Skin-Care Tips

‘Melting’ Cleansers Completely Erase Makeup so You Can Get a Clean Face in One Wash

Rachel Lapidos

Photo: Stocksy/Danil Nevsky
When it comes to the first (and most basic) step in your skin-care routine—cleansing—there are somehow a lot of things to think about. Dermatologists and facialists suggest optimizing your cleanse by using warm (but not too hot) water, choosing a face wash that rids your pores of gunk without stripping your skin, and being sure to double cleanse so that every bit of debris is washed away. To make things easier, "melting" cleansers are a new trend on the shelves, meant to deliver a double cleanse in a single tube (which they do by changing textures—think: oil to cream, balm to mask).

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

Kiwi Botanicals Nourishing Honey Melt Facial Cleanser — $9.00

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.

Beauty Pie's Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser — $35.00

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.

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm — $34.00

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.

Bliss jelly cleanser
Bliss Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser — $13.00

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.

Algenist Genius Melting Cleanser
Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser — $38.00

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).

Clinique Take the Day Off
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm — $31.00

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).

Drunk Elephant Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser
Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser — $34.00

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.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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