How to remove your makeup properly – why you should NEVER use just wipes

When you’re all cosy in bed and ready to sleep, it can be tempting to leave your makeup on and deal with it the next day. However, it’s very important to do a full cleanse of your face and neck before you go to sleep. chatted to makeup artist at Saffron Hughes to find out how to remove your makeup properly and why makeup wipes aren’t good enough.

Skincare is time-consuming but at the bare minimum, we should all be washing our faces before we go to bed – especially if you’ve painted on a full face of makeup.

Saffron said: “Falling asleep with makeup on is detrimental to the skin. It can cause clogged pores, dull skin, puffy eyes and premature ageing.

“When we sleep, our skin renews itself, so any makeup residue and dirt from environmental stress can interfere with the natural healing process and cellular turnover.

“Oil-based makeup such as primers and foundations should always be thoroughly taken off as the oil inhibits your skin from breathing.”

So how do you remove your makeup? Is it okay to just wipe your skin with a makeup wipe?

Saffron has revealed her seven rules to removing makeup, and you have to follow them every single night!

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How to remove your makeup properly

Protect the eyes

The skin around your eyes is more sensitive and delicate than the rest of your face, so it needs to be treated differently when removing makeup.

Saffron said: “Use a dedicated eye makeup remover to eliminate mascara and eyeliner, as opposed to a general cleanser.

“Soak a cotton pad in the remover and gently pat your eyes until the residue is removed.

“For stubborn mascara, never tug on clumps with your fingers. Press the pad on your lashes for a few seconds to allow the remover to penetrate before moving slowly in the direction of your lash growth.

“Don’t rub back and forth as this will irritate your eyes, use sweeping motions and lift the pad up in between wipes.”

The best product for this is a water-based eye makeup remover rather than an oil-based product.


You’re probably really good at cleansing your face and eye makeup, but don’t forget the actual eyelids.

Saffron said: “The most frequently neglected area of the face during makeup removal is the edges of your eyelids.

“This area can see a lot of mascara and eyeliner build up over time which can cause irritation.

“Using a targeted tool, such as a cotton swab soaked into eye makeup remover, slowly dab in the corners to remove every trace. Be gentle when doing this and always use different swabs for both eyes.”

Dry skin

The first step to most people’s cleansing routine is to wet the face, but this is a rookie error.

Saffron explained: “When you wet your skin before applying products, you are reducing the impact of the ingredients.

“Wet skin will dilute the cleanser and you will be working harder to remove your makeup.

“For easier removal, use a cream or lotion-based cleanser directly onto dry skin, before massaging your face with water and rinsing off.”

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NEVER use just face wipes

Face wipes have been around for years and many people use them to remove makeup with no problem, but they aren’t suitable for a deep cleanse.

Saffron said: “Although convenient, makeup wipes aren’t enough to clean your face.

“In fact, they only remove part of your makeup and surface bacteria, leaving behind oil and grime from your day.

“Essentially wipes smear everything around your facial area without lifting it off.”

If you must use makeup remover wipes, use them only as the very first step and follow up with micellar water or cleanser.

She added: “Always avoid cleaning the eye area with makeup wipes as excessive tugging from fragranced wipes will lead to dry skin and infections.”


Instead of a makeup wipe, you can go straight in with a cleanser… but not just any cleanser!

Saffron said: “It can be tempting to use any cleanser to remove your makeup, but this won’t target the residue.

“Most cleansers are designed to remove makeup or cleanse the skin – not both. Makeup cleansers can be oil, gel, milk or cream.

“They help remove heavy makeup such as liquid lipsticks, brow pigments and setting powder.

“Ensure the sole purpose of the product is to remove makeup, otherwise your skin will not be protected against excess oil sebum.”


No matter what product you use to remove your makeup, make sure you’re gentle.

Saffron said: “Whether you use makeup wipes, cotton pads or a microfibre cloth, you might have developed a habit of scrubbing and drying your face vigorously. This action can lead to micro-tears in the skin which creates irritation and inflammation.

“Being gentle is important for successful cleansing. Dry your face by patting it down as opposed to rubbing.

“Keep a separate flannel for your face and change it every two days for optimum hygiene.

“If you find that you need to scrub to get the most out of your products, you may need to be applying more. Once you add more cleanser, let the product do the work for you.”


Taking your makeup off is undoubtedly the most important step in a skincare routine but don’t forget to replace the moisture that has been stripped from your skin during the process.

Saffron said: “Going to bed straight after cleansing will dry the skin and leave a tightened finish. Moisturiser will help to rebalance the natural moisture into your skin after you’ve applied the products to your facial area.

“Apply a pea-sized amount into your hands and rub together before slowly applying to the skin.

“Massage the cream onto your face in circular motions to boost circulation and keep your complexion healthy with a natural glow.”

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