October 24, 2012

Cleansing Waters: Are They Necessary to Your Makeup Removal?

Cleansing Waters were trending quite a bit this Summer and a bit into Fall however, the hype has died down now. I’m always fascinated by readers, friends, etc…who tell me they remove their makeup at night with a cleansing wipe.

Like my sister, bless her little soul, swears by cleansing wipes. Girl does not wash her face in the evening merely uses a cleansing wipe to remove her mascara/eye makeup. Granted, she uses a heck of a lot less makeup than me but still….

Suddenly I feel like my nightly regime is overkill! Cleansing oil, cleansing wash, toner, mist…am I over doing it?

Do I need to rely on a Cleansing Water and simply just that?

Actually, no matter how many brands tell you Cleansing Water is necessary to your makeup removal, don’t believe ’em! Cleansing Water for is a nice to have product however, it is absolutely not an essential product nor is it something you should rely solely on to remove makeup.

Here’s the deal…

Cleansing Waters are super easy to use. Saturate a cotton pad and wipe your makeup off, DONE! Fantastically fast makeup removal. For those who use very minimal makeup they are a god sent or for those partying a little too hard and getting home a little too late and being a little too lazy about makeup removal, again, god sent.

They make makeup removal quick, easy, and painless and there are even many brands I’d recommend for full on makeup removal including mascara.

However, it’s not something that’s really necessary to your makeup removal unless you’re a minimalist or just want a quick clean up.

The moral of the story is you probably should take some time at the end of your day or night to remove your makeup using something other than a quick clean up method. At the end of a long day you should want to go that extra mile to remove all the dirt, oil, and makeup your skin is hiding underneath by using cleansing oil following up with a cleansing wash that lathers and perhaps a little exfoliation, toner, a bit of facial mist and even a facial mask is a nice treat to keep your skin looking its very best.

Less you suffer dullness, breakouts, and general havoc due to your lazy removal.

At the end of the day Cleansing Waters are sure nice for really quick clean ups when you’re a bit tired but don’t rely on them for your only way to remove makeup.

What do you think?

Do you go the extra mile removing your makeup?

Or are cleansing waters or even cleansing wipes your main removal tool of choice?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Margaret

    I use cleansing waters in the morning when I don’t want to strip the natural oils off my face; I just want a gentle cleanse. In the evenings I use eye makeup remover and cleansing oil to remove makeup/dirt.

  • Shari

    Hi Muse, I agree with you–cleansing waters are good if you use minimal makeup, but not if you wear a full face makeup. I bought Bioderma cleansing water after reading raves about it online. While it’s a nice product, I would never rely on it to remove my makeup AND cleanse my skin. Usually I will use a cleansing oil or good old Ponds cold cream to remove my makeup; then I cleanse my face with a gentle soap like Purpose. It’s after these two steps that I will use the Bioderma to remove any trace of makeup (usually it only picks up any leftover mascara residue). If you’re a product junkie like me, cleansing waters are fun to try, but are no means a necessity.

  • Karen M

    I use cleansing wipes on a pretty regular basis with great results. But unless it’s late at night, I will follow up with a cleansing oil to wash my face. But I do not feel it’s necessary to wash afterward every time especially when I don’t have much make up on.

    • the Muse

      karen def a good idea to follow up with cleansing oil! my sister relies solely on wipes…I really can’t do that, my face feels dirty unless I get some sort of cleansing oil or wash on it ;D

  • Cj

    Your definitely right, I was using biodermas micellar water a while ago, worked great for a while untill I used one of my sweat proof foundations, couldn’t get it all off πŸ™

    • the Muse

      hey prince charming how are you today? Happy Hump Day! Weekend is looming!

      • Cj

        I’m good, a little tired but good. Did you figure out what your dressing up as?

        • the Muse

          very guilty of purchasing the 4th’s scarf off entertainment earth (it arrives today actually just tracked it), found a great tan fedora, and scooped up a tan jacket from a vintage shop and here she is Mrs Tom Baker ;-D I really wanted to do Romana (feathers and all) but had a feeling I’d be asked “Who are you supposed to be?” all night! ;-D

          • Ruth

            we’re so gonna need pic’s of you as Mrs. 4th Doctor!

          • the Muse

            ha! ;-D MAYBEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! my best friend told me I should totally do a curly wig too haha!

  • Tammie

    Yeah I have some cleansing wipes (and eye makeup remover if I am wearing waterproof) for if I leave it too long and it’s late/I just want to go to sleep…otherwise I do the full thing every night. Lately I haven’t been feeling well so I’ve been relying on cleansing wipes more than usual. I haven’t tried cleansing water though.

    Which reminds me, have you tried the Lumene waterproof eye makeup remover? I using it now and I love it, it doesn’t smell strongly or irritate my eyes like Bi-Facil does. I tried to avoid waterproof eye makeup before because I didn’t like any of the other removers but now I use it whenever I want since I “discovered” the Lumene one πŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      i want to say yes but somehow I don’t think I have………! Lumene makes some great stuff I’ll have to try it or retry it lol! god beauty is running together now!

  • Abbey

    I always double cleanse with oil and then an antibacterial wash, but I use waterproof eye makeup and set everything with UD’s All Nighter spray. I never fell in love with cleansing water.


    Can you use cleansing oil for oily skin? Also what kind of cleansing oil do you use or like? Has anyone tried take the day off by clinique? I use mostly there products on my face. I completely over do my skin care regime. I use a foaming wash or clinique acne bar to wash, a clinique toner and retina. I use a moisturizer when I need it also. I still like to use makeup remover just because I like to actually take my makeup off before washing my face. I wish I could cut down but I can’t find any products that do double duty the same as seperate products.

    • the Muse

      cleansing oil can be used on oily skin makila. It rinses clean away doesn’t leave a greasy film behind.

    • Abbey

      I use Boscia Makeup Breakup and I love it. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily at all.

  • breyerchic04

    I use a creamy cleanser at night or oil cleanse (2 days a week), or do a microscrub (once a week). But I am having a terrible time coming up with what to wash my face with in the morning, something fast just to get the sleep grime off, because I shower at night. Would this be the thing or is it really best for makeup?

    • the Muse

      best for makeup! I typically use my clarisonic with a cleanser in the shower in the AM. typically do some sort of cheapie cleanser in the shower in the AM nothing to elaborate ;D

    • neutralgirl

      You should try cetaphil in the morning. It is super gentle and doesn’t make your skin feel tight.

  • Cali

    I think I overkill. I use an eye makeup remover, then a wipe, then a gentle foaming cleanser, toner, moisturizer and eye serum.

  • Littlecreek

    Huh, only using a wipe… I use makeup remover wipes to get the bulk of makeup off, but I use a cleanser afterwards. Never occurred to me to stop there since I know there’s stuff left over on my skin. Never tried a cleansing water either, when I run out of wipes I might just give it a go! That might be a while though as I’m currently rocking glowing preggo skin (yes, I’m bragging) and have stopped using any type of base.

    • the Muse

      brooke why did I confuse steve with as your brother’s upcoming baby? MY god I didn’t realize it was you preg!? am I losing it?!

      • Littlecreek

        Yes, you are losing it :-p my brothers baby was born in February. And one of his favorite toys is an Xbox controller so I’m pretty proud of him. I’m due April 8th. Easy to get things mixed up as I was exhausted the entire 1st trimester and kinda dropped from the twitter/blog sphere and haven’t gotten to talk to you much….Borderlands 2 might also have had something to do with that. πŸ™‚

        • the Muse

          totally i are tired ;-D awww so cute! lol! I can understand that addiction ;-D!

  • Quinctia

    I use a wipe if I wore waterproof makeup, then use cleanser and moisturizer. Otherwise, it’s just the last two.

    I’m not hugely into skincare. Masks are an occasional thing if I’m lying in the tub, and toner is an occasional thing if I want to feel something nice and cool on my face post hot shower/tub, haha.

  • Michelle

    I too, use make-up wipes (Neutrogena) – but they feel scratchy when used around my eyes πŸ™ Not a huge fan, but it does take off the make-up. Then I’ll cleanse with Cetaphil.

    BTW, I just got some Kose deep cleansing oil. I love it! Thought I’d have an issue with the sensitive skin…but it was ok! Now I don’t have to use those wipes, but I’ll often double wash (gently) with the Cetaphil.

  • AnniLau

    I do use wipes to remove my makeup – the Garnier ones work well and are inexpensive – but then I wash with Purity Made Simple and follow up with Thayer’s alcohol-free witch hazel. I also use my Clarisonic Mia with the Purity a few times a week…my skin won’t tolerate it every day.

  • Marta

    I don’t really like cleansing waters for make up removal, although I like L’Occitane and Nuxes’ in the mornings for a toning/refreshing effect.
    I now make my own cleansing oil mix, because my skin is picky, and I wanted to minimize the ingredients list. It gets the make up off and calms my extreme combination skin. No more breakouts for the 2 years I’ve used it, either. So for me, cleansing oil + moisturizer is a good night regime. It get using more products though, each skin has different needs!

  • K.B.

    I use the Yes to Cucumbers makeup removing wipes and the Sonia Kashuk eye makeup remover, and then I follow it up with the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Cleanser (and my Clarisonic Mia 4-5 nights a week). I then apply the Clinique pore refining serum, Ole Henriksen Eye Lift Gel, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, and Origins Eye Zing.

    My morning routine is about twice the number of steps, but it takes me longer to explain than it does to do. lol

  • Cathy

    I used to use Lancome’s Micellar Cleansing Water, but I’ve reverted to Estee Lauder’s Soft Clean Silky Hydrating Lotion (woo that’s a mouthful!) since it’s a tad more hydrating.

  • Tiffany Martin

    “Suddenly I feel like my nightly regime is overkill! Cleansing oil, cleansing wash, toner, mist…am I over doing it?”

    NOPE. Sounds like you have a good skincare routine if you do that. My ideal routine is cleansing oil, some kind of HARDCORE SCRUB (I have thick skin), toner (non-drying), essence, serum, serum, night mask. Depending on what I have around, and what my skin is doing I will skip some of the stuff but I do my vit c serum and some kind of moisture or AC control sleeping packs every night. I make you look sane (;

  • tee

    here in the tropics, i prefer waterproof make up… MAC liquidlast, sweatproof SPF, lipstains… i wish i could be lazier about my cleansing routine, but simple cleansing water wont cut it for me.

  • Lydia

    Unfortunately I can only use cleansing waters to remove my sunblock and light makeup. Cleansing oils and creams break me out after a few weeks even when I follow up with another cleanser afterwards.

  • Sara

    I fully agree about your take on spending some extra time to get all that makeup and grime off. While I like the idea of a cleansing water and some out there do work quite well, they are at best a follow-up to pick up what the cleansing oil may have missed. I guess I just like the refreshing feel they give after use but like you said, not the best to use alone! Though they millions of options out there make it sound so tempting.

    • the Muse

      sara agreed prior or before is great just as long as it isn’t your sole removal technique ;D

  • Joni

    I use wipes and that’s it. And only at night. No cleansing of my face in the morning. I’ve never found a cleanser gentle enough for my skin, and I don’t get oily or get breakouts, so I figure I must be doing something right.

  • Avalith

    Oh I used to have a cleansing water.. and then I realized it doesn’t really help with the removing or anything to be honest. I learned to love the process of cleaning my face and taking off makeup; it’s part of skin care right? It should be regarded as a daily ritual lol and take some time doing it… I wash my face 3 times gently to make sure I get everything off. I used to use makeup wipes but I found that I used them too much and they don’t really do the job… takes a toll on my wallet!

  • Sarah S.

    I kind of agree with you, Muse, but I can’t be faffed with the more complicated routine you prescribe! Most nights I just use Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, and I don’t need to follow with another cleanser. My skin, though oily, does not get along with any toners. I only moisturize during the day, too (because in the mornings I use Philosophy Purity with a Clarisonic Mia and it’s slightly drying). If my skin gets dryer in winter I’ll moisturize at night, though. When I’m just too tired to wash, I use my Bioderma or a wipe, but that only happens a couple times a week πŸ™‚ I find the less products I use, the happier my skin is and I break out less.

  • dom

    I’ve been using the Bifesta/Mandom one forever as my sole makeup remover (followed by a cleanser) and I’ve never looked back! Granted it takes more than a few swipes – I use up to 6 soaked removers for my heavy duty Illamasqua rich liquid foundie, but so far, no problems for me.

    • the Muse

      i really love mandom too dom, great quick way to remove makeup! but yes following up with a cleanser is excellent facial care, could never rely solely on a cleansing water!

  • stef

    i LOVE cleansing water. as soon as i get home from work i take off all of my foundation with cleansing water on a cotton pad, then wash my face like normal at night. I would never replace washing my face with cleansing water or wipes, it’s just to remove my foundation before i wash my face.

  • Christina

    Have you tried the shills rose cleansing water in your picture? I tried using it before but every time this stuff gets even slightly close to my eyes they sting like crazy so it’s just sitting in my washroom now.

    • the Muse

      yup christina reviewed it a year or so ago. I didn’t have issues with it by eyes thankfully.

  • cat

    I’ve been in such a rush/lazy in the mornings that I’m barely wearing any makeup. At the most, I manage blush and lip balm so makeup removal is not a hassle. I just use a makeup wipe to take off the blush and feel refreshed. When I do wear more makeup I have a terrible routine that involves MAC Cleanse Off and supposedly moisturizing soap. I know I should do more but it’s hard to balance not cleaning your skin sufficiently with testing new products to clean your skin that might result in more breakouts/dryness/allergic reactions.

  • Jaz

    I currently use the Kaolin Clay wipes from Ponds , but I use 2. I use one to remove makeup ( which is not much ) and then one to clean my face. I try to moisturize nightly , but that doesnt always happen. I use a scrub about once a week. I dont suffer from breakouts, so I must be doing something right. To each her own

  • Lisa

    I just started using one because my cleanser does not remove makeup. I’ll either use the cleansing water or wipes, then my regular cleanser. I like the cleaning waters simply because I’m a dork and think they are fun and come in pretty bottles. πŸ™‚

  • casey23

    I usually use cleansing water as part of my cleansing routine, and I really find them helpful! Before that I used to use bi-phasic cleansers which gave me my lovely milias over the years.. I do have a cleansing oil for SPF containing products, but other than that I only use cleansing water to remove my makeup (if I don’t have any waterproof stuff on me). But after cleansing water I always continue with facial cleanser and toner and so on.. I don’t like to leave cleansing water on my face since (even though it is very low concentrated) they contain soap like thingies in them (which as you may know actually removes the makeup). If I leave them on my face, after a day or two there always pops a whitehead/blackhead on my skin (mostly cheeks).

  • joey

    I sjust looked at the Loreal uk site, and saw in their new products, that they included a cleansing water, and cleansing oil,and bitched to them , about why we Americans can’t have them too! Maybe I’m being pigheaded, but it would be an affordable option for consumers to a least try these products

    • the Muse

      we’ll likely get them joey just that the UK typically gets L’Oreal launches first. expect them for Fall 2013 I’m sure πŸ™‚

  • Missy

    I, too, use a cleansing water as part of my skincare routine. First thing I do when I get home is to remove my makeup with a cotton pad saturated with Koh Gen Doh’s Spa Cleansing Water. This will remove my eye and face makeup, which I wear in moderation (but definitely more than just a little). The cleansing water is very effective while remaining mild enough for my sensitive skin. Later at night, before bedtime, I clean my face with a soap-free creme cleanser from Le Metier de Beaute followed by a emollient moisturizer from their line. Even though I could, I doubt that I would rely solely upon a cleansing water to remove the dirt and grime of an entire day from my face. Plus I love the feeling I get from LMdB’s creme cleanser.