Curel Makeup Cleansing Gel Review

There’s a few things you should ask before you buy a cleanser. Will it actually remove makeup? Will it irritate my skin? Will I absolutely hate the scent and texture?

Our editing department purchased Curel’s popular Makeup Cleansing Gel and sought to answer the above questions. We also analyzed the ingredients and, later on in this article, explain how to properly use the product. Here’s what we learned during testing.
  • Last updated: 10-27-2019
  • 287 views
Table of Contents

What Makes Curel's Makeup Cleansing Gel Special?

What Makes Curel's Makeup Cleansing Gel Special?

Curel's Makeup Cleansing Gel is a medicated cleanser that soothes your skin as it cleans. As a brand, Curel is known for catering to people with dry and sensitive skin. This product works by preserving the ceramides in your skin, which are an important part of its protective barrier.


The gel-like texture spreads readily, so you aren't rubbing at and possibly irritating skin. Gently massage the product in, and give yourself some time to relax and rejuvenate.

How to Use Curel's Makeup Cleansing Gel

This is what it says on the box (in English).


  1. Dispense however much you need into dry hands (usually, this is a glob about 2 cm in diameter).
  2. Apply onto your forehead, cheeks, and chin.
  3. Massage in circular motions, allowing the cleanser to mix with your makeup.
  4. Rinse off with warm water.
  5. Follow up with face wash.

Make Sure You Apply with Dry Hands

Make Sure You Apply with Dry Hands

We'll say it again--make sure you apply with dry hands onto a dry face. Water will thin out the gel and make it harder for it to bond with and lift makeup off your face.


Curel also recommends double-cleansing, so don't forget to follow up with face wash.

We Don't Recommend Using This Product on Eyelash Extensions

We Don't Recommend Using This Product on Eyelash Extensions

Curel's Makeup Cleansing Gel does not state whether or not it's safe for eyelash extensions. So if you have extensions, we recommend you stay on the safe side and look for another product.


Keep in mind that this product contains oil, which weakens the type of glue typically used to attach extensions. If you wish to prolong the life of your false lashes, then stick to oil-free cleansers.

Putting Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel to the Test

Putting Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel to the Test
We had a group of editors–all with dry or sensitive skin–put Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel to the test. Specifically, we were looking for the four following factors.
Test ①: Cleansing Power
Test ②: Ease of Use
Test ③: Signs of Irritation
Test ④: Ingredients

Test ①: Cleansing Power

Making sure that your skin stays clean and healthy.

Doesn’t Work on Products that Have Even an Ounce of Staying Power

Doesn’t Work on Products that Have Even an Ounce of Staying Power
We tried the cleanser out on the following products.
Products We Tested on

  • Waterproof Mascara
  • Shimmery Eyeshadow
  • Waterproof Eyeliner
  • Lip Tint
  • Liquid Foundation

Maybe we shouldn’t have expected much from such a gentle cleanser, but almost nothing came off. The waterproof products didn’t budge. The liquid foundation faded, but we were left with some residue.
Now, gel cleansers are known for being mild and therefore weaker in cleansing power, but this was a bit extreme. Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel may work on light powder products but not much else.

Doesn’t Reach into Your Pores

Doesn’t Reach into Your Pores
This got rid of oil and debris that was sitting on top of our skin, but it couldn’t touch blackheads or anything entrenched deeper in our pores.

Test ②: Ease of Use

Checking how the cleanser feels.

Dense and Doesn’t Melt Easily into Makeup

Dense and Doesn’t Melt Easily into Makeup
This was a dense gel, and it didn’t spread out easily. While body heat did eventually soften it up, it took up precious time. If you do get this gel, we recommend warming it up in your hands and then applying to your face.
We did like that it was thick enough to lubricate skin and ward off any friction.

Leaves Skin Feeling Light and Refreshed but Not Dry

Leaves Skin Feeling Light and Refreshed but Not Dry
Skin felt clean and refreshed after cleansing, but it wasn’t dehydrated. Even after we’d followed up with a face wash, skin stayed soft and moisturized.

Test ③: Signs of Irritation

Looking for any signs of a breakout or rash.

None of Our Editors Noticed Anything out of the Ordinary

None of Our Editors Noticed Anything out of the Ordinary
None of our editors suffered the appearance of new pimples or felt any pain or itchiness. One of our testers had acne on her chin from before testing, and it didn’t get any worse after cleansing.
You skin stands to suffer more from the weak cleansing power than anything. Sleeping with makeup residue on your face is extremely irritating, so make sure you cleanse thoroughly.

Test ④: Ingredients

Making sure the product is free of ingredients people are commonly sensitive to.

Contains Soothing Ingredients and is Free of Many Common Additives

Contains Soothing Ingredients and is Free of Many Common Additives
Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel is free of alcohol, fragrances, and dyes. The ingredients list was simple and sweet and contained nothing unnecessary.
We also liked that the first ingredient on the list was dipotassium glycyrrhizate. This plant-derived salt soothes irritation and conditions dry, rough skin. While many cleansers run the risk of irritating skin, this one actually calms it down.

Does Contain Parabens and Surfactants but in Very Low Concentrations

Does Contain Parabens and Surfactants but in Very Low Concentrations
However, Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel isn’t completely free of potential troublemakers. It contains parabens as a preservative and distearyldimonium chloride, a positively charged surfactant.
Still, both of these ingredients come at the very bottom of the list, which means neither are present in high amounts. Parabens, generally speaking, can be present in skincare products in concentrations up to 1%. Anything higher than that could prove irritating, but Curel’s gel should be below that threshold.
If you’re still worried, you could always patch test the cleanser before applying to your face.

The Final Verdict: Worth It if You’re Looking for an Ultra Mild Cleanser–and You Don’t Have Much Makeup to Remove

The Final Verdict: Worth It if You’re Looking for an Ultra Mild Cleanser–and You Don’t Have Much Makeup to Remove
If you need a strong cleanser–one that can work both on makeup and clogged pores–then Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel will leave you disappointed.
However, if you don’t wear much makeup to begin with and you want something mild, then it’s a valid choice. The thick gel doesn’t rub at your skin and doesn’t dehydrate. It soothes as it cleanses and is especially suited to those with dry and/or sensitive skin.

If You Wear Heavier Makeup, Consider Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Oil

Generally speaking, oil cleansers are more effective than gel options. And just like the gel version, Curel's Makeup Cleansing Oil is medicated and contains anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Click Here to Learn about Other Types of Cleaners

Click Here to Learn about Other Types of Cleaners
mybest has tested over 50 different cleansers: water, oil, and milk. Water cleansers are probably closest to what you’d think of as typical “makeup remover”–a thin liquid you pour into a cotton pad and swab your face with. Oil cleansers are high in cleansing power and milk cleansers are mild. Learn more about each type below.

Summary

We put Curel’s Makeup Cleansing Gel to the test. Though it won’t work as a makeup remover, it does help soothe dry and irritated skin. It’s worth trying if you’re sensitive to most ingredients.

Related Articles

  • Top 10 Best Hand Creams for Dry and Rough Hands to Buy Online 2019
    Top 10 Best Hand Creams for Dry and Rough Hands to Buy Online 2019
    Hands don’t get enough love. Most of us moisturize right after facial cleansers, but how many of us do so after a good hand washing? And while the skin on our hands isn’t as sensitive as the stuff covering our faces, it’s still living tissue. It cracks, flakes, and gets itchy. Especially when winter comes, which is when it’s high time for a good hand cream.But you have different skin from the guy next to you. You live different lifestyles. If you need to be out in the drying winds, if your job demands you wash your hands constantly, then the cheap watery stuff may not work for you. So here are a few tips and tricks that will help you pick out the heavy duty stuff–hand cream targeted at dry, cracked hands.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    148 views
  • Top 10 Best Concealers for Dark Circles under the Eyes to Buy Online 2019
    Top 10 Best Concealers for Dark Circles under the Eyes to Buy Online 2019
    With the shabby days at work, the 24-7 news reels, the Doomsday clock ticking ever closer to midnight, the hours we spend in deep sleep are drying up. Then the dark circles come. When a layer of foundation won’t wipe away yesterday’s sorrows, we turn to concealers.But they come in all shades and forms. And should we go for drugstore varieties–such as Maybelline or L’Oreal–or high-end stuff with French names? This time around, we’ll be talking about what concealer to choose based on the type of under eye circle. Then we’ll go through a listing of the best concealers you can find online. So let’s prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    152 views
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Waterproof Mascaras to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 18 Best Japanese Waterproof Mascaras to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Summers here in Japan get humid and sticky. And yet Japanese men and women alike feel a need to look impeccable even when they’re floating in the middle of the ocean on a huge inner tube. In order to answer that need, cosmetics companies here have come out with scores of waterproof mascaras meant to withstand the steamiest hot springs and the biggest waves.If you’re new to the Japanese cosmetics market, it can be hard to tell which brands–Canmake, Heroine Make, Majolica Majorca–are amazing and which are a passing fad. That’s why, this time around, we ordered the 18 most popular waterproof mascaras from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following:1. Smudge Resistance2. Curl Staying Power3. Finish4. Ease of Use5. Ease of RemovalThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese waterproof mascaras.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    702 views
  • Top 10 Best Styling Products for Oily Hair to Buy Online 2019
    Top 10 Best Styling Products for Oily Hair to Buy Online 2019
    Oily hair can be a challenge to deal with, so we’ve scoured the internet to find good styling products that won’t leave you greasy. After combing through reviews, we’ve brushed the gimmicks out of the way and found that the best products are texturizing, free from oils and irritants, and suited to your hair type and texture, whether you be fine and thin or thick and curly.We kept all this in mind as we picked out some of the best styling products for oily hair available online.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    387 views
  • Top 21 Best Japanese Cleansing Waters (Makeup Removers) to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 21 Best Japanese Cleansing Waters (Makeup Removers) to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best cleansing water (also known as micellar water). We then chose the 21 most popular products and tested them for the following:1. Cleansing Power2. Hydration (that is, how hydrated your skin is after cleansing)3. IngredientsWe made sure to take into consideration skincare benefits–exfoliation and brightening, for instance–and also talked to a cosmetic R&D specialist about options for folks with sensitive skin. What we ended up with was a definitive list of and buying guide about the best Japanese cleansing waters available online (and in drugstores).
    Cosmetics and skincare
    569 views
  • Top 17 Best Japanese Foundation Primers for Oily Skin to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 17 Best Japanese Foundation Primers for Oily Skin to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best foundation primers for oily skin. We then chose the 17 most popular products and tested them.We focused on four things: how well it held up throughout the day, its shine level, its finish, and how easy it was to apply. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese foundation primers for oily skin available online.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    262 views
  • Top 9 Best Japanese Liquid Blushes to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 9 Best Japanese Liquid Blushes to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best liquid blushes. We then chose the 9 most popular products and tested them.We focused on three things: how the finish looked, its durability, and how it felt to use. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese liquid blushes available online.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    125 views
  • Top 22 Best Japanese Eyebrow Pencils to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 22 Best Japanese Eyebrow Pencils to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best eyebrow pencils. We then chose the 22 most popular products and tested them.We focused on three things: how the finish looked, its durability, and how easy it was to use. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese eyebrow pencils available online.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    149 views
  • Top 15 Best Japanese Cleansing Balms to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 15 Best Japanese Cleansing Balms to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best cleansing balms. We then chose the 15 most popular products and tested them.We focused on three things: its cleansing power, its moisturizing ability, and its ingredients. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese cleansing balms available online.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    134 views
  • Kate CC Lip Cream N Review - mybest
    Kate CC Lip Cream N Review - mybest
    We've heard a lot about Kate CC Lip Cream N from women in their 20's and 30's. While some say it goes on (and stays on) comfortable, others say the color is too thin or it doesn't moisturize lips at all. We decided to put this to the test by purchasing it and officially assessing its moisturizing ability and how it felt to use. If you're on the fence about buying it, read our review before making your final decision!*Please be aware that the packaging of this product has been updated since we purchased and tested it!
    Cosmetics and skincare
    19 views
  • Popular Articles

  • Top 24 Best Japanese Moisturizers and Face Lotions to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 24 Best Japanese Moisturizers and Face Lotions to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Last time, we talked about toners. Now, we move on to the next step in the Japanese skincare routine: moisturizers and face lotions※1. Face lotions are important–they are, if you remember, the lid that seals your toner in. And, just like in America, in Japan, we have our high-end and drugstore brands, our revolutionary products and dupes.We thought it was high time someone separated the wheat from the chaff. That’s why we ordered the 25 most popular moisturizers and face lotions from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following:1. Hydration2. ApplicationThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese moisturizers and face lotions. We also talk about the difference between lotion and cream at the very end of the article–be sure not to miss it.※1 乳液: moisturizer / face lotion
    Cosmetics and skincare
    5,635 views
  • Top 25 Best Japanese Whitening Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 25 Best Japanese Whitening Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    It’s a buzzword in Japan: translucence※1. It’s similar to Korea’s glass skin–skin so pure that it’s nearly transparent, resembling layers of frosted glass. In order to respond to that aesthetic, cosmetic companies–both drugstore and high-end–here have been coming out with scores of whitening※2 serums, essences, and ampoules※3.As always, it’s difficult to tell what kind of skincare is effective and what isn’t. That’s why, this time around, we ordered the 25 most popular whitening serums from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following:1. Hydration2. ApplicationThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese whitening serums, essences, and ampoules.※1 透明感: translucence (lit. transparency; used to describe glass skin)※2 美白: whitening (in this article, that refers to the tamping down of hyperpigmentation and the production of melanin, thereby preventing freckles and blemishes)※3 美容液: serums, essences, and ampoules (more on how we translated that term below)
    Cosmetics and skincare
    3,599 views
  • Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Razors to Buy Online 2019
    Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Razors to Buy Online 2019
    It’s easy to see excessive plastic use when we go food shopping, but one area we might not pay as much attention to is in our shaving habits. Think about it: whether you use disposable razors where you throw away the whole thing or cartridge razors where the disposable blades are encased in plastic, if you shave a few times a week, all that waste can really add up.Luckily, all-metal, reusable razors are making a comeback, making it easy for you to get an eco-friendly shave. But it can be hard to figure out where to begin when you’re starting from scratch. In this guide, we’ll go over the major points to look for when buying an eco-friendly razor. At the end we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to get you started on your search.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    2,617 views
  • Top 38 Best Japanese Lip Balms to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 38 Best Japanese Lip Balms to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    If eyes are the windows to your soul, your lips are the shape to its voice. They’re worth taking good care of, especially because they’re tender and prone to aging, just like the rest of your skin. And in Japan, as in America, lip balm is cheap and plentiful, so you’ve plenty of choices–choices between brands, as well as between medicated, tinted, or organic balms.So which balms are worth your money and which aren’t? To answer that question, we ordered the 38 most popular lip balms from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following:1. Hydration2. ApplicationThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese lip balms.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    2,688 views
  • Top 10 Best Japanese Hair Dyes to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 10 Best Japanese Hair Dyes to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Let’s get this straight–there’s no such thing as a “best” hair dye. Strictly speaking. Just like there’s no such thing as a “best” concealer or “best” mattress or “best” jacket because it all comes down to you. What kind of skin do you have? What kind of sleeping posture? Do you get cold easily?This time around, we ordered the 10 most popular hair dyes found in Japanese drugstores and on Japan’s e-commerce sites and compared the following:1. How Vivid the Color was2. How Gentle on Hair the Dye was3. How Long the Color LastedHowever, we want you to keep in mind that the Japanese hair dyes we introduce were formulated with Japanese (naturally black, bleached Asian) hair in mind and are most effective on hair of a similar quality. If you’ve hair like that, great–you’ll probably find that it works better than your average box of CVS/Walgreens stuff. If not, though, results may be a bit unexpected.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    2,927 views
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Anti-Aging Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Top 18 Best Japanese Anti-Aging Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    We might not be able to prevent aging altogether, but we can still age gracefully. That feels like the consensus here in Japan, where anti-aging skincare is popular and constantly evolving. As time goes by, our skin undergoes certain changes–hormones are thrown out of balance, certain functions are dulled–and serums that you used once may no longer be as effective.So which serums a) target the signs of aging and b) will actually work for you? In order to answer that question, we ordered the 18 most popular anti-aging※1 serums※2 from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following:1. Hydration2. ApplicationThis is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese anti-aging serums, essences, and ampoules.※1 エイジングケア: anti-aging (lit. aging care), which, in this article, refers to products meant to moisturize mature skin※2 美容液: serums, essences, and ampoules (all three are basically the same product, just with different concentration levels of active ingredients)
    Cosmetics and skincare
    2,848 views
  • THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil Review
    THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil Review
    THREE’s a higher-end makeup and skincare brand, famous for their use of botanicals. Their goal is to make products that beautify you in the purest, most natural way.This time around, our editing department purchased THREE’s Balancing Cleansing Oil and put it to the test. We looked at cleansing power and what ingredients were used. We then judged both the efficacy of the product and just how gentle it was on skin.
    Cosmetics and skincare
    134 views
  • Popular Item Lists

    Search by Category