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How to Remove Waterproof Mascara

Three Methods:Using Commercial ProductsUsing Natural ProductsRemoving Waterproof Mascara Properly

Waterproof mascara can be very difficult to take off, as it's designed to be resistant to water, making washing your face a useless way to try to remove it. But never fear! Waterproof mascara can be removed quickly and effectively using commercial and natural products.

Method 1
Using Commercial Products

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    Use an eye make-up remover. There are many products on the market that are specifically designed to remove waterproof mascara. A good waterproof eye make-up remover will remove all vestiges of mascara quickly, safely and effectively. If you wear waterproof mascara a lot, investing in a good remover is definitely worth it.
    • Always use hypoallergenic products, even if your skin is not sensitive. The ingredients in hypoallergenic products tend to be less harmful to your skin.
    • Go for a well-known brand such as Lancôme, Clarins, Elizabeth Arden, etc. The quality will be higher, and thus less likely to irritate your eyes.
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    Use baby shampoo. Baby shampoo can be effective in the removal of waterproof mascara. Baby shampoos are usually fairly safe to use around the sensitive eye area, as most brands are color and fragrance free, and are hypoallergenic.
    • Use only a very small amount of baby shampoo and apply it onto your eyelashes. Avoid getting any baby shampoo directly in your eyes.
    • Never use regular shampoo, as it will irritate your eyes.
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    Apply cold cream. Use a brand like Pond’s Cold Cream to remove any stubborn makeup, like waterproof mascara. Cold cream is also good for removing an entire face of makeup.[1]
    • Wash your face with your regular cleanser, pat it dry and then apply the cold cream as a deep conditioning treatment.
    • Let the cream soak into your skin for a few minutes before wiping it clean with a warm washcloth.
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    Avoid using petroleum jelly. As petroleum jelly is a gasoline by-product, it is not the ideal substance to use around the eye area.[2]
    • Use it only as a last resort and avoid getting it directly in your eyes.

Method 2
Using Natural Products

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    Remove your eye makeup with olive oil. Since the mascara is waterproof, use the opposite of water: oil. Oil breaks down the waterproof properties in your mascara, helping it slide off your lashes with minimal scrubbing and wiping.[2]
    • Pour olive oil on your fingers and rub your eyelashes with your index finger and thumb until your lashes are coated with oil. The mascara should then come off easily.[3]
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    Use coconut oil. Coconut oil does a great job of breaking down your mascara and leaves the delicate skin around your eyes hydrated, too.[4]
    • Put a dab of coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes.
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    Make a solution of water, witch hazel and almond or jojoba oil. This solution has a shelf life of 6 months and will not sting or irritate your eyes.[5]
    • Combine 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil or almond oil, and 2 tablespoons water in a clean container or dispenser.
    • Shake up the solution to ensure it is properly combined. Wipe the solution on your eyes with clean fingers, or apply it to a cotton ball or makeup pad to remove the makeup.

Method 3
Removing Waterproof Mascara Properly

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    Use cotton balls, makeup pads or q-tips to remove the mascara. When removing waterproof mascara, it is important to use the right materials in order to remove all of the product and to prevent the eye area from becoming irritated.
    • You can also use hypoallergenic baby wipes, or a clean, damp face cloth.
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    Close your eye and position the cotton ball on the bottom side of your lashes. This should be the side where you’ve applied the mascara.
    • Once the cotton ball is underneath your lashes, apply gentle pressure so that the underside of your lashes are pressed against the cotton ball.
    • Always remove the mascara carefully and gently. If you rub too hard, you will end up pulling out some of your eyelashes and irritating the skin around your eyes. You also risk getting product in your eyes, which could lead to an eye infection.
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    Hold the cotton ball against your lashes for about 10-20 seconds. Doing this allows the makeup remover to start dissolving the mascara.
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    Slowly move the cotton ball along the length of your lashes. Minimize tugging by always “wiping” your lashes in the same direction.
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    Check your progress in the mirror. If you still have quite a bit of mascara on your lashes or if your mascara is being stubborn about coming off, continue to gently wipe the undersides of your lashes with the cotton ball.
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    Use q-tips to remove mascara from the base of your eyelashes. Dip a Q-Tip into the makeup remover and use it to gently “scrub” the roots of your lashes to get out any remaining mascara.
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    Wash your face. Now that your eyes are makeup free, use a gentle face cleanser to remove any last traces of makeup and any oily residue that may be left behind by your makeup remover.
    • Be sure to rinse your face well with plenty of lukewarm water.
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    Moisturize your face to keep your skin hydrated. After washing, make sure to apply an eye-cream or all-over facial moisturizer, as makeup remover can dry out your skin.
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  • Buy cotton pads and Q-Tips in bulk, so you'll always have them at your disposal!
  • The oils may irritate your eyes. Instead of putting the oil directly on your eyelashes, put some on a tissue or cotton ball and use that to gently remove your mascara instead.


  • You may be allergic to certain products or ingredients. Test each product on your wrist before using around the sensitive eye area.

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