Best DIY Makeup Remover

We all know the importance of removing your makeup before going to bed: if you leave it on, the oiliness can clog your pores and cause your skin to break out in unsightly spots.

Many people have a trusted skincare routine in place that incorporates makeup removal, so they remember to do this every day.

However, some people only wear makeup occasionally, so it can be easier for them to forget that they have it on.

Whichever group you fall into (or if you are somewhere in between the two), there are certain things you will need in order to remove your makeup successfully.

Most people use makeup wipes, which are specifically designed for this purpose.

They are also easy to use and relatively inexpensive, and can be found at any drugstore. Each pack will usually contain around 25 wipes, so it depends on your personal makeup usage as to how long one will last for you.

You can also get other forms of makeup remover, such as cleansing oil or cleansing butter, which you rub into your skin using cotton pads.

These will often be more expensive than wipes, but they can last longer, generate less waste, and may be more effective as well.

Best DIY Makeup Remover

It’s up to you what type you use, and people often find they prefer one over the others for their personal needs.

However, you may face times when you run out and forget to pick up a new pack, so you don’t have any of your favorite makeup remover to hand.

This can happen to any of us, because life gets in the way and you don’t always manage to keep on top of everything.

Or you may just decide you don’t like anything that’s available in the store, because you want something that works better.

Luckily, there are ways that you can make your own DIY makeup remover, using things that can be found around the house. In this article, we show you how to do this for best results, so you can protect your skin at all times.

How Does Makeup Remover Work?

There are certain properties that all makeup removers have so they are able to deliver results.

These are to do with the chemical processes at work, and how the chemicals in the makeup remover react with the ones in the makeup itself.

Simply put, they are able to dissolve the particles and leave your skin feeling clean and fresh.

Trying to rub your makeup off with just a tissue or cloth would not be very effective, since the makeup sticks to your skin when it dries, creating a film-like layer.

You wouldn’t be able to remove all of it, so you’d just be left with a face half full of makeup and a cloth full of smudges.

Likewise, water on its own wouldn’t do a great job either, because its molecules are polar (neutral) and cannot dissolve nonpolar molecules such as the oils that are found in makeup.

Rinsing gently with soapy water will have more of an effect, because soap has both polar and nonpolar elements and can dissolve oils; any makeup remover needs at least one nonpolar ingredient to work properly.

However, you do also need to consider that many makeup products are designed to be waterproof, which is mainly why special makeup removers exist in the first place.

Oil itself is commonly used in these products – chemists often say ‘like dissolves like’, which means that certain solvents are best at dissolving substances with similar properties.

In this case, all oils are nonpolar and can therefore dissolve other oils. Most commercially available and DIY makeup removers contain at least one type of oil, so that it will be effective against the makeup oils.

Making Your Own Makeup Remover

Now we’ve covered the basics of how makeup removers work and what they need, it’s time to get started on making your own.

This recipe is the best one we have found at wiping away all traces of makeup, leaving only your natural skin and keeping it in optimal condition.

What You Will Need

For our makeup remover, we like to use coconut oil as a base. This is because it can break up the chemicals in things like mascara and eyeshadow, which are often waterproof or at least water-resistant.

It also moisturizes your skin at the same time, making it feel super soft and smooth. You can purchase coconut oil at most grocery stores (it will usually be with the other cooking oils), or online from sites like Amazon.

Alternatively, you can substitute the coconut oil for olive oil, which will be more hydrating for dry or sensitive skin.

Even if you don’t happen to have coconut oil at home, you will surely have a bottle of olive oil, and it will be able to do the same job.

You don’t need to feel weird about using a cooking oil on your face, because it can actually be found in many beauty products.

This recipe uses both olive oil and coconut oil, so you can combine the benefits; the remover should work for normal skin, but consider just using the olive oil for dry skin or just the coconut oil for greasy skin.

We also use witch hazel and vitamin E oil – this is an oil-heavy makeup remover, so you won’t need to apply a lot each time. You should also take care to rinse your face thoroughly at the end of an application.

Simply mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with ¼ cup of coconut oil until they are smoothly blended, then add 1 tablespoon of witch hazel and 6 drops of vitamin E oil.

Shake or stir the liquid so that all the ingredients are mixed together properly. It is easier if you use a jar for this process, as you can screw the lid on and stop any liquid going everywhere.

Then you can continue to store your remove in the jar for as long as you need it.

DIY Makeup Wipes

So, you’ve made your own DIY makeup remover using all-natural ingredients, and it works brilliantly for getting rid of even the most stubborn makeup.

However, what you’re really after is some handy wipes that you can take with you wherever you go, helping you save time in the long run.

Of course, you could just as easily pour your homemade liquid remover into small, travel-sized bottles, but you would still have to take your cotton pads with you as well.

That’s where these DIY wipes come in – they’re an ideal size for facial use, and you shouldn’t need to buy anything extra to make them.

They combine a liquid remover with cotton pads for an all-in-one solution.

However, the formula you use to make them has to be slightly different from the normal liquid version above, since the pads interact with your skin in a different way.

You can still use coconut oil, but it is important to use a liquid one so that your wipes stay moist at room temperature.

Other than that, the core ingredients are more or less the same. With this method, you will need to start with an 8oz (half-pint) jar, into which you can pour all the ingredients.

These are ¼ cup of water, 1 tablespoon each of mild hand soap and liquid coconut oil, and ½ teaspoon of witch hazel. You can add in a couple drops of frankincense if you wish.

Once you’ve added these to your jar, fill it to the brim with cotton pads. Screw the lid on tightly so none of the liquid can escape, then upturn the jar, soaking all the cotton pads thoroughly in the solution.

Return it to its upright position; you can now begin using the wipes as normal. Store with the lid on fully, so that they don’t dry out in the air.

Makeup Remover Ingredients Guide

Makeup Remover Ingredients Guide

Here, we will talk you through some of the most popular ingredients to use in makeup removers and why they’re good to include.

Coconut Oil

As we’ve touched on briefly, coconut oil has a wealth of beauty applications as well as culinary ones.

It has enjoyed an incredible rise in popularity over the last decade or so, as more and more people have discovered how versatile it is.

Its properties include being anti-yeast and antibacterial, which means it can also be used for treating minor wounds.

If using it on its own, you would treat it as any other cleansing oil, by rubbing a small amount into damp skin and rinsing thoroughly.

However, some experts believe that coconut oil could actually end up clogging your pores if it’s not purified properly, thereby exacerbating the very problem you’re seeking to solve in the first place.

You should only use purified, organic coconut oil for beauty purposes, and it works best as part of a solution rather than by itself.

Olive Oil

While it is most often associated with cooking, olive oil is also used in a variety of beauty products.

It is an antioxidant, so it protects your skin from the impact of things like pollution and UV and keeps you looking younger for longer.

Olive oil contains squalene, which is an organic compound that your body can produce in small amounts.

Your own squalene resources deplete as you get older, so your skin becomes gradually coarser, but you can boost your squalene by applying products that contain it.

Olive oil is a natural source of it, and has excellent hydration properties for your skin.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is known as an astringent, which means it causes skin cells to contract. This means that it can be used for cosmetic purposes to reduce oiliness in skin.

This and other astringents aren’t great for people with sensitive skin, but they can certainly work wonders on skin that is generally oily.

Witch hazel also makes an effective remedy for ailments such as acne, sunburn, and hemorrhoids.


As you can see, there are various ways to make your own DIY makeup remover if you run out of what you normally use.

Making your own even has advantages that you may not have considered before, such as being more environmentally friendly and allowing you full control over what you’re putting on your skin.

If you don’t get on with the suggestions we’ve made here, you can always look up other DIY makeup removers – there’s more than one way to achieve great results in this area.

You can also adjust our recipe slightly to include your favorite oils, and give it the extra properties that certain oils can bring. Why not play around and find out what works for you?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Other Benefits Of DIY Makeup Remover?

As well as allowing you to save face when you don’t have any store-bought remover to hand, making your own has a ton of additional benefits.

In fact, once you know about them, you might decide you only ever want to use DIY makeup remover from now on.

Since most of the ingredients are things you would find around the house anyway, making your own makeup remover can be cheaper than buying it in a store.

This is because you won’t need to go out to purchase anything especially, provided you already have everything you require at home.

Each ingredient can have several different uses, unlike premade remover which is only suitable for that specific application, so you will be able to use them separately for other things as well.

Also, you can choose to make multiple batches from one set of ingredients.

If you’ve read the ingredients list on a makeup remover label, you may have been surprised to discover that it contains substances you don’t recognise.

Many makeup removers have chemicals that the Environmental Working has identified as causing concern when used on the skin.

The manufacturers are often not transparent enough about what they use in their products and how it can affect people.

By making your own makeup remover, you will know exactly what’s in it, giving you peace of mind. It is also good for if you have any skin allergies, so you won’t have any unexpected flare-ups.

Using liquid makeup remover instead of makeup wipes is better for the environment, because you won’t be disposing of as much waste. Similarly, your homemade liquid makeup remover will cut down on waste.

You should aim to use reusable cloths rather than single-use cotton pads to have an impact in this area.

Making your own makeup remover also takes environmentally-unfriendly chemicals out of the equation, ensuring that your beauty regime won’t harm the planet.

What Other Oils Can I Use?

We’ve only talked about a handful of oils that we have used in this particular makeup remover recipe.

In reality, there are a whole bunch of other oils that you could use instead or as well, which would have similar properties when it comes to cleansing your skin.

These are not as commonly used as the ones we’ve explored in detail above, but they are worth investigating if you have a specific need for your makeup remover to address.

  • Jojoba oil – this is a natural source of vitamin E and works as a carrier oil, meaning that it can mix well with other essential oils. It’s hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic, so it won’t react with your skin or clog your pores.
  • Lavender oil – an incredible popular oil in aromatherapy, loved for its pleasing scent and relaxation properties. It also actively unclogs pores, so is great for getting rid of stubborn makeup, and can reduce inflammation because it is antifungal.
  • Chamomile oil – another good choice when it comes to irritations like eczema and acne. It also moisturizes your skin and can reduce the appearance of scarring.
Hannah Shiftle
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