How to Remove Makeup With SPF, According to a Derm

May 18, 2021
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
person holding white towel to side of face

 It doesn’t get easier than wiping off the day with a cleansing towelette or with micellar water, but if you’re wearing makeup with SPF or sunscreen in general, you need to put a little more effort into the skincare step. 

“You want to make sure to remove all SPF and sunscreen products before bed to prevent skin irritation, congested pores and acneiform eruptions,” says Dr. Cherise Levi, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. To learn how to best remove SPF-containing products for a thorough cleanse, read on for Dr. Levi’s tips.  

Double Cleansing Is the Way to Go

Dr. Levi says that even after you’ve taken off your SPF-loaded makeup with a towelette or micellar water, you’re not quite done yet. “Rinse your face with a gentle cleansing cream and cool water to remove any residue from the makeup and remover, which could cause irritation,” she says. Dr. Levi’s recommends a cream cleanser like The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser because it’s non-foaming. For mineral or tinted sunscreens, she suggests using a gentle exfoliating cleanser like the SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel.
skinceuticals lha cleansing gel

Avoid Scrubbing

As far as what not to do when washing off SPF, Dr. Levi explains that over-scrubbing is the biggest offender. “Always use gentle cleansing techniques and never aggressively scrub,” she says.

Nourish Your Skin After You Cleanse

You should always moisturize after cleansing, but after sun exposure, Dr. Levi recommends looking for a soothing formula that replenishes moisture and calms the complexion. Try the Garnier SkinActive 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer with Rose Water.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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