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.
Homemade Eye Makeup Remover Recipe Trials
These are the different recipes that I tried.
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…)
By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.
Update 3/17: WARNING. Unless you are going to add a broad spectrum preservative to this lotion, please plan to use this within 3-4 days and store in the refrigerator.
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: The witch hazel in this product will help a bit with bacterial growth, but please for now only make enough to use within 3-4 days and store this in the fridge. If it seems bad, use common sense and 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 (not including vitamin E)
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!
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.
Other Non-Toxic Eye Makeup Remover Options
Don't feel like making your own Eye Makeup Remover? Here are a few options for you.
This Instant Eye Makeup Remover from Beautycounter has received rave reviews. No toxins and removes eye makeup effortlessly.
This Baby Oil from Beautycounter is also super convenient as an Eye Makeup Remover plus it has no harmful additives like most Baby Oils on the market.
The pump dispenses just the right amount each time with no oil running all over the place onto your hands and your countertop, etc.
Side note: If you're looking for good non toxic eye makeup, my favorite mascara is Beautycounter's and I love their eye pencils too. “Just right” color without a heavy look. And the mascara doesn't smudge (and that's saying a lot for me–The “Queen” of Smudge.) I personally have never found eye shadows that I like until I found Beautycounter's. I'm a “winter” in terms of the colors that look good on me, and their Slipper / Slate combo in just lovely. Not overdone at all!
Their Organic Makeup Remover is in the bottom right.
It is the best store-bought makeup remover that I have ever used. I haven't tried tons, but I do really LOVE this. I only use 2 or 3 drops per eye (depends on the makeup I am wearing) and my makeup is completely gone after swiping gently.
You can view the rest of their cosmetics here. They have fabulous quality and integrity about their products. There can be high levels of heavy metals in cosmetics and beauty products, so get informed!
Interested in other DIY natural home / personal items? How about….
Post Updated 5/29/17
What eye makeup remover do you use?