How to remove mascara without makeup remover

How to remove mascara without makeup remover

A great mascara can put the finishing touches to your makeup job, but when it comes time to remove it, you could end up looking like a panda! It often leaves behind black smudges all over your face. But there's no need to buy makeup remover when you can use some everyday household items to take it off.

Mascara is made of pigments, oils, waxes, and resins. These ingredients help to darken, lengthen, and thicken your lashes. Oils are one of the main ingredients in mascara, and they can be very difficult to remove. But don’t worry, we have a few tricks up our sleeves.

First, let’s look at where mascara originated, why it was used, and how to remove it without makeup remover.

A Brief History

Mascara was originally used by the ancient Egyptians - then called 'kohl' - to protect the eyes from evil spirits and ward off bad luck. The ingredients could be described as somewhat unsavoury; a mixture of galena (a lead sulphide mineral), soot and water were used to make a liquid eyeliner, which would be applied with a small brush or stick. The thickness and heaviness of the liner would have made it difficult to remove, and it's likely that it would have stained the wearer's skin black.

The first commercially available mascara was invented by Eugene Rimmel in 1857. Rimmel's invention was inspired by a similar product being used in France at the time. The French version was made from soot and olive oil, but Rimmel found that coal dust worked better. He also added a small amount of petroleum jelly to the mixture to make it easier to apply.

Rimmel's mascara quickly became popular in England and was soon being exported to other countries. It wasn't until the early 1900s that mascara started to become widely used in the United States. The first mass-produced mascara was introduced by Maybelline in 1917. It was made from a mixture of petroleum jelly, coal dust, and dye.

There may be dozens of different formulas and types available, but not so many ways to remove it without a proprietary makeup remover, such as specialized wipes. If you don’t have any on hand, don’t worry though; there are still a few ways to remove mascara without it.



Here's how to use oil to remove mascara:

  • Rub a little oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, onto your eyelashes
  • Gently massage the olive or coconut oil in and be careful to avoid getting any oil in your eye
  • Let the oil sit for a minute or two, then use a cotton ball, wiping to remove the oil and mascara
  • Rinse thoroughly

The oil will help loosen the mascara and make it easier to remove. Oil is a great way to remove mascara because it is gentle and will not irritate your eyes like some removers can.


Micellar Water

This is a game changer when it comes to removing mascara, especially the waterproof variety. It's a gentle, all-in-one solution that can be used on sensitive skin. To use, simply saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and hold it over your closed eye for a few seconds. Then wipe away any remaining micellar.

Petroleum Jelly

This is a very affordable solution, and it works great! You can find it at any drug store or even some supermarkets. It works by breaking down the oils in the mascara and allowing it to be easily wiped away.

To remove your mascara with this method, simply apply a small amount to a cotton pad, wiping gently.  You may need to do this a few times to get all the mascara off, but it should come off relatively easily. Once removed, simply rinse and pat them dry.


Although not recommended, you can also use soap at a pinch. Rub a bar of soap onto your eyelashes and massage in. Then, using a wet cloth, wet wipes, or tissue, wipe the soap and mascara away. It's important that you are wiping as gently as possible, so you don't irritate your eyes. You should also avoid getting soap in your eyes, which can cause irritation.

If you do use soap, make sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards to remove any residue. Using a moisturizer with an oil or serum will prevent them from drying out.



We'd have to be honest and say that proprietary makeup remover wipes are the best product for using to remove mascara, especially a waterproof product. However, any of these alternatives will do a perfectly adequate job.

Which method is best for you will depend on what you have on hand and what your skin type is. If you have sensitive skin, the baby oil or olive oil may be too harsh for removing the product. In that case, reach for the coconut oil. If you're not in a hurry, experiment with the various methods until you find one that suits you best.

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