How To Take Off Mascara Without Makeup Remover

woman removing mascara without makeup remover

Want to know how to take off mascara without makeup remover? Whether you want to take a more natural approach to cosmetics, or you’ve run out of your favorite store-bought remover. It’s possible to remove mascara without heading to the nearest drugstore.

But first, before we get into this, let’s define mascara. Mascara is a cosmetic product that is applied to the eyelashes to make them appear longer, thicker, and darker or sometimes more defined. The most common presentations of mascara are powder, cream, or liquid form but other types exist.

Modern waterproof mascara is meant to survive rain, tears, and even sweat which makes it quite stubborn to remove but not entirely impossible. In this post, we’ll take you through all the ins and outs of removing mascara without makeup remover.

What Can I Use To Remove Mascara If I Don’t Have Makeup Remover?

High on the list is Vaseline, cosmetics’ gift to womankind. This is an unexpected gem for some but it does grow on you after a few uses. Love it or hate it, Vaseline does a good job removing mascara along with moisturizing your skin.

Next in line, as well as unusual is cold cream. It does a surprisingly good job of hydrating your skin after ridding it of that pesky mascara. Other options to look at are oils including olive, coconut, jojoba, and even mineral oils as found in baby oil. Most of these natural oils rehydrate the skin and have tremendous benefits.

And lastly, water, which can remove mascara, provided the mascara you use is designed to wash off with water. Some of these mascaras are mentioned below, the list includes mascaras from big brands such as Estée Lauder, Maybelline, and Elizabeth Arden.

Which Mascara Can Be Removed With Water?

We all know mascara is to die for but let’s face it, the process of removing our smudge-free, waterproof favorites is a bit tedious at the end of the night, especially after a “few” martinis. Luckily science and cosmetics have us covered.

The brands that I will mention, have introduced mascaras that you can wash off with: wait for it “water.” Now without much delay here are the mascaras you can remove with water.

First on the lineup is Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara. The product boasts a 15 hour wear, not that you would wear mascara for that long. But the assurance goes a long way in boosting your confidence in the product and ensuring that you look great for a long time.

Next up we have Maybelline Snapscara Washable Mascara. The product delivers instant volume without a smear or smudge. It’s easy to apply, easy to take off, and ideal for those with sensitive eyes. If you want clean, clump-free volume Maybelline’s Snapscara is your best option.

Last but not least is the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara. This product offers great length, volume, and curl while maintaining a soft feel. These are pretty big brands so the mascara looking good is a given. The real hype is being able to easily rinse these off with warm water.

Can I Use Vaseline To Remove Mascara?

The petroleum jelly (petrolatum) found in Vaseline is a great way to remove mascara. Over the years this underestimated product has had multiple uses, especially in cosmetics. And fortunately, Vaseline is readily available in most homes plus it’s affordable too.

The best part is that it will also leave your skin feeling fresh and hydrated. Here is how to remove your mascara, simply apply a little Vaseline on a cotton swab or tissue. And massage the eye area in a circular motion. Allow the Vaseline to work its magic for a minute or two.

Wash your face afterwards and there you have it! No more mascara, your eyelashes, and skin will thank you for it. Side note, Vaseline is great at moisturizing your lashes and dry skin. It is also ideal for people with sensitive skin types.

Moreover, there is a minimal chance of an allergic reaction when using Vaseline, however, It would not hurt to remind you, to take care not to let any Vaseline into the eyes.

In the event that it does somehow find its way there, rinse it off with warm water. And seek medical attention should any adverse reactions occur following usage.

Can I Use Baby Oil To Remove Mascara?

Baby oil is made up of 2% fragrances and 98% mineral oil. The makeup-removing properties of baby oil are a lot more than an old wives’ tale. The oil makes light work of dissolving stubborn mascara and lessens the effort needed to ultimately remove it.

Using baby oil to remove mascara is very easy too. A little bit of oil around the eye should get the job done. Also, to avoid irritation be sure not to let any oil into the eye.

Although baby oil is safe for use even on sensitive skin, some people may be allergic to the fragrances in the product. As such, it is advisable to check if your skin will not give you any problems when you use baby oil, or if you could be allergic to any of the ingredients listed on the bottle you would have bought.

Can I Use Cold Cream To Remove Mascara?

Although it doesn’t sound like it would be used for this purpose. Cold cream does remove mascara and works miracles on that stubborn eye makeup that we dread getting rid of when we get home. Not only does it remove mascara without damaging your lashes, but it also leaves your skin feeling refreshed and moisturized.

Can I Use Lotion To Remove Mascara?

The various natural oils used in manufacturing lotion make it a considerable option for removing mascara. It’s as easy as massaging the lotion around the eye area with a cotton ball or tissue.

Try by all means to use non-scented lotions, that way you avoid any fragrances that may be harsh on your eyes. The oils get to work dissolving the mascara that would normally take forever to remove with water alone.

Soon as the lotion has done its work you can then wash off your face and finish your routine as usual. It’s that easy. For the price, I think this is a great product to use if you’re just looking for something to quickly remove your mascara.

Can You Remove Mascara With Soap And Water?

The short answer is yes. Think of it like emptying your bathtub with a teaspoon. It can be done but it will take forever and here’s why. As the soapy water comes into contact with the waterproof mascara most of the soapy water is repelled.

It beads ups and washes off a small amount of mascara at a time. So yes it’s possible but it requires the patience of a Tibetan monk. And a little more than just gentle encouragement to rub it off. If that doesn’t work, you can use coconut oil or Vaseline.

What Are The Best Makeup Remover Alternatives?

Natural remedies that can be used, in no specific order, are as follows:

  • Vaseline
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Micellar water
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Almond oil
  • Witch hazel
  • Jojoba oil
  • Soap and water

How Do You Remove Waterproof Mascara Without Makeup Remover?

Before you start you’ll need the following items:

Supplies For Removing Waterproof Mascara

Q-tip (this will help you get the residue out of hard-to-reach areas of your eyes), or a cotton swab. Look out for the tiny fibers that might occasionally get caught in your eye. Makeup pad or makeup remover pad or a soft towel. If not, a wet paper towel in case you’re making a quick removal in the ladies’ room.

The tutorial will be divided into 2 parts. First how to use coconut oil or Vaseline because they have similar textures. And the second part will cover how to use the various oils listed above. The process is pretty much the same for any oil.

How To Use Coconut Oil/Vaseline To Remove Waterproof Mascara

Make sure to wash your hands before bringing them anywhere near your eyes. And wash your face too.

Step 1

Take a pea-sized amount of either coconut oil or Vaseline and place it in the palm of one hand.

Step 2

Work the coconut oil or Vaseline between the thumb and index finger of the other hand.

Step 3

Move your hand in a rubbing motion until the substance loosens up in texture.

Step 4

Gently apply the substance onto the eyelashes, massaging from root to tip.

Step 5

Allow to set for 30 seconds to 1 minute maximum.

Step 6

Wipe off with a makeup remover pad soaked in warm water and the mascara should come right off.

Step 7

Follow with a wet Q-tip to target any leftover mascara you may have missed.

Step 8

Wash everything off once more.

How To Use (Nut, Vegetable, And Essential) Oils To Remove Waterproof Mascara

Make sure to wash your hands and face before and after.

Step 1

Add a drop or two (of any oil of your choice) to a makeup-removing wipe or cotton swab or paper towel.

Step 2

Place the swab or wipe over your closed eyes and leave for 5 minutes (much like cucumber slices used to rejuvenate eyes).

Step 3

After the five minutes are up, rub off the eyelashes again massaging from root to tip applying slight pressure.

Step 4

Go in with a Q-tip to get any mascara residue off. Gently clean up the eye and lash area.

Step 5

Wash your face with your choice of face wash and pat dry the skin and moisturize as usual.

How Do You Remove Mascara Without Makeup Wipes?

Necessity is the mother of all invention. And removing stubborn mascara has long been a challenge but we have learnt how to work around it. With just a few simple ingredients, you can remove mascara without using makeup wipes.

Conventional, store-bought makeup wipes contain harsh chemicals that destroy the acid mantle of your skin. And disrupt the pH balance leaving your skin prone to breakouts. Fortunately, DIY makeup wipes are the easiest and least expensive way to remove mascara, using all-natural ingredients.

Supplies Needed

Here is a quick list of what you need to remove mascara without makeup wipes:

  • Vaseline
  • Micellar water
  • Oils (coconut, castor, olive, and even baby oil)


Here are the instructions for removing mascara without makeup wipes:

Step 1

Soak a makeup pad, cotton ball, or swab with any of the items listed above.

Step 2

Rub the makeup pad, cotton ball, or swab around your eyelashes to remove all of the mascara.

Step 3

Rinse the makeup pad, cotton ball, or swab, and repeat until all the mascara is gone.

Since waterproof mascara is often oil-based or contains water-repelling compounds. Using water to wash it off simply won’t work. That’s where the oils come into play.

They function by breaking down the mascara since they share a similar molecular structure. They gradually dissolve away the mascara so you can easily wipe it away.

What Is The Easiest Way To Remove Mascara?

The most effective ways to remove mascara are either Vaseline, coconut oil, or micellar water which is made from purified water and little micelles (little bead-like balls of moisturizer such as glycerine).

Removing mascara, especially a waterproof formula, can be pretty annoying. It is best to use an eye makeup remover that will target that area specifically instead of the ones generally meant for facial care. If you’re skeptical about using store-bought makeup removers, try out one of the natural DIY alternatives above.

What Is The Best Homemade Makeup Remover?

The best homemade makeup remover contains hazel which has hypoallergenic as well as antioxidant properties. More specifically, witch hazel is an essential oil similar to tea tree oil.

Witch hazel helps to remove makeup while reducing the effects of oxidative stress on your skin, moisturizes, and leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated all without causing any irritation or allergic reaction.

How Can I Make My Own Makeup Remover?

Here are 2 budget-friendly, natural remedies to remove mascara.

Witch Hazel: Homemade Makeup Remover

The easiest homemade makeup remover is one made with witch hazel oil. All you need is a spray bottle, some water, and oil. Mix witch hazel oil with water using a 50:50 ratio. Close the bottle and shake vigorously. The oil will settle at the top (perfectly normal, the two don’t like each other much).

Be sure to shake the bottle before each usage that way you get an even mixture. Then whenever you need to use it, spray a generous measure into your palm and massage it on your face. And wash off after 5 minutes with a cleanser of your choice.

Aloe Vera And Honey: Homemade Makeup Remover

Alternatively, you can use aloe vera and honey:

Step 1

Add equal parts raw honey (1/4 cup) and aloe vera gel (1/4 cup) to a bowl.

Step 2

Throw in a tbsp. or two of any oil of your choice.

Step 3

Hip it all together until it thickens into a paste.

Step 4

Store in an airtight container to make it last longer and refrigerate if any fresh ingredients are used.

Step 5

Only scoop as much as needed per application, massage onto face, and wash off after a minute or two. Dab dry and apply moisturizer as needed.

Final Thoughts: How To Take Off Mascara Without Makeup Remover

Now that you’re wiser here are a few tips to save you from hellish mascara removals. First, avoid overusing waterproof mascara. It’s a stress to remove and it has adverse health effects.

Avoid touching the waterline (pink flesh) in your eye that’s a sure way to move germs from your mascara right into your eye. Speaking of which, try to change your mascara every three months. Because the dark warm environment inside the mascara tube is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Next, you ought to do a patch test with any of the oils mentioned above to see if they agree with your skin before applying it to your eyes. And lastly, easy with the rubbing. The oils will do the work to dissolve the mascara just fine without you clawing your eyeballs out.


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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.