12 Best Cleansing Makeup Removers for Acne Prone Skin

Acne Solutions

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Acne is not fun – that much is obvious. Whether you’re trying to cover a new blemish or still dealing with dark spots left by the old ones, it’s crucial to create a step-by-step skincare regimen that works to prevent acne and still nourish your skin. A double cleanse is one of the most important elements of your routine since it works to remove all traces of makeup, dirt, grime, sunscreen, and anything else your skin handles throughout the day. Now, you may think you need to steer clear of any and all oils to prevent acne flare-ups. But it’s actually beneficial to remove your makeup and add nourishment back to your skin with non-comedogenic oil-based cleansers that remove makeup as it targets your specific skin concerns. When paired with powerful ingredients like gentle retinol alternatives, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant-rich vitamins, the right cleansing makeup remover can help you heal your acne faster. After carefully searching for ingredients that fight acne-causing bacteria, promote healthy skin, and brighten dark spots, here are the 12 best cleansing makeup removers for your acne-prone skin.

Best Makeup Removers for Acne Prone Skin:

  • Dermalogica – Precleanse Makeup Remover Face Wash
  • Paula’s Choice – CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser
  • Hanskin – BHA Pore Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover
  • Hanskin – PHA Pore Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover
  • Naturium – Purple Ginseng Cleansing Balm
  • Meebak – Cica Sensitive Skin Face Wash Cleanser and Makeup Remover
  • Banila Co – Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Pore Clarifying Cleansing Balm
  • Manyo Factory – Herb Green Cleansing Oil And Makeup Remover
  • Suki – Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover
  • DHC – Pore Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover
  • Urban Hydration – Aloe Vera Leaf Micellar Cleansing Water
  • Farmacy – Clearly Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

Your precleanse regimen is a vital part of your skincare routine, and Dermalogica is always thinking ahead for every skincare concern. When you have acne, you need a pre-cleanser that is gentle enough to prevent further irritation with powerful ingredients that gets deep in those pores to clear out dirt, grime, waterproof makeup, SPF – you name it. As one of the most respected names in professional dermatology skincare therapy, Dermalogica’s Precleanse Makeup Remover gives you a clean slate for other deep cleansers to work more efficiently and conditions with the essential fatty acids your skin needs to prevent dry skin and blemishes.

This lightweight cleansing gel has all the good stuff to clear dirt, makeup, and SPF off your skin in one fell swoop. The ultra-gentle formula has 0.5% salicylic acid to unclog irritating pimples and kill acne-fighting bacteria. The amino acid arginine soothes sensitive skin and reduces redness, and panthenol (also known as ProVitamin B5) conditions your skin texture and rebuilds your skin barrier. Your clean skin won’t feel too tight or too oily – it’ll feel just right – and you can use it alone when it’s a light concealer-and-mascara kind of day or as part of your double cleanse when using heavier makeup and SPF. 

Salicylic acid, also known as BHA, is the ultimate acne-fighting ingredient with its ability to quickly dissolve dead skin cells that block clogged pores and worsen your acne. If you have oily skin, you need a powerful double cleanse that removes excess sebum and gives you a deep antibacterial clean. This Hanskin BHA makeup-removing formula has a soothing blend of olive and jojoba oil and natural fruit extracts, including orange, lemon, and grapefruit, for even smoother skin radiance after every use.

If your acne doesn’t handle BHA formulas well, Hanskin thought of that too! The PHA Pore Cleansing Oil is made for sensitive skin types as the polyhydroxy acids, aka PHAs, are one of the most gentle acids for treating skin issues like acne and rough texture without irritation. You get exfoliation and a makeup remover in one with a hydrating finish that you can rest assured will help prevent future breakouts. The natural plant oils are derived from jojoba, olive, and grape seed oils alongside aloe vera extract to maintain hydration levels in your skin so dryness isn’t a factor in your acne-prevention routine. 

Naturium has come out with top-quality yet affordable skincare over the past couple of years, bringing the best ingredients for specific skin concerns. The velvety sorbet texture of this balm-to-oil formula melts makeup, dissolves SPF, and removes impurities with plant-based esters that rinse clean. Purple ginseng balance the skin with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that combat excess sebum and treat (or prevent) blemishes. Linoleic-rich oils nourish your skin and can stabilize sebum production to prevent dry skin and break through blocked follicles. This clean formulation is also pH balanced, non-toxic, and fragrance-free.

Centella Asiatica, lovingly known as Cica in the skincare world, has become a powerhouse ingredient for soothing the most irritated and problematic skin in recent years. The centuries-old herb heals wounded skin and helps your skin naturally rebuild its moisture barrier in this foaming oil-based gel. If your pores need deeper cleaning, the tea tree and white willow bark extract prevent blackheads, whiteheads, and acne before it becomes a bigger problem. The sensitive skin-friendly calendula flowers soothe any redness or irritation, and the PHA acid gluconolactone gently dissolves dead skin to prevent clogged pores and reveal a brighter complexion.  

Banila Co is known for its skin concern-specific cleansing balms and has rave reviews to back up its best-seller claims in the skincare world. Recently, they launched a new 3-in-1 cleansing balm specifically targeting problematic skin issues like acne and blemishes. With a proprietary Tri-Peel Acid Blend, they formulated a makeup cleansing balm with AHA for surface-level retexturizing, BHA for acne-fighting power, and LHA for gentle exfoliation on the most sensitive skin. Its dermatologist tested to ensure the most sensitive and reactive skin can benefit from its pore-clarifying balm. 

This Herb Green Cleansing Oil is a mild cleanser with ingredients naturally derived from plants for a low irritating formula. Mugwort extract pairs with tea tree oil for a soothing antibacterial effect on acne-prone skin, and vitamin E-rich olive oil deeply cleanses skin without clogging pores. Using it as your first step in double cleansing is recommended because the soybean oil blend isn’t exactly non-comedogenic. However, it is on the lower scale of non-toxic pore-clogging oils when formulated in an acne-fighting formula like this. With zero synthetic oils to its name, this cleansing oil can be a powerful, safe option for problematic skin. 

Melt away your makeup and prevent breakouts with Suki’s Cleansing Oil, formulated with the essential linoleic acid sourced from safflower, sunflower, and grapeseed oils – all of which are non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory, and pro-sensitive skin. Moringa oil is an ancient beauty ingredient clinically proven to fight acne-causing bacteria, heal irritation without clogging pores, and nourish skin with vitamins A, B-complex, and C. This 100% natural cruelty-free formula is effective for acne-prone skin as the first step in a double cleansing routine.

Ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, DHC Pore Cleansing Oil binds to waterproof makeup and dirt to rinse it clean of your skin. At the same time, the calendula flower extract soothes and softens your skin without leaving a greasy residue behind. The citrus extract in this double cleansing oil brightens those dark spots left behind from your acne flareup as antioxidants protect against environmental free radicals to bring radiance to your skincare routine. It is lightly fragranced through naturally fresh valencia orange extract that doubles as a gentle acne-fighter with citric acid to control unexpected blemishes.

Aloe vera leaf is a powerhouse for calming inflammation and detoxifying your skin. If you have consistent acne flare-ups, you may need to approach your first cleansing step with a gentle micellar cleansing water that removes stubborn makeup and dissolves dirt and oil. This sulfate-free formula can help fade hyperpigmentation and is safe for oily and acne-prone skin as well as those dealing with flare-ups of eczema and psoriasis. Vitamins A and E support cell turnover, provide sun protection against UV damage that speeds up premature aging, and help lighten dark spots and smooth rough texture. You can use this as a gentle morning cleanser if your skin needs some extra hydration.

We love a good cleansing balm from the Farmacy – that’s why we’ve mentioned it more than once on our Wishlist of effective yet gentle makeup removers! The Clearly Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, so there is no irritation or clogged pores to worry about as you remove waterproof makeup, SPF, and daily dirt and grime. It’s an ideal makeup remover balm for reactive skin and acne-prone skin since you want a first-step cleanser that cleans and nourishes simultaneously. Moringa extract protects against oxidative stress and removes environmental pollution from your skin, while the papaya enzyme gently exfoliates for a more even skin tone.

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