Nutcracker season is upon us, and although part of the fun is getting into character with hair and makeup, it’s also one of the biggest inconveniences to take off. When it comes to stage makeup, it takes a heavy-duty cleanser to remove it all. And if you’re like me, you want something natural and gentle to keep your skin flawless for the next performance.

Here are the steps I take to remove stage makeup using all-natural yet affordable products:

Stage Makeup Removal Using All Natural Products

1. Cleansing Oil

I was surprised to learn that nothing melts away makeup quite like a good cleansing oil. I’ve tried several, but the one I’ve found the most effective is The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil $15. It quickly removes the most impenetrable stage makeup and waterproof mascara. Instead of rinsing, use a warm damp muslin cloth or face towel to remove the residue. This ensures a deeper cleanse and gentle exfoliation. The warmth of the towel also helps to soften your skin and leave you feeling like you just had a facial.

makeup removal oil

2. Double cleanse

It might sound tedious, but ALWAYS double cleanse when removing a heavy face of makeup. This has been part of Korean skin care for years, and they have some of the most flawless skin in the beauty industry. The double cleanse requires a gentle cleanser (I use Derma E Purifying Gel Cleanser $9), and makes sure any residual makeup, dirt, and oil is removed. I’ll usually finish this step with a cold water rinse to soothe my skin from all the cleansing.

makeup remover for theater and stage

3. Toner

Now that the cleansing is finished, it’s time to prep the skin for serums and moisturizer. Toners help to close pores and prevent impurities from penetrating the skin barrier. If you live in an area with hard tap water quality, toners are also helpful for removing chlorine and minerals that can dry out your skin. This will make sure that your skin is ready to seal in all the moisture and antioxidants from the rest of your regimen.

Two toners I love are the Thayers Witch Hazel $9 (Alcohol-free unscented) and First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads $15. Thayers works to prevent acne and inflammation, while restoring healthy pH levels in your skin. They have several fragranced varieties, but unscented is always best for sensitive skin. The F.A.B. Radiance Pads have mild lactic and glycolic acids for gentle exfoliation and antioxidants to even out skin tone. I use these interchangeably depending on my skincare needs at the time.

witch hazel for removing stage makeup

4. Serum

Serums are probably my favorite part of stage makeup removal. They pack a concentrated punch of antioxidants, moisture, and anti-aging elements into a few drops. From all the cleansing and prep, my skin just drinks it up. Currently, I’m using the Day & Night Duo Bundle by Instanaturals $28. Both serums are organic and have the most proven and highest regarded skin care ingredients.

The daytime serum is Vitamin C based so it protects the skin from free radicals from the environment and promotes collagen production. Another favorite ingredient is the hyaluronic acid, which helps bind moisture to the skin making it appear more plump and dewy (great for pre-makeup application). Among other organic and potent ingredients, the night serum has retinol for anti-aging and evening skin tone, niacinamide for reducing redness and inflammation, and aloe for soothing and moisture.

5. Moisturizer

A tip I got from fellow dancers was to only use moisturizers that come in pump form to reduce the exposure to contaminants and bacteria. With all the stage makeup, you don’t need anything else contributing to acne. The Christina Moss Organic Facial Moisturizer $26 has been my go-to for years because it’s free of any questionable ingredients and provides a deep nourishing moisture with a lightweight feel. All of its ingredients have a beneficial effect on the skin without the use of fillers, meaning you get a literal bang for your buck.

face moisterizer

6. Face Oil

Lastly, during the colder months, I recommend finishing off the stage makeup removal routine with a facial oil. This will help balance and normalize oil levels in your skin and make sure you have a smooth canvas for stage makeup application the next day. A common misconception is that a face oil will cause breakouts or make your skin oilier. However, the opposite is true when using a pure facial oil such as rosehip oil, jojoba oil, or marula oil. These oils will not clog your pores, but offer similar skincare benefits as a serum with far more moisturizing effects. I usually mix three drops of Kate Blanc’s Organic Rosehip Oil $13 with my moisturizer at night.

rosehip oil for skincare

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