Thursday, August 16th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Best Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so great?

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86 thoughts on “Hit List: Best Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes

  1. Bourjois Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. So far the only one i found that DOES remove my makeup without getting my eyes all irritated..

  2. Anna

    Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Wipes. They’re effective, affordable, and of course don’t bother my sensitive eyes

  3. Ellen

    Talika lash-conditioning eye makeup remover! It’s the ONLY thing that gets off all my makeup, and feels great too!

    • Gail

      Used Talika before I started using Bliss – the only store that carried is SAKS and now they don’t??????? Loved it!

  4. Sonia Kashuk and NARS both work really well on my sensitive eyes.

  5. Sasha

    Love my MAC Cleanse Off Oil in Tranquil. Gets rid of everything so easily with very little product. I used to use Philosophy and have to use a separate make-up remover to get rid of my eyeshadow primer and waterproof liner. Now I just use the cleanse off oil and follow it up with a gentle cleanser. It gets rid of my UD primer potion, waterproof liner, lipstains, everything with no scrubbing and one little pump of product.

  6. Dinitchka

    For me, baby wipes doused with olive oil. If I had to choose a name brand I’d go with Estée Lauder – Gentle eye make-up remover. It does not sting my eyes, itch or aggervate them. It does an excellent job of getting rid of the bluest blues and blackest black.

  7. Kelley

    I have been using the Simple brand’s eye makeup remover. It’s like water, and removes eyemakeup okay… Not as good as an oil based one, but you really only have to use an extra cotton pad or ball. It doesn’t have any scent and since it’s like water, there’s no oily residue.

  8. Cat G

    Baby oil / coconut oil!

  9. I like MAC cleanse off oil – no eye stinging(blurry vision for a minute if you get it in your eye, though) and it doesn’t make the skin around my eyes go on a flaky freakout like Bi-Facil does. Bonus: smells like gingerbread and actually removes my crazy hard to remove waterproof mascara in seconds.

  10. mirian

    Chanel eye make up remover or baby oil.

  11. Marcelle Essentials Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes. This is my #1 remover because it melts off everything even the most stubborn long wear products. ^_^

  12. xamyx

    I *love* Lancome Bi-Facil; it takes everything off, doesn’t sting, and leaves no residue. I also like plain coconut oil; it’s inexpensive and doesn’t sting. Both actually leave the skin around my eyes soft & supple.

  13. Elizabeth

    Equate has an eye makeup remover that is cheap and works great on ALL makeup.

  14. Kristin

    Lancome Bi-Facil without a doubt. It’s not cheap but it removes all my eye makeup so quickly without any residue. And it never stings my eyes, which is saying something since I think I have the most sensitive eyes on the planet. I go through bottles and bottles of this stuff.

  15. Marian

    Lancome Bi-Facil. I’ve never found anything better.

  16. Cynthia

    Bioderma! It feels just like water even if you get it in your eyes.

    • Nicole Shrimpton

      Yess ! Bioderma is amazing ! I have very very sensitive eyes and Bioderma doesn’t bug them at all

  17. Nuance Cucumber & Rosewater Dual Phase Makeup Remover. I’m surprised people don’t use it more, it’s cheap from CVS and they always have deals to get money back on Nuance products! It feels really nice and gentle. I’m on my second bottle of it and will probably repurchase the heck out of it!

  18. bioderma H20 sesibio micellair solution, hand down the best everthing cleanser, even for removing make up from sensitive eyes

  19. Maya

    The Clinique Take the Day Off eye makeup remover (in the purple bottle) is my absolute favorite. It takes off all makeup quickly but is still gentle. Despite wearing contacts and having sensitive eyes, that has worked better than anything I’ve tried (Lancome, MUFE, baby oil, and many more!)

  20. I’m uncertain about the sensitive eyes part, but I find both MAC and NARS eyemakeup removers very thorough. I prefer formulas with oil to ensure I do not tug and pull at my eyelashes which are fairly fragile. I find lighter formulas just do not do the trick and take too much unnecessary rubbing.

  21. Dominique

    Any dual phase eye Makeup remover. From Yves Rocher to Lancôme, Estée Lauder or Dior. The only dual I find very bad is Nivea. I only use dual phase products, otherwise it really hurts. I’ve never tried baby oil.

  22. Lee

    I swear by Sonia Kashuk, very similar to BiFacil but much cheaper and dissolves away eye make-up without tugging. I don’t about sensitive eyes specifically but it doesn’t sting at all (many other removers do sting my eyes).

  23. Tuss

    Coconut or olive oil… :)

  24. Abbey

    I LOVE Sephora’s eye makeup remover. It works quickly, doesn’t make my contacts blurry, and is inexpensive. I am going to pick up a new bottle this week, and I hardly ever repurchase anything. It’s great!

    • April

      I love Sephora’s eye makeup remover as well. I buy the bottle that specifies “for waterproof makeup.” It removes all hints of makeup and I don’t have to scrub my eyes to get it off. I had LASIK surgery a couple of years ago, and I consider my eyes sensitive.

  25. Megan

    I love the Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. It’s a cream the you massage into the eyes and wipe off. Normal Eye makeup removers irritate the skin around my eyes, but this doesn’t. I also enjoy the Clinique Take Off the Day (purple bottle) and the Lancome Bi-Facial, but with this type of eye makeup remover, I feel as if I have to tug and rub quite a bit

  26. Baby oil, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil. Most oils that people put on their skin in the first place removes even my strongest waterproof mascara. Oil doesn’t drag hairs or skin around the eye. The trick is to soak the cotton ball or pad with a little more oil and place it over the eye area for 30 seconds before you start swiping away. If it looks like a gas station pump landed on my face afterwards I just wash my face with a face soap or cleanser.

  27. Jessica

    I’ve been using nivea for years now. Particularly the waterproof 3 in 1 remover, or the cleansing lotion. Love!

  28. kuzatab

    My eyes are watering just THINKING about mu removers! MAC Cleanse-Off oil is good. For the last couple of years I’ve been using Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, which is amazing! I find one of the biggest irritants with make-up removers is using a cotton pad or wipe with it, almost all of them scratch and itch the skin around my eyes terribly. I use my fingers with oil removers, and Koh Gen Do cotton pads with their spa water (these pads do not scratch or irritate).

  29. Michaela

    Out of all the high-end, low-end brands, BIODERMA works the best.

  30. Jennifer

    The Body Shop Camomile Eye Makeup Remover

    The only one on the market that doesn’t sting my eyes and takes everything off.

  31. divinem (Melissa)

    The only thing my eyes and can tolerate is Pond’s Cold Cream deep cleanser. I use it specifically for my eyes.

    I was my face and then surround my entire eye orbit and lid with it and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Then I take a Viva paper towel (feels like cloth), wet it with hot water and gently remove my eye makeup along with the Cold Cream.

    It’s wonderfully gentle on the eyes and offers a nice, moisturizing effect afterwards. I’ve been using it for 20 years and at 40+, I have very few crows feet/wrinkles.

    • Mary

      Posted about this product too. I have been using Pond’s for ages now and a little goes a long way and it is so affordable. My current container has lasted over a year and it is about half full. I also have some in a little jar I take with me when I travel and I have hardly made a dent in it. I just use the Pond’s on my eyes and massage it in. I then take a Kirkland facial wipe and use that to remove the cold cream.

  32. Liz

    I like Almay Pads. I’ve used both the moisturizing and the oil free type. I personally prefer the moisturizing ones.

  33. Zulaikha

    I really like Macs cleansing oil in terms of removing eye make up but it leaves a residue and stings my eyes, maybe I’m using too much. Good for sensitive eyes are baby wipes or make up remover wipes. I store mine in the fridge, feels great running it cool on my face and over my eyes.

  34. My best friend and I really like Mary Kay’s Eye Makeup Remover for our sensitive eyes, plus it works really well at removing waterproof mascara. But a lot of times, I use olive oil on a cotton round. It works like magic and feels so nice and moisturizing!

  35. Gail

    The eye doctor told me to stay away from anyone that contains oil as it drys out your eyes – which doesn’t make sense but its true – I think the best is Bliss its a gel and so soothing and refreshing.

    • Susan Nevling

      @ Gail;
      I don’t know if this is the reason that oil makes your eyes drier but makes sense to me. Oil molecules in products are large and eye lids don’t have many oil glands and are tiny. The Oil products aren’t absorbed so the rubbing may lead to dryness since its not absorbed. That part of the reason eye cremes are different that face cremes. I had blocked hair follicles along my lash line several years ago and the opthamologist told me to hold warm compresses to my eyes and then wash the lids with dilute baby shampoo. I don’t know for sure that the above is the reason that oil makes eyes drier but based on what I know about anatomy, it makes sense.

  36. Lori

    I love Mak Up For Ever’s Sens’ Eyes remover. Very gentle, creamy and it removes waterproof makeup very easily.

    • Sandy

      I just bought a bottle of this and I agree, very gentle and removes everything!

      • Carriel2

        Agreed. Sens’Eyes is pricey but it’s the best I’ve tried, by far. It takes off all my eye makeup (and I use waterproof liner and mascara), and there is no greasy film. Love it!

  37. blueraccoon

    I have no issues with Neutrogena’s OIl-Free Eye Makeup remover, but after reading the posts here I may try Bioderma or Bi-Facil :)

  38. Linda

    I’ve used Lancome Bi-Facial for years and loved it, however a few weeks ago i ran out of it so decided just to use my face cleansing water over my eyes and see how well that worked, It worked great, took everything off gentley and just as fast and the bonus was it didn’t leave the slight oily residue that the Bi-facial did. The face cleanser is Lancome Eau Micellaire Doucer.

  39. Echo

    Pure jojoba oil on a cotton ball/q tip. I’ve even gotten it on my contact lenses without any pain or trouble. It’s not expensive – you can find the Desert Essence brand at Stop and Shop in the natural health and beauty products section. I have very sensitive skin and it’s one of the only things that doesn’t sting me. Gotta love no chemicals.

    • Julia

      Totally agree with the jojoba oil. Pretty much everything else irritates, stings, or causes my eyes to water like crazy, or doesn’t work very well and I rub too much.

  40. I use theBalm Balms Away makeup remover. It’s very gentle and it doesn’t irritate my eyes. It is infused with vitamins which leaves a soft after-feel. the skin around my eye area feels very moisturized after using this product. Plus, it takes all the makeup residues off.

    • Yasemin

      I second this- I rub it in gently and take a wet paper towel to gently wipe it off. It takes off everything!
      I also like the almay oil free makeup remover pads and neutrogena wipes for convenience.

  41. Katherine

    Organic coconut oil. It’s cheap, moisturizing, and doesn’t have unpronounceable chemicals in it.

  42. meha

    bioderma .. absolutely amazing stuff.

  43. Gabby

    Bioderma’s Crealine (Sensibio in Canada) H20 makeup remover is hyped up for a reason — it really is the best. I have very sensitive skin and eyes, and some cleansers/makeup removers didn’t agree with me. Not this one. It is gentle, and yet gets rid of all makeup on your face; even taking off waterproof mascara is easy with this product.

    (Btw, if you live in Canada, Pharmaplus/Rexall sells them for $30/500ml. Cheaper than many drugstore brands of makeup removers!)

  44. Ariel

    I love Mario Badescu’s eye makeup remover. I wear contacts which can really be sensitive to any products that get on them but this cleanser has never bothered them. The best part is it will take off anything!! Even covergirl’s notorious 24 hour lashblast mascara. Also it’s a gel/cream formula and in a jar so it can’t spill which is great.

  45. KC

    Almond Oil is the best Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes!!!

  46. Janna

    Without question Bioderma Crealine H2O. I use it on clients and have never seen anyone have any issues with it. For myself, I remove my makeup with it every night then cleanse with a gel foaming cleanser. Sometimes I just use the Bioderma and go to bed if I’m super lazy. It will take off water-proof mascara with a little time.

    • casey23

      I use that too it’s a godsent for sure but please don’t go to bed without washing it :( It has somewhat soapy particules in it (hence “micellar solution”) don’t leave it on your face!

  47. CynthiaCC

    The Body Shop Chamomille Eye Makeup Remover. Been using it for 18 years. Everything else stings my eyes. I’ll just have to stop wearing mascara altogether if they ever discontinue it.

  48. Mel

    Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Make-up remover amazing product doesn’t sting when you use it and all you need to do it tissue it off so there is no tugging at your eye lid. And the best thing is that’s opthamologist tested so you know it’s safe for your eyes.

  49. To be honest, I like the Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover enough to not go after any other, even though a lot of people hate it. It just works for me.

    Also, I like to use Vaseline for stubborn mascara and eyeliner.

  50. Lyn

    Lancome Bifacil. It takes off EVERYTHING and I don’t have to scrub. I have super sensitive skin and eyes so I am always really cautious about trying new skincare but this works wonders and I haven’t had a reaction or any problems removing things like waterproof mascara or eyeliner. I also really loved the REN one but I haven’t been able to find it in ages.

  51. Mietta Reynolds

    Right now I’m just using baby oil. I tried really hard to get it unscented and for reason using olive oil didn’t even occur to me! Good ideas people with the natural oil! I can’t use make up remover WITHOUT the oil. Otherwise I just keep scratching my eyes and it hurts. I bought some paraffin oil the other day so hopefully that works too! I figured its just unscented mineral oil.

  52. casey23

    Bioderma Sensibio H2O is definitely the one!!!!! But it doesn’t remove waterproof stuff, so I use Kose’s or MAC’s cleansing oil both very good!!

    • sabrina

      BIODERMA CREALINE of course.

      Inexpensive, gentle and efficient.
      A favorite of Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoo sisters (makeup artist in the UK).

      I desagree with you: it does remove all the waterproof stuff, and it’s still so gentle that it doesn’t agravate sensitive eyes.

  53. Kimmie T

    I am so surprised no one has mentioned Sonia Kashucks Eye make up remover from target! It’s only $10! And it is super gentle and so easy to get all your eye make up off! I love it!!!

  54. Jeanne

    The one I’m currently using and loving is L’Oreal’s Eye Makeup Remover (the waterproof removing one in the green bottle). When I lived in the US I liked CVS’ copy of Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover.

    Others I’ve tried burn and sting my eyes (Clinique’s Take the Day Off, Almay’s Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover, Neutrogena’s Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads, and The Body Shop’s Chamomile Gentle Eye Make-up Remover).

    • Yamilet

      I have noticed that the Neutrogena make-up remover wipes do sting my eyes too but the regular bottled one doesn’t

  55. Nicole

    I love Chanel’s eye makeup remover! It’s the only thing I’ve found which gently and completely removes waterproof and especially stubborn mascaras.

  56. Allie

    I really like MACs Pro Eye Makeup remover. I’ve always had a problem with stinging and dryness with other eye makeup removers, but this one doesn’t give me any problems. It gets off all of my makeup without scrubbing and doesn’t leave any residue on my face. I don’t know how good it is at removing waterproof makeup as I don’t use any of that, but it takes off gel liner, cream shadow and glitter easily!

  57. NY2TXgirl27

    Did anyone mention Salma Hayeks line at CVS? The Nuance Cucumber and Rosewater makeup remover is my new HG fave!I’m pretty sure I wear waterproof mascara alot more often than the average person b/c i have pretty watery eyes from allergies and this takes off that and everything else. Its the first remover Ive ever used that didnt make my face or eyes feel oily and gross and like I had to immediately wash my entire face after using it.As you proly already guessed my eyes are uber-sensitive too.I have tried everything from drugstore(almay,l’oreal,ponds,soniakashuck..)to all the most expensive brands(estee,clinique,khogendo,MAC,lancome..)hers is by far the best and I actually feel like I’m doing good things for my skin and nourishing my eyes.Most removers are just water,oil and chemicals but hers actually has natural,beneficial ingredients and feels and smells nice and really works to boot.OMG..her products are so impressive. I was turned onto the line by a friend and its not at all your “typical” drugstore brand or what you would imagine one to be.Everything of hers Ive tryed so far I am in love with,I wish I had known about it sooner. I’m shocked that I almost never see any beauty bloggers mention her products.The quality and quantity of ingredients she puts in her products is unbelievable for the price.I pratically feel like I’m stealing the stuff(compared to price of comparable products from all other brands) and it goes on special sales at least a couple times a year.I cant say enough good things about her skincare/haircare/makeup lines. Why no one talks about it is beyond me..oh well..the less people that know about it the more there is for

    • NY2TXgirl27

      Sorry for rambling,I just realized I sound like some sort of Nuance PR person or! Just really in love with it,try it..any of it wont be sorry. :)

  58. Ace

    I’m using Missha cleaning oil now. I really like it but sometimes it gets in my eyes and makes my contacts blurry. Usually OK since i’m taking them off anyway. I wash my face afterward though.

    I recently had a bad reaction to Body Shop Camomile one – that one hurts the skin around my eyes though it’s supposed to be for sensitive skin.

    If I don’t have much eye make up on, I use Visine pads. They’re for allergies technically but work well for light make up.

  59. Mishy

    Lumene Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover! It takes off everything and not greasy.

  60. Natalie

    I have long used Vaseline/petroleum jelly. It’s inexpensive, unscented, and works like a pro both for makeup removal and leaving the area moisturized. I just swipe it on and wipe it off with a tissue.

  61. Mary

    I don’t have super sensitive eyes but have been using Pond’s cold cream to remove any eye makeup for ages now and it always does the trick without really having to apply pressure. The makeup usually comes off fairly easily.

    • Mary

      Also forgot to mention this stuff lasts forever and is so inexpensive. I also use a Kirkland facial cleansing wipe to remove the cold cream and makeup.

  62. Maggie

    This is a great post bc I have not found an HG remover yet. Coincidentally, I was JUST shopping for remover too.

    I have seriously sensitive eyelids prone to irritation and eczema. This can be caused by disagreeable chemicals or anything even slightly abrasive (cotton pads, some shadow brushes, or even leftover eye makeup residue from mascara). Furthermore, I wear contacts and waterproof mascara–so a serious but gentle remover is a MUST.

    Since I don’t use cotton pads, i use the softest Viva towels or Q-tips to get my eye-makeup off. And I limit eye makeup application to just a couple days a week.

    Here’s what I’ve used and repurchased:

    Bliss Lid+Lash Wash: most soothing of these but also the least effective in removing all traces of mascara–so I hang onto it to fix application mistakes.

    MUFE Sens’ Eyes: the removal process is a dream bc it’s a soothing lotion that seems to dissolve everything without irritating your eyes if it gets in them. But after using it a couple days in a row my eyelids feel so raw. (Why do I blame it on the remover? Bc if I’m willing to spend extra time with an oil or Bliss to get the makeup off, the lids are fine).

    Clinique Take the Day Off (dual-phase remover): best dual-phase remover I’ve used but stopped purchasing bc Neutrogena is very similar and has a better price-point. Eyelids also feel raw after a couple days of removal.

    Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, and the target brand version of the Neutrogena: These both work the same and the ingredients are exactly the same. Leaves my eyelids feeling raw after a couple days of removal.

    After reading these comments, I’m going to give the Sonia Kashuk & the Nuance removers a shot. Also going to try the Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover and the new Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm.

  63. Maggie


    To Christine and Temptalia commentators: I just wanted to thank you for being super helpful in providing comments/insights/suggestions (and a huge thanks to Christine for making “Hit List” posts a weekly priority). This particular post sort of saved me–bc I can now wear long-lasting makeup everyday again if I want to!

    After trying some suggestions in this post, it seems Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover and the new Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm are winners for me. In the past, removers were either a dud or way too harsh on my eyelids–harsh enough that I’d get eczema on my eyelids if I used more than twice a week.

    I’ve been wearing long-lasting makeup everyday while traveling all over California and then spending a week in LA’s harsh climate for wedding stuff and so far…NO IRRITATION!!! (can you imagine…? And after all that traveling and dealing with climate changes too)

    This is not good for my wallet bc my reason for not amassing a ton of beauty products had to do with removal issues–of which are no longer an issue. Oh well…I can soooo live with that.

    Thanks again to everyone for being awesome!!!!

    • Aw, I’m happy that the community was able to help you, Maggie!

    • Yamilet

      I currently have dryness on one of my eyelids which I self-diagnosed as eczema. I have been using Neutrogena make-up remover for years and I’m not sure if the formula changed or if it’s just not working for me anymore. To change things up I tried Maybelline’s new remover in the cute pink packaging but I think I purchased it more for the packaging than for the formula as I am not too crazy about that one either. The dryness doesn’t happen too often but it’s not the first time it’s happened to me. I don’t think it’s due to the product since I use it very often but on occasion I get dry spots. I would say about 1-2 times a year. How do you get rid of the dryness?

  64. dulin

    My favorite remover is the Salma Hayek Nuance one from CVS. I’ve never had it irritate my eyes at all. I used to use Neutrogena, which wasn’t bad but did sometimes make my eyes feel a off, and I tried jojoba oil but I’m way too good at getting it in my eyes, which leads to blurry vision for about 10 min. I’m really enjoying the Nuance remover, and it’s also quite reasonably priced.

  65. Jessica

    I’ve have extremely sensitve eyes and have had nice experiences with the oil free Almay liquid, Simple, Mary-Kay, Lancôme bifacil, Clinique take the day off for lashes, and the Salma Hayek one from cvs. The first two work best on light eye makeup that’s not waterproof. The others work wonderfully on heavier eyemakeup and will get any last trace of makeup. Right now the Salma Hayek one is my go to cause its cheap, effective and not oily feeling like neutrogenas which is identical to Lancôme’s in my opinion. It feels more like a spa treatment than a make-up remover. The only brand I’ve tried that gave me problems were the two by Lumene – they made my eyes hurt terribly and the waterproof made my eyelids swell.