I set out this past week to try and figure out a good homemade eye makeup remover to share with all of you.
Little did I know that I’d have my work cut out for me.
There are a bunch of recipes out there on the internet touting to be great homemade eye makeup removers — so which one was the best?
Or was there an even better option?
Bet you just can’t wait to find out, right?
Now just to be clear, I don’t wear a bunch of makeup. In fact, I’ve been a real makeup minimalist most of my life.
I pretty much wear a little something under my eyes, some eyeliner (as natural as possible) and some mascara–and that’s it.
So I don’t have a lot of “stuff” to take off my face at the end of the day.
But I do need something that will take off mascara and eye liner.
I used to use a drugstore brand of remover, but when I finally read the label on that stuff I figured there had to be a better way.
Here’s the not-so-nice list of ingredients I had been putting on my eyes:
Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Polyethylene, Ceteth-20, Trihydroxystearin, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Vanillin, Titanium Dioxide.
In fact, if you look at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Rating on these ingredients, you will see that you really don’t want to be putting this on your eyes (a rating of zero is the best that you can get. As the numbers go higher, the ingredient is most likely more problematic.
So for the past 2-3 years, I’ve been using straight jojoba oil as a “homemade eye makeup remover” — nothing really to make there, though. Just use it :-). And I’d put a little water on afterwards and then do a quick swipe with some toilet tissue.
But it was really just too oily and I was using a lot of jojoba. It’s not crazy expensive, but I really wanted to find something that worked just as well and wasn’t such a mess.
Also, you know when you’re putting on mascara and you miss?
Well, when I’d try to clean up that stray mess with straight jojoba oil I’d end up with an oily mess on my face. Not good when you’re trying to get out the door quickly.
So…I perused the internet, came up with a bunch of homemade eye makeup remover recipes to try, and got to work.
First of all, a number of the recipes were “no go’s” from the start.
Like ones that contained:
- Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
- Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Wash
- or other chemically ingredients like that :-(.
‘Cause we’re trying to get rid of the chemical junk and not just save money, remember?
I came up with a list of 6 Eye Makeup Remover Recipes to Try.
Here are the results of each one …and at the end I’ll share which one was the winner.
Recipe #1 – 50/50 Witch Hazel & Oil
– 1/4 cup witch hazel (alcohol free preferred)
– 1/4 cup oil (your choice)
This one was the first recipe I tried. My initial thought upon mixing it up was, “Isn’t this going to sting my eyes?”
The first time I tried it, it didn’t.
The second time–stinging. Not good.
Recipe #2 – Water, Vitamin E Capsules & Oil
Honestly, I didn’t try this one. My reason? Seemed like a good recipe, but it’s basically just water and oil with a little added nutrition for your eyes. And since we don’t take Vitamin E currently (maybe we should??) I felt I couldn’t justify having myself or my readers purchase vitamin E oil just for making eye makeup remover.
Recipe #3 – Water, Castille Soap, & Olive Oil
– 1 cup water
– 1/4 tsp castille soap
– 1 tsp olive oil
This one plain stung and didn’t work well. I had to rub at my eyes several times to get my makeup off (and I’m not wearing waterproof mascara anymore). So this is a no-go for the delicate eye area.
Recipe #4 – Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Almond Oil
– 4 Tbsp EVOO
– 3 Tbsp almond oil
Well, this one I really didn’t have to try either since it’s basically just the same as my current method – straight oil. Just with different oils.
I love these oils but I need something different to take the makeup off my eyes without too much greasiness.
Recipe #5 – Water, Castille Soap, and Oil
– 1 cup water
– 1 1/2 Tbsp castille soap
– 1/8 tsp oil
This one, again, didn’t really work and stung somewhat. Stinging and my eyes just don’t go together. And well, if something doesn’t work–it just ummm…doesn’t work.
Recipe #6 – Water & Soap
– 1/2 cup water
– 2 tsp soap
Stinging. Again. And not good results.
So.. what’s a gal to do when these are the results she gets?
Well, here’s what happened. I came up with a winner that works like a charm and doesn’t sting:
May I humbly present to you, the Best Homemade Eye Makeup Remover?
What I wanted was the:
– removing power of the oils
– some added ingredients to make it less oily and easier to remove
– clean ingredients
– works even for waterproof mascara (for whenever you really need to wear it — e.g. swimming, events where you expect to be sobbing, etc.)
– no stinging
Here it is (drum roll please…)
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Homemade Eye Makeup Remover
Makes about 1/3 cup
1. Add all ingredients to your container / dispenser (I used an old jojoba oil container. Cleaned out, of course.)
2. Shake well before using.
3. Wipe on closed eyelids with clean fingers, or moisten cotton ball or makeup pad and swipe over closed eyelids.
To clean up stray makeup on face, put a small amount on fingers or dip cotton swab in mixture and clean up stray marks.
When washing face, make sure to get some cleaner on your eye area if you wish to remove any remaining oily residue.
UPDATE: A reader mentioned in the comments that when you add water to something you increase the chance of it spoiling. I answered saying I have seen natural cosmetics with water in them, and they have a shelf life of 6 months. I also think the witch hazel will deal with some of this, but just make sure – if it seems bad—common sense – don’t wipe it on your eyes :-).
Even if you buy a more expensive oil like jojoba, you can make this chemical-nasty-free eye makeup remover for:
– Jojoba oil – About $2.25 for 1 oz
– Witch Hazel – About $1.62 for 1 oz
– Water – let’s call that “free” for 1 oz, OK :-)?
Total: $3.87 for 3 oz. which is $1.29 per ounce
And if you use olive oil instead, my EVOO from Costco costs about $.17 per ounce.
Then your total is: $1.79 for 3 oz, which is $.60 per ounce.
Compare that to one chemical-laden brand I was using – $4.99-ish for 2 fl oz.
I’d much rather the pure stuff!
And if you’d like the extra healing qualities of vitamin E have some around the house, go ahead and throw in 1-2 capsules worth to make your eye makeup remover more soothing!
This will even take off waterproof mascara, but you do have to work it in a little more and for a little longer. On a side note, I’ve heard that waterproof mascara can lead to lashes falling out and apparently the loss is sometimes permanent. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I seem to have fewer lashes than when I was younger and I used to use waterproof mascara all. the. time. Sigh.
I so hope you like this as much as I do.
And if you’re looking for a non-toxic option for your eye makeup, here is where I buy most of my products.
Note about the witch hazel: The one I link to has a small amount of a preservative. There are plenty of other alcohol free witch hazels – they all (from what I could find) have additives like rose water, aloe vera, etc. I think the added fragrance, if they are all natural oils, would be nice – just choose whatever you would like.
Interested in other DIY natural home / personal items? How about….
What are you using for an eye makeup remover?