types, micellar water is the time-poor woman’s dream. Simply wipe a damp cotton pad over eyes, face and neck and watch all traces of make-up, dirt and oil disappear.
Origins Dr Weil Mega- Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, £27.50
This oil-free formula is perfect for those with blemish-prone skin. The ingredients read like a grocery shopping list: rice bran, mushrooms, ginger, turmeric and berries. They combine to create stronger, more resilient skin by unclogging pores, lifting make-up and protecting against the effects of hard water and pollution.
Bioderma Sebium h20, £10.20
Designed for oily skin types thanks to its purifying agents, zinc gluconate and copper sulphate, this mimics the natural composition of the skin. The barely there liquid removes make-up while regulating sebum production.
Dolce & Gabbana Essential Cleansing Water, £33
This all-in-one remover, cleanser and toner is suited to all skin types and is as refreshing as an Italian lemon granita on a scorching hot day. The micelles trap every last trace of make-up and the skin is left more hydrated post cleanse.
Cleansing Balms…the luxurious approach to breaking down your make-up
These thick, creamy balms feel like the ultimate indulgence. Like a dollop of clotted cream on the skin, these predominantly oil-based cleansers break down make-up particles in the most lavish manner. Balms should be applied to dry skin by hand, then massaged in for 60 seconds and rinsed off with warm water using a muslin cloth. Hydrating and nourishing, balms are ideal for skin on the drier side, helping to keep it balanced.
Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm, £19.50
Thanks to the dissolving power of pure plant oils, this all-natural formula is ideal for getting rid of make-up. And it comes with a kind-to-skin, organic and unbleached cotton cloth.
Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, £46
The scent of orange blossom lifts the spirits, while calcium and magnesium-rich Hungarian moor mud detoxifies combination and oily skin types. Sweet almond oil nourishes without clogging pores, leaving your complexion balanced, strong and supple.
Clinique Take The Day off Cleansing Balm, £22
It’s what’s not in this balm that makes it so good. Without mineral oils and sensitive-skin foes such as essential oils and fragrance, this is nourishing and lightweight. With its ability to cut through make-up, it has earned its place as a hero buy.
Cleansing Devices…gadgets gentle enough for everyday use
If you’re after the most effective no-holds-barred make-up removal, it’s all about the new breed of cleansing gadgets (although eye make-up must be removed separately). New waterproof and ergonomically designed options offer six times better removal than hands alone.
Crystal Clear Ionic sonic Cleanse, £79.99
This brush tag-teams innovative technology to cleanse your skin of make-up, dirt and pollutants. Negative ion charges dig deep within pores, attracting positively charged toxins and expelling them. The silicone brush generates 8,000 gentle sonic pulses per minute to sweep away toxins, make-up and dirt, boosting blood circulation in the process.
Clarisonic Smart Profile Kit, £199
With this, you can personalise your experience by adjusting the strength and speed according to the part of the face you are cleansing. With brushes for delicate, sensitive and older skin types, plus ones that offer a deep pore cleanse or a radiant finish, everyone is catered for.
Foreo Luna, £145
The future has arrived with this innovative cleansing brush. Sonic wave pulsations are channelled through a unique soft silicone brush that literally vibrates dirt and make-up right off the skin on contact. It comes in a sensitive/ normal variety as well as one for combination skin.