Do I Need To Remove Clear Mascara?

mixed race girl applying clear mascara at home

Do I need to remove clear mascara? The answer may seem easy. However, this isn’t the case. There are a lot of misconceptions about clear mascara. Some individuals are under the impression that the formula may be different from other mascaras out there.

You don’t get nearly as many clumps and there isn’t any added color, after all. Though, this isn’t true. Neither is the wild idea that you don’t need to remove clear mascara. 

As with any makeup, clear mascara does require removal. For some additional clarification, you probably shouldn’t sleep in clear mascara overnight. Remember: just because it is clear, doesn’t mean it isn’t sitting pretty on your lashes.

This article will provide further explanation about clear mascara and its removal. Oh, and have you ever wondered if you could nap in your clear mascara? We’ll cover that too. Let’s get to it.

Do You Need To Take Off Clear Mascara?

Yes, you need to take off clear mascara. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Clear mascara is formulated the same way as colored mascara. The only difference between the two is that one has added colorants and one does not.

All mascara—in fact, all makeup—should be removed. Leaving makeup on for extended lengths of time can lead to adverse effects. Mascara specifically can cause eyelashes to become brittle and thin.

More than that though, lingering mascara can be the source of an eye infection like pink eye (conjunctivitis) or a stye. To lessen your risk of an eye infection and lash loss, remember to take off your mascara. Clear, or not. 

What Happens If You Don’t Take Off Clear Mascara?

Clear mascara can be just as damaging as any other mascara product. Just as colored mascara can block the pores along the lash line, so can clear mascara. This means there is an equal amount of risk for inflammation and infection between the two.

Also, clear mascara can still lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. On the other hand, clear mascara (unless old) doesn’t flake or smudge the same way colored mascara does.

You won’t have to fear rubbing your eye and causing makeup to smear. Likewise, say goodbye to touch-ups throughout the day because of flakiness. Sounds like a dream, right?

These boons can certainly make clear mascara favorable, but they also make it easy to think clear mascara is fine to keep on. Makeup is still makeup, regardless of appearance. It should be taken off at the end of the day, especially before bed. 

Is It OK To Sleep With Clear Mascara On For One Night?

As with most mascaras, sleeping with clear mascara on for one night won’t cause irreversible damage. That being said, definitely don’t make sleeping in makeup a habit. 

Look, we’ve got to be honest here: there is no immediate harm in slipping up once and falling asleep with mascara on. Just be sure that once you get up, you immediately remove what makeup remains.

Being thorough is key. Improper removal can be more harmful than good. Most of the time, if you fall asleep once in a while with mascara on, nothing dire will take place. If you are unlucky, then you may experience minor irritation.

However, you do not have to seriously fear an extreme eye infection if you were using fresh mascara. The older a mascara is, the higher the risk of bacterial growth. For this reason, mascara unofficially “expires” 3 months after opening.

You should never use old mascara. More so, you should never use old mascara and fall asleep in it. In the case of this happening, watch out for signs of an eye infection and contact a medical professional if you have any concerns. 

Can I Nap With Clear Mascara On?

A short nap is completely fine to do with clear mascara on. Getting your beauty rest is important, after all. Generally, concern only arises when you fall asleep for hours at a time. This means a power nap is fine, but a cat nap should be avoided.

If you are set on getting a longer nap in then remove your makeup beforehand. Outside of the increased risk of an eye infection, sleeping with your mascara on can lead to lash breakage.

Mascara formula stiffens your lashes to be able to keep their shape. Waterproof mascaras are famous for this! However, this doesn’t bode well for sleeping long periods of time.

Most of us move in our sleep, meaning our lashes rub against our pillows. The friction is enough to cause eyelashes to break or become brittle from the stress. Our consensus? An hour-long nap is fine to have while wearing mascara.

Anything longer than an hour should be done with caution, and makeup should be removed. For a more in-depth analysis, check out our blog post, “Can You Sleep With Mascara On?” if you desire further information.

Do You Need To Use Makeup Remover For Clear Mascara?

Yes, you need to use makeup remover for clear mascara. Well, sort of. Clear mascara, like any mascara, needs to be removed at some point. To do this, you can use your favorite makeup remover, a specialized formula, or take the all-natural road. 

While clear mascara should be removed properly, you don’t need makeup remover to do so. There are other options available, from coconut oil to Vaseline, if you don’t have the usual makeup remover on hand. As long as the makeup comes off, you’re good to go!

Final Thoughts: Do I Need To Remove Clear Mascara?

To wrap this all up, we’re going to drive home the main point of this article. No matter what, you should always remove your makeup. Mascara, foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick—all of it. At the end of the day, nothing should remain on your face. 

Well, except for a moisturizer, if it is a part of your skincare regime. Clear mascara is no exception to this rule. Even though you can’t technically see it, the product is still affecting you. Anything that can result from standard mascara wear can also occur with clear mascara.

The risk of an eye infection remains, as does the drying, thinning effect that could occur from repeated wear. In all, you don’t get smudge and flakes to remind you that you’re wearing clear mascara. A total positive, but this means it may sooner slip your mind that you are wearing any at all.

It is a chore to maintain flawless mascara throughout the day, though it does act as a reminder to remove it. Since you don’t get this with clear mascara, it is more crucial to stay on top of your skincare. 


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Categorized as Makeup

By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.