Superstar facialist Renee Rouleau has noticed the rise of these double-duty cleansers, which she writes on her blog are meant to cut your cleansing routine in half. "The goal of a melting cleanser is to remove makeup," says Rouleau. "It's not a gel and it's not a lotion, but a hybrid of the two." Typically, the product will start off as a gel or a cream, and then as you massage it into skin, it will change textures (usually becoming a foam or a milky emulsion).
Sure it's a cool party trick, but what do these melting or bi-phase cleansers actually do for your skin? They function as both steps of the double cleanse, removing makeup with their oil base and then whisking it away with a frothy lather. That means that you're getting the benefits of two types of cleanses with only one product. Keep scrolling for the two-phase melting cleansers to try for yourself.
7 best makeup-melting cleansers
The star ingredient of this cleanser is Manuka honey, AKA one of the most therapeutic and comforting ingredients you can use on your skin. Mixed with water, the honey melts into a luxe, nourishing milk that wipes away your day and leaves your skin baby soft.
This gentle cleanser starts off as a cream and slowly melts into bubbly milk that wipes away makeup and whatever gunk your face has accumulated throughout the day. It’s also an antioxidant powerhouse, featuring ingredients like jabara extract (from Japanese citrus fruits high in vitamin C), polyphenol-rich grape extract, and vitamin E.
Apply this rich balm to dry skin, massage it in, then add water. You’re in for a treat as it morphs from a waxy oil into a satisfying milky lather that rids your face of makeup, without being overly stripping. Superfoods like moringa and papaya work to keep your skin nourished and soft even after you rinse. Read our full review here.
A jelly texture always makes things more fun, which is the case with this drugstore cleanser. The gel busts through gunk in your pores and lifts it away as you wash things away. And despite being a gel upfront, it transforms into a gentle froth formulated with floral extracts and glycerin so that your face is still hydrated afterwards.
Formulated with skin-loving algae oil and nourishing olive and avocado oils, the new Algenist cleanser begins as a silky oil and ends as a creamy, milky emulsion that rids your face of dirt and grime (and makeup, too).
This product from ever-reliable Clinique changes texture from a balm to an oil to a gentle milk as you massage it into your skin and then use water to whisk away makeup, sunscreen, and… anything else your skin picked up throughout the day. It’s made with safflower oil, which is noncomedogenic (which means it won’t clog your pores).
This melting cleanser from cult-fave Drunk Elephant packs a one-two punch of soothing, antioxidant-rich fruit extracts (including blueberry, kiwi, and strawberry) and moisturizing oils (marula seed, baobab seed, kalahari melon seed, mongongo, and ximenia). Those with sensitive skin will be happy to know this product is free from essential oils, which can be irritating for skin.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one cleanser that melts away makeup, prevents and fights blemishes, and exfoliates skin, Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying cleanser is your best, time-saving bet. Formulated with amla extract (a form of vitamin C), this cleanser quickly washes off makeup and leaves skin squeaky clean without making it feel too dry. Natural exfoliants like sugar cane derivatives and green papaya enzymes gently slough away dead skin, leaving your face brighter and smoother with every use. And thanks to the salicylic acid, you can keep breakouts at bay. If you have a little bit of extra time, leave the cleanser on for five minutes as a quick exfoliating mask.
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