(Beauty Report Card)

This Gentle Makeup Remover Saved My Sensitive Skin

It’s a game-changer.

nighttime sensitive skin routine
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Sensitive skin has been my lifelong companion — a gift bestowed upon me since birth. From dealing with keratosis pilaris (KP) and rosacea to navigating eczema and dryness, my delicate complexion has weathered it all. I can vividly recall the (traumatizing) days of childhood baths at my Grammy’s house, where her vigorous scrubbing turned my skin into a temporary shade of tomato red. Yet still, as I get older, the challenges of my sensitive skin seem to intensify despite me taking better care of it than ever — perhaps just another super fun part of getting older — particularly around my eyes.

In my early 20s, I used to go to bed with a full face of makeup on (yikes!) and get by just fine. Fast forward to today, and even the slightest eye rub unleashes a rash of red dots or spider veins all over my skin. Unassuming aspects of my daily routine and skin care habits, once seemingly harmless, have evolved into potential triggers for sensitivity. One of the chief culprits over the past few years: makeup removers. It’s actually pretty logical, as the process of using these products often require harsh rubbing across your face, especially over delicate areas like the eyes. I’ve experimented with so many different options, from the traditional oil-based formulas to gentle wipes, cleansing oils, and micellar waters. Each product left my skin feeling raw and irritated, regardless of the solvent or product type. I resigned myself to the belief that makeup removal would forever be an uncomfortable ordeal.

However, at a recent facial, I confided in my facialist about my skin care woes. She introduced me to a product I had never considered: Dermalogica’s Micellar Prebiotic Precleanse. The first step in a two-step cleansing routine, this gentle concoction is a milky formula featuring cleansing micellar murumuru butter and oat milk to effortlessly eliminate makeup and impurities. Emollient apricot kernel oil and amino acid-rich cotton seed protein ensure hydration and protection for the skin — something critical for my naturally dry barrier. On my trial run with this hopeful new product, I was genuinely shocked — zero irritation, zero rashes, and a thoroughly cleansed, moisturized face. This was the elusive miracle product I had been searching for. The milky formula is so nourishing, like a treat for my skin. Plus, the application is a breeze: a single pump into dry hands, a gentle, thorough massage across the face and eyes to banish every trace of makeup, and a careful rinse — no need for cotton rounds or wipes. My makeup comes right off with these easy steps, requiring no followup wipes or toweling to clear black streaks of mascara or usually hard-to-remove traces of eyeliner. On days with minimal makeup, I even skip the second cleanse with my normal face wash, letting the pre-cleanse alone leave my skin feeling plump and dewy.

Courtesy of Dermalogica
Courtesy of Dermalogica

For those with sensitive skin like mine, consider this your life-changing revelation. Ahead, shop this game-changing product and the remainder of my nightly routine, a sanctuary for my dry, sensitive skin throughout the year.

My Nighttime Skincare Essentials