Makeup Removers Without Salts, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Fragrance
Pass on bar soaps, too. The salts they contain can raise the pH on your skin's surface, which can damage proteins on the outermost layer of the skin and make that layer swell. Salts also pull water from the skin and dry it out, which is a problem if the soap doesn't also contain moisturizers.
Hold on. There's more. People with sensitive skin should also avoid detergents, like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and fragrances, which are generally problematic [source: Aftergut].
You can spot most offending ingredients in makeup removers by reading the list of ingredients. The National Eczema Association can guide you on which ingredients to avoid, too.
However, if your makeup remover does contain an ingredient that may irritate your face, you can try making use of wetness and dryness effects. Your skin is more absorbent when it's wet and a better barrier when it's dry, so don't apply irritating removers to wet skin. The side effects will be worse than when your skin is dry [source: Tofte].
What makeup remover is probably in your kitchen right now? Find out next.