How To Remove Your Halloween Makeup Without Destroying Your Skin

Okay, so you spent hours recreating an impressive Halloween makeup tutorial and you just got home and realised that to take it all off, face wipes just won’t cut it?  

Whether you’re plastered in liquid latex, dripping in fake blood, or went a bit OTT with the black eyeshadow, the struggle is real when it comes to removing Halloween makeup. We’ve been there, done that, and learned the lesson, which is why we’ve broken everything we’ve learned down into five simple steps, with our favourite products thrown in – no tricks, just treats.   

Here’s how to properly remove every bit of your Halloween makeup without irritating your skin or waking up to the breakout from hell. 

Start with micellar water

Think of micellar water as makeup remover with superpowers. The reason it’s so effective is because micelles (the tiny molecules in the formula) have the ability to lift both oil- and water-based impurities. Oil and water normally repel each other, which is why regular water-based makeup removers struggle to get your skin 100% clean, since makeup, sebum, and grease are all oily. But micellar water gets it all. It’s also really gentle – which is important when you’re using a lot of it! Unlike face wipes or regular makeup remover, it leaves skin feeling soft, calm, and clean, with no obvious residue. Better than your average micellar water, this Yes To one has the added bonus of cucumber – an ingredient renowned for its soothing properties. The bottle design (you press the dispenser down with a cotton pad to get the product out) is so easy and mess-free. 

Cleanse with an oil-based cleanser

Oil-based cleansers are the best for a deep, double-cleanse because they dissolve anything oil-based (including makeup, face paint, and eyelash glue) from skin. Plus, unlike oil-free cleansers, they’re so conditioning and gentle on skin that you can use for a double (and even triple) cleanse without stripping or imbalancing skin. This all-natural balm from Upcircle Beauty uses multiple plant and fruit oils to melt away impurities and moisturise skin in the process, so it won’t feel tight or stripped afterwards. To use, simply warm the cleanser in your hands and then massage into skin – the formula will emulsify into a thin, creamy texture which rinses away the dirt.  

Use a Face Halo

The best (and gentlest) way to give your skin some physical exfoliation is by removing your cleanser with a gentle exfoliating cloth like a Face Halo. Upgrade from your regular face cloth to one of these dual-sided cleansing pads – they’re made with a special fibre which helps to lift dirt from pores. And the best part? You can shove them in the washing machine and reuse them up to 200 times. The texture helps to buff out and lift up any residue that’s lingering on the skin’s surface better than your bare fingers will. 

Exfoliate with an acid exfoliant

A chemical exfoliant is a mild acid-based toner which penetrates the skin to remove the deeper buildup in pores that regular cleansing won’t shift. It will help to ensure that all traces of makeup as well as dead skin cells, excess oil, and other impurities are clear from pores in order to prevent breakouts from occurring. This Skincare By BEAUTY BAY one contains a blend of AHAs and PHAs to target multiple layers of the skin and is packed with glycerin to hydrate skin in the process. Soak a cotton pad and sweep it gently over skin, don’t forget to cover the neck and hairline where buildup can easily occur. 

Show skin some TLC

Between the time spent masked in a thick layer of heavy-duty makeup and the above intensive cleansing routine, it’s likely that skin will be in need of a little TLC. To soothe any initial redness or sensitivity, refresh skin with a face mist – this will also kickstart the process of adding any lost moisture back into the skin. A sheet mask (preferably fresh from the fridge) is another great way to calm skin that looks or feels inflamed or irritated. As its name suggests, the Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Sheet Mask is great for soothing and balancing skin, which is an important step to take after cleansing and exfoliating. Finally, seal in the moisture with a hydration mask like this Peter Thomas Roth one which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin – wear it overnight in place of your regular night cream for best results.