Is it worth the effort to create your own makeup remover? With numerous conventional products available for removing mascara, eyeliner, and the like, it’s a valid question. However, a closer look at the ingredient lists of these products often reveals questionable components like perfumes, preservatives, and mineral oil, which can trigger allergies and irritate the delicate skin around your eyes.

Fortunately, there’s a minimalist and well-tolerated alternative to traditional makeup removers: high-quality plant oils. Additionally, your pantry likely holds a treasure trove of natural home remedies for gentle facial cleansing. In this article, I’ll share a recipe for an effective and nourishing makeup remover that you can whip up in no time with just three simple ingredients.

Also interesting: 13 easy and cheap recipes with natural ingredients for beginners

Ingredients for a DIY Makeup Remover

how to make homemade makeup remover with oil
Pexels / PNW Production

To effectively and as residue-free as possible remove all kinds of makeup, both water-soluble and waterproof, you need a fat and a water phase, just like most commercial products contain. Therefore, our homemade makeup remover mainly consists of high-quality plant oil and a water-based ingredient. Since these two substances naturally don’t mix well, we need a third and final ingredient, a binder, which is an emulsifier or thickener.

The Water Ingredient

For the water ingredient, you can easily use boiled water or herbal tea. To enrich your makeup remover with skincare properties, it’s best to use a homemade hydrosol.

If you use a store-bought floral water, like rose water, your lotion will have a longer shelf life.

diy natural makeup remover
Pixabay / SashSegal

Plant Oil

Especially for removing waterproof makeup, oil is essential. You might have used mild baby oil in the past for removing makeup. While it works reasonably well, many baby skincare products also contain mineral oil components and other questionable additives that can dry out your skin or cause allergies. That’s why I recommend a mild plant oil as a safe alternative. Here are a few options:

  • Apricot kernel oil protects and nurtures dry, stressed skin. You can find it at pharmacies or online.
  • Coconut oil is versatile and can be used in the kitchen, household, and beauty care. You can find this exotic oil with its distinctive scent in supermarkets, as well as in drugstores, health food stores, and online.
  • Jojoba oil is particularly mild and suitable for sensitive skin. It also has a long shelf life. You can buy jojoba oil at drugstores and health food stores or order it online.
  • Argan oil is ideal for caring for sensitive facial skin. Since it can only be grown in a specific region in Morocco and is relatively labor-intensive to produce, argan oil is a bit on the pricier side. You can find it in health food stores, natural food stores, or online.
  • Castor oil is traditionally considered a secret for beautiful, long eyelashes. To benefit from its nurturing properties during makeup removal, replace a part or the entire oil component in the recipe with castor oil. You can find it in drugstores, pharmacies, or online.


xantan powder for homemade makeup cleanser recipe / Elena Safonova

To make oil and water combine into an emulsion, you need a third and final ingredient, a binder. While you could use a specific emulsifier for this, it would make the lotion relatively heavy. However, an emulsifier isn’t necessarily needed; you can achieve the desired consistency with a thickening agent. We’ve had particularly good experiences with xanthan. It’s well-tolerated, cost-effective, and results in a pleasant texture.

Xanthan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that is approved for use in organic food and is also used as a binder and gelling agent in numerous cosmetic products, including many commercial organic makeup removers. We’ve achieved excellent results in the past with xanthan when making shower gel and homemade skin creams.

Note: You can technically even skip the thickening agent. In this case, make sure to shake the mixture of oil and water thoroughly before each use.

Making the Makeup Remover

diy makeup remover with simple ingredients / Studio Russia

Creating the makeup remover is incredibly easy and takes just a few seconds. You’ll need the following ingredients and equipment:

  • One part water, rose water, or herbal tea, e.g., fennel or calendula
  • One part oil
  • A pinch of thickening agent (a rough guideline is 1-1.5 percent of the total mass)
  • A container for storage, such as a small brown glass bottle (available online).

The preparation involves only a few simple steps:

  1. Pour the water ingredient and the oil into the bottle.
  2. Add the thickening agent.
  3. Seal the bottle tightly and shake it vigorously several times.

Tip: If you’re wearing heavy makeup or waterproof makeup, you can increase the oil content in your lotion and mix two parts oil with one part water ingredient.

Note: Avoid using chamomile tea for eye application due to the risk of overdosing. While chamomile is anti-inflammatory, it can sometimes lead to undesirable side effects such as irritation or allergic reactions.

Shelf Life of Your Homemade Makeup Remover

make at home your own makeup remover
Pexels/ SHVETS Production

The shelf life of the makeup remover varies depending on the ingredients you use. Make sure to check the individual substances’ minimum shelf life and maintain a hygienic working environment. To avoid contamination of your DIY makeup remover, it’s also advisable to disinfect utensils and storage containers with alcohol before use. Store the finished lotion in a cool, dark place, ideally in a brown glass bottle in the fridge.

If you use water, tea, or homemade hydrosols, it’s best to use up the makeup remover within a week. When using commercially produced floral water, the end product remains usable for several weeks.

About the Author Jessy Adams

Jessy Adams is deeply committed to assisting people in living a more fashionable and healthier lifestyle, and she sincerely feels that this is the key to living a happy life. She has been blogging since 2008. Jessy is the person to go to for advice on fashion, hair, and good eating. She consistently manages to distill difficult themes into tangible advice that her readers can put into action. Jessy's information is always provided in an easy-to-digest format, and she always backs up her advise with credible references.

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