Chrissy Teigen Swears This Makeup Remover Is Best For Her Skin
If you wear makeup, you probably use makeup remover on the regular. While it may seem like fancier, more complex formulas are necessary for tough-to-remove mascara or waterproof eyeliner, Chrissy Teigen is obsessed with…coconut oil.
“You put a little bit on a tissue and just wipe downwards,” Teigen says in a new interview with Us Weekly. “It takes everything off naturally.”
The 30-year-old supermodel, co-host of Lip Sync Battle, and new mom also believes that coconut oil is better for your skin than regular makeup remover. “You know how a lot of makeup removers have alcohol in them, so they dry out your eyeballs and they dry out your skin?” she says in Us Weekly. “[Coconut oil] wipes [makeup] away, but keeps your skin hydrated.”
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Full disclosure: Teigen was just named a spokeswoman for Vita Coco Coconut Oil. With that said, a lot of other people also think coconut oil makes an incredible makeup remover. But is Teigen right that it’s better for your skin? Maybe, says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“Makeup remover, like many skincare products, differs based on the specific type and specific ingredients,” he tells SELF, adding that some products may contain alcohol or oil, while others are alcohol- and oil-free. “But just because a specific makeup remover may contain alcohol and oil, it doesn’t necessarily make it irritating or drying, or cause acne.”
Goldenberg says high concentrations of alcohol in makeup removers can dry and irritate your skin, stripping it of its normal protective fatty acids, which leaves you more prone to sun damage and wrinkles. However, he says, low concentrations of alcohol can actually be hydrating.
New York City dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., author of 100 Questions and Answers About Acne and the upcoming book Skinfluence, agrees. “Not all alcohol is drying,” she says. “Cetyl alcohol, for example, is gentler and helps products evaporate.”
Day also notes that a lot of pre-moistened makeup remover wipes have oils and moisturizers built in to avoid drying out your skin. Of course, she points out, that doesn’t mean makeup remover is actually a moisturizer. “Any cleanser is going to be drying, “ she says. “If you wash and you don’t moisturize after, you’re going to end up with drier skin.”
Coconut oil doesn’t have surfactants, i.e. compounds that act as a detergent or foaming agent, so it won’t dry you out, Day says. At the same time, she’s not totally sold on the idea that the oil will remove every speck of makeup-related gunk, which is important for preventing acne flare-ups and irritating your skin, Goldenberg says: “I do stress to all my patients that makeup has to be removed daily and advise them not to sleep with makeup on.”
So, how do you know if your makeup remover is right for you or doing more harm than good? Goldenberg says it’s important to avoid ones that contain harsh alcohols like simple isopropyl or ethanol.
And if you’re prone to acne, he recommends using oil-free makeup remover or a cleanser for sensitive skin like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Cerave Hydrating Wash to remove your makeup.
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Day also recommends looking for a product with micellar water—“it pulls away the stuff you don’t want on your skin, like makeup, dirt, and grime”—and using a gentle cloth to remove your makeup, making sure to do more tapping and less scrubbing, since the latter can irritate your skin. Afterwards, rinse and moisturize for great skin. “That’s key,” she says.
Experts agree that there’s no harm in using coconut oil as a makeup remover, provided your skin can tolerate it—it just might not remove your makeup as well as products that are designed for the job.
Published: APL Cheeks