How to Remove Your Makeup Without a Makeup Remover

You’ve made it back home after a long day and thanks to your makeup remover, your face can finally take a breather with all the gunk off. But can it, really?

Makeup removers generally rely on several active ingredients to get the job done. With every swipe of your makeup remover, you expose your skin to high concentrations of emulsifiers, surfactants, and solubilizers. These can dry out and irritate your skin, especially if it’s the sensitive type.

Since some types of makeup are already bad enough for your skin with prolonged use, you don’t want to risk further damage by exposing your skin to potentially toxic ingredients. Read on to find out how you can remove makeup without using a makeup remover or makeup wipes.

How to Remove Makeup Without Makeup Remover

GIF from Giphy

To ensure your skin is totally clean and ready for bed, try using these effective makeup remover alternatives:

Coconut oil

Believe it or not, coconut oil is the easiest way to remove makeup. Just put a pea-sized amount on your palm, rub it all over hands, and then gently massage it onto your face. Rinse the oil off afterwards for a squeaky-clean feeling.

Olive oil

Isn’t it cool that you already have a makeup remover in your kitchen pantry? To remove your makeup with olive oil, add a few drops of the oil to your face and then massage it all over. Wipe off the excess with a clean cloth or a cotton pad. When all of the makeup residue is removed, rinse your face with your favorite cleanser or with warm water.

Aloe vera

You might be familiar with the wondrous skincare benefits of this plan, but did you know it can be used to remove makeup too? Ditch your makeup remover and include this in your evening routine instead. For an effective makeup-removing formula, Youtube legend Michelle Phan has an excellent DIY recipe, which mixes aloe water with olive oil.

How to Remove Waterproof Mascara Without Makeup Remover

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Waterproof mascara is an incredible beauty product because it can withstand exposure to rain, sweat, and even tears. Unfortunately, taking off waterproof mascara is rather tricky (especially if you use the award-winning yet frustrating-to-take-off mascaras from Benefit).

While you can use makeup removers to effectively take off even the most stubborn waterproof mascara, here’s a better way to avoid raccoon eyes in the morning without reaching for an eye makeup remover.

Method 1: Soak your eyes with petroleum jelly

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly to prevent any germs or dirt from transferring to your eyes.
  2. Place a pea-sized amount of petroleum jelly on your palm.
  3. Dip your finger into the jelly and rub it on your eyelashes. Use your thumb and your forefinger to coat your upper lashes. Then, using your forefinger, carefully rub some of the product on your bottom lashes.
  4. Allow the petroleum jelly to soak on your lashes for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe your eyelashes clean with a cotton pad soaked in warm water. Then, gently wipe your lashes with the cotton pad to remove the mascara and the petroleum jelly. To avoid getting the products in your eyes, wipe from root to tip in a downward motion.
  6. Once you’ve wiped your eyelashes clean, wash the area around your eyes to remove any remaining residue.

Method 2: Using baby oil

Baby oil has long been used as a makeup remover, especially for eye makeup. Here’s how you can remove your mascara with it:

  1. Dampen a cotton pad with a pea-sized amount of baby oil.
  2. Close one eye and start wiping your lashes in a single direction. Apply gentle pressure while doing this to avoid tugging on your lashes. Work from your eye’s inner corner and along your eye line, wiping down and out as you go.
  3. Repeat the process on your other eye.
  4. Rinse your face with warm water and rub the treated area around your eyes gently.
  5. Pat your face with a clean and dry towel.

Method 3: Using olive oil

  1. Splash your eyelids with water. The water will keep your eyelids from becoming overly greasy due to the oil.
  2. Coat a cotton pad with 2-3 drops of olive oil.
  3. Gently press the makeup pad coated with olive oil against your eyelashes for at least 1 minute. The oil will help break down your mascara.
  4. After a minute, gently wipe away the mascara residue in one downward direction. Then, rub the pad underneath your eye in an upward direction to remove the mascara from your bottom lashes.
  5. As olive oil is rich in several skin care benefits, you don’t need to wipe off the residue. You can simply let it soak into your skin and work its magic.

How to Remove Lip Makeup Without Makeup Remover

Use Vaseline petroleum jelly

This multi-purpose classic can do more than just moisturize – it can peel back those stubborn lipstick layers. Simply apply a dime-sized amount of Vaseline on your lips and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Afterward, wipe your lips with a damp towel to reveal that fresh and soft pout. In order to make things easy for you, you can add Vaseline petroleum jelly, toners, and other products in makeup bags effortlessly, so you won’t miss out on it.

Try lip balm for on-the-go removal

GIF from Giphy

Taking off lipstick at work or school is easy, as long as you have a lip balm in your purse. Just swipe the balm over your lips and leave the product on for a minute. Then, crumple a piece of tissue paper and gently rub it in a circular motion against your lips. Thanks to the friction, the lip stain will be gone in a matter of seconds.

Use oil to make it slide off

Head over to your kitchen pantry and improvise with some olive oil. Drizzle some oil on a cotton pad and gently dab it on your lips. The lipstick will come off like butter.

Go for the classic cold cream

This old-time favorite beauty cream does wonders for clearing up any lipstick residue. Simply use your fingers to apply the product on your lips and wipe them off with a clean cotton pad or a piece of tissue paper.

Exfoliate with honey and brown sugar

If you’ve managed to remove your lip makeup without a makeup remover, there might still be some residue left over. An exfoliator will come in handy to remove any dead skin cells and reveal smoother lips.

For a natural exfoliator, mix equal parts of honey and brown sugar in a small bowl and rub the mixture over your lips for 20 to 30 seconds. Afterwards, wipe the excess off with a piece of tissue and apply a hydrating lip balm to retain moisture.

Can You Remove Makeup with Water?

Yes, you can, but it won’t do a great job at actually breaking down the product and getting all of it off your skin. It’ll also take a bit of harsh or vigorous rubbing, which can harm your delicate skin.

However, there have been some recent innovations in the skincare industry that allow you to remove makeup without a makeup remover, and simply by using water. For instance:  microfiber cloths like Jane Iredale’s Magic Mitt. The fibers in the mitt are so small – apparently thinner than human hair – that they can penetrate oil films. This means that they can break the tension of the oils that bond makeup to the skin and emulsify oils so they can be easily wiped away with water. As advertised, the mitt can quickly and completely remove foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, blush, and mascara using water only.

If you want to steer clear of commercial makeup removers and have $15 to spare, it’s a pretty good buy.

Can You Remove Makeup with Soap and Water?

Using soap and water to remove your makeup is a bit like using your credit card to scrape ice off a windshield. Yes, it’ll work but it’ll take a lot longer and you won’t be able to remove all of it. Plus, why would you use it at all if there are better tools available?

As most makeup products are oil-based, soap and water will just slide over and bead up when in contact with makeup without taking it off. That will result in you pulling and scrubbing at your face to remove the residue, which isn’t great at all for your skin.

If you’re skeptical about using commercial makeup removers, try out one of the natural alternatives above. It’s really not at all hard once you learn how to remove makeup without a makeup remover.

Use whichever method works best for your skin and just try to watch out for any side effects. Say, if you’ve had allergic reactions to aloe vera in the past, it’s best to steer clear of it and use coconut oil instead. Anyway, the important thing is that you remove all of the makeup on your face without relying on toxic ingredients that can damage your skin. It’s also important that you take your makeup off each night before going to bed. Your skin renews itself while you sleep, so when you leave makeup on, you’re preventing that from happening.

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