The “Best” Homemade Eye Makeup Remover

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Did you know that there are 82,000+ chemicals in use in the US today, and only 1/4 of them have been tested for safety. I try to buy clean personal care products and make as many of them as I can. I tried a bunch of Homemade Eye Makeup Removers and this one worked the best. Ditch the toxins, save money, and make it yourself!

One of the best ways to get toxins out of your home is to make your own personal care products – like homemade lotion, toothpaste, hairspray, and more.

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.

mineral oil – (1-3):
ceteth 20 (2):
sorbic acid (3):
methylparaben (4):
titanium dioxide (1-3):

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.

Did you know that there are 82,000+ chemicals in use in the US today, and only 1/4 of them have been tested for safety. I try to buy clean personal care products and make as many of them as I can. I tried a bunch of Homemade Eye Makeup Removers and this one worked the best. Ditch the toxins, save money, and make it yourself!

Approximate cost:

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 Baby Oil from Beautycounter is very 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.

Here is another great Organic Makeup Remover from the company whose products & mission I just love – Neal's Yard Remedies.

Neal's Yard Remedies Makeup Remover - NYR Organic

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….

Homemade Jojoba Face Wash
Amazing No-Streak Glass Cleaner
Easiest Baby Wipes
Homemade Foaming Soap
Easy Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Post Updated 5/29/17

What eye makeup remover do you use?

Photo Credits: Naomi Huzovicova

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Hello!

    I stumbled upon your blog while researching a diy makeup remover. I make a lot of my own beauty products and I prefer to not add any preservatives so I am careful about the ingredients and shelf life. Now, I noticed you indicated that this is probably only good for 3-4 days without a broad spectrum preservative. I have maybe perhaps a silly question. If I was to use Thayers Witch Hazel with Rose Petals which already contains purified water and jojoba oil and not add any additional water, would I still need a preservative? I wouldn’t think so since both products have a longer shelf life on their own. I don’t see how mixing them would reduce the shelf life.

    • Hi there. I think you are right – I think it will be pretty strong on your eyes, however so please do be careful. I would increase the carrier oil to dilute it.

  2. I love these natural remedies. Thanks so much!

  3. Hi there,

    Great recipe for makeup remover – very keen to try. I am new to the DIY-scene. What do you mean by broad spectrum preservative? What do I need to add to the mix to make it last longer than 24 hours? Sorry if this is an obvious question! 🙂


    • Hi there. This is not an obvious question. I am doing research into this. Basically you need to use any water-based product up within 3-4 days and have it refrigerated in order to not have an issue w/ its integrity. I hope to have a post on this soon but in the meantime you could look up adding preservatives to homemade personal care products and see what you think. Thanks for your patience!

  4. Please clarify- at the beginning of your eye makeup remover mixture you mentioned it needs to be used within 24 hours. Then you stated it makes 1/3 cup. Not too many people can use 1/3 cup makeup remover within 24 hours. I will not be using this recipes as most of the 1/3 mixture will get tossed daily.

    • Hi there. This is the current explanation. I hope to do some updates in the near future. Basically you need to use any water-based product up within 3-4 days and have it refrigerated in order to not have an issue w/ its integrity. This is new information since I have been learning more about the problems with DIY recipes and hope to have different safe options for you all soon.

  5. Have you tried products from Beautycounter? They all have great EWG ratings and are really safe! They don’t have an eye makeup remover yet, so that is why I am trying your recipe. Thanks!

  6. Try coconut oil it’s amazing just get some cotton and let it rest on your eye lid then wipe its very good

    • I felt my eyes were very oily afterwards. And coconut oil makes my face break out. I have never really liked it as a natural beauty product but I’m glad so many others do! Maybe I’ll try it again?

  7. Hi Adrienne, I am wondering how long this mixture can be kept for before it goes bad? At the top of the recipe you mention it should be used within 24hrs but below you mention the witch hazel preserves the make up remover. Thank you!

  8. Your list is really great and I like your attention to detail. Make removing cleanser for your eyes are really important and I like how you incorporate other healthier options. I use Albolene eye makeup remover because I always use this product as a face wash, but they just came out with this new product and it rocks. Both products melt off the makeup in two minutes, but I like the homemade idea! I will have to try it home. Thanks!

  9. Can i use castor oil instead of jojoba oil

  10. This is an excellent eye makeup remover. Thanks so much!

  11. I have extremely dehydrated sensitive combination skin. I have tried maaaannnyyyy cleansers. I ended my search when I found the Made from Earth Green Tea Cleanser – it does not dry out your skin. And it DOES REMOVE WATERPROOF MAKEUP. Your face will thank you for it. Most people do not realise how important this first step is in caring for your skin. Get it wrong here and you won’t benefit properly from the rest.

    • Hi Kandi. Glad you found something that works for you. I looked at that….looks pretty good. However it does contain phenoxyethanol, and ingredient which I am not thrilled with. I’m doing more digging into it but I would prefer to avoid it when possible. Have you looked into that? I’m using other gentle cleaners that avoid this ingredient.

  12. Kelly McGrath says:

    Just tried number 5 and it worked like a charm! Thanks for the recipes:)

  13. I’m so excited to have discovered your blog! 🙂 foresee many, many hours spent browsing this blog! I do, however, have a question on this “recipe.”

    I use grape seed oil as my daily moisturizer and was wondering if you feel this would work as well as other oils in the makeup remover? It’s a product that works amazingly for me and I love, but I don’t see this particular oil used in many diy products, so I’m wondering if something about it is not conducive.

    Thank you in advance for any insight you may have! 🙂

  14. This has been my DIY eye make remover for the last 5 years and it works great and leaves the skin around my eyes nourished. Two thumbs up. I use a rose infused witch hazel which enhances the aroma.

  15. For a little protection and a little less work removing water proof mascara, you can try these tips. Tip 1: Apply a layer of regular mascara before applying waterproof mascara. This helps to remove the waterproof mascara a little easier. It may also prevent loosing a few lashes. Tip 2: Applying a little powdered eye shadow or baby powder before and in between coats of mascara not only helps to remove the mascara easier, but it also helps to add volume to lashes.

  16. I love this idea, but isn’t it bad to use oils near or on the eyes? Everyone has been saying “use only oil free makeup remover on your eyes” for the past few years cause oils can build up behind the eyes and cause problems…. I don’t like chemicals, but worried about using an oil remover… Can you tell me your thoughts?

  17. Could you pour this over cotton pads and let them soak?

  18. Honestly, I only mix one tbsp of some oil and filtered RO water to a 4 oz bottle I have and that’s it! It’s great! I was tired of getting oil all over my eye when I was just using straight oil. I’ll try the witch hazel idea when I run out, but if you just have oil and water it’s just fine! 🙂

  19. Hi, I would definitely like to try your makeup remover recipe but I really like using the towelettes. Do you have any thoughts on how I could do that?

  20. Adrienne, I recently came across your blog and love it. I am new to essential oils and have read that they need to be in the brown bottles to protect them from breaking down. I was searching for the Jojoba and Almond oils to put in some of the recipes but the ones you recommended are in clear containers. Would it be best to purchase them in brown bottles or does the light affect these type of oils?