How to Remove Waterproof Mascara?

The best way to remove waterproof mascara is to use an oil-based makeup remover or eye makeup remover. Oil breaks down the polymers in waterproof formulas that make them resistant to water. Look for removers containing oils like mineral oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Apply the remover directly to your eyelashes using a cotton ball or pad.

Let it sit for a few minutes so the oils can work to break down the mascara. This will help loosen and dissolve the layers of color and formula. You may need to gently rub the cotton pad over your lashes a few times to help lift all the pigment away.

Once the mascara is loosened with the oil-based remover, you can then follow up with a cleanser. Using warm water, soak a cotton ball and sweep it over your eyes and lashes. This will help flush away any remaining traces of mascara. For an extra thorough clean, you can also use a gentle eye makeup-removing cleanser.

Massage it onto wet lashes and rinse clean with lukewarm water. Be gentle to avoid irritating sensitive eye areas. Repeat the process if needed until all mascara has been successfully removed without any residue left behind. The two-step process of oil followed by a cleanser is best for fully removing long-wearing waterproof formulas. Read more if you are interested: Spark Shop

What Makes Mascara Waterproof?

Waterproof mascara contains additional waxes and polymers that make the formula resistant to water, sweat, and tears. These ingredients bond more strongly to eyelashes, making waterproof mascara longer-lasting but also harder to remove fully at the end of the day.

The extra waxes like beeswax or candelilla wax and polymers like vinyl polymers create a waterproof film over the lashes. This protects against running, smudging, or flaking throughout the day, even when exposed to moisture or humidity. It also means a traditional eye makeup remover may not effectively break down the thicker formula.

Steps to Remove Waterproof Mascara

To break down the waxy, waterproof film and remove every trace of mascara, it’s best to use a dedicated waterproof makeup remover. Look for formulas containing oils that can cut through stubborn formulas, like coconut, sweet almond, or olive oil. Gentle cleansing with a cotton round or ball soaked in the remover.

Mascara Tips & Tricks

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, which can irritate the delicate skin. Gently pat the soaked cotton onto the lashes.
  • For extra stubborn formulas, let the remover sit on closed eyelids for a few minutes before removing it. This gives it time to break down the product.
  • You may need to do two rounds of cleansing to fully remove all traces of mascara from lashes and lids. Rinse and re-soak the cotton between rounds.
  • Warm water can help the remover penetrate better. Wet a cotton pad with warm water before applying the remover.

How to Take Off Waterproof Mascara

The best waterproof mascara removers may need an extra boost sometimes. Here are additional tips:

  • Coconut oil: Gently massage a few drops of extra virgin coconut oil onto closed eyelids and lashes before cleansing. The natural oils help break down stubborn formulas.
  • Baby oil or mineral oil: Apply a few drops to your lashes and let them sit for a minute before cleaning them with remover and cotton.
  • Olive or almond oil: Like coconut oil, these natural oils are cut through waxes and polymers with gentle massage before cleansing.
  • Micellar water: Soak a cotton pad in micellar water and sweep across lids and lashes.
  • Eye makeup remover wipes: For extra convenience when traveling, look for waterproof remover wipes to quickly dissolve stubborn formulas.

How to Remove Waterproof Mascara From Your Lashes

To get waterproof mascara fully off your lashes and avoid residue, it’s important to clean thoroughly in a few steps:

1. Cleaning up mascara residue

Use a waterproof eye makeup remover or oil cleanser on a cotton pad and gently wipe across the lash line, being careful not to rub the eyes.

2. Never skip skincare

Double cleanse after with a gentle eye makeup remover or cleanser to rinse away all residue that could irritate. Avoid alcohol-based toners on delicate eye areas.

3. Eyelash aftercare

Nourish lashes with a lash-conditioning serum after cleansing to keep them from getting dry, brittle, or damaged from frequent makeup removal.

How to Remove Regular Mascara

For many mascaras that are not specifically labeled as “waterproof,” a regular eye makeup remover is sufficient. To remove regular mascara:

  • Soak a cotton ball or pad in an eye makeup remover. Place it over your closed eyelid for a few seconds.
  • Gently wipe the cotton across your eyelid in a single sweeping motion toward the outer corner of the eye.
  • Rinse the cotton and repeat on the other eye if needed until all traces of mascara have been lifted.

Regular mascaras may require less effort than waterproof formulas. But taking time with cleansing, not rubbing eyes, and following with moisturizer keeps the skin happy.

How to Remove Waterproof Mascara Naturally

Here are some ingredients to remove waterproof mascara naturally:

Coconut oil

Virgin coconut oil is very effective for breaking down waterproof mascara. Gently massage a small amount onto closed eyelids and lashes before thoroughly rinsing.

Olive or almond oil

Like coconut oil, these contain fatty acids and antioxidants that dissolve makeup without stripping skin. Massage a few drops onto lashes before cleansing.

Mineral or baby oil

Apply a few drops to lashes, gently massage, then wipe away dissolved mascara with a damp cotton pad or ball.


The healthy fats in avocado nourish lashes while loosening mascara. Mash a small portion of ripe avocado and apply to lashes, rinsing after a few minutes.


Dilute a small amount of raw honey in warm water and use the mixture to sweep away stubborn mascara. Rinse thoroughly to avoid stickiness.

Petroleum jelly

Gently massage a small amount of pure petroleum jelly or Vaseline onto lashes before washing to cut through pigments.

Any of these gentle ingredients can break down mascara when paired with thorough cleansing afterward.

How to Remove Waterproof Mascara Without Makeup Remover

In a pinch when regular or waterproof eye makeup removers aren’t available, some alternatives can help lift stubborn formulas:

Lip makeup remover

Look for ones containing nourishing oils suitable for the delicate eye area. Gently sweep across lids and lashes to dissolve mascara.

Micellar water

Sweep micellar cleansing water across lashes with a cotton pad or ball. The micelles attract and lift mascara pigments without excessive rubbing.

Baby shampoo

Apply a small amount of tear-free baby shampoo to wet lashes. The mild cleansers can help break down mascara with gentle rinsing.

Olive or coconut oil

As above, work a few drops of these beneficial natural oils onto lashes before rinsing or gently sweeping with wet cotton or tissue.


For very occasional use, wet a cotton pad with a small amount of milk and wipe across lashes. The proteins help suspend and lift mascara.

Key Points About Remove Waterproof Mascara

To summarize effective waterproof mascara removal:

  • Use a dedicated waterproof eye makeup remover containing conditioning oils.
  • Gently massage remover onto closed eyelids and lashes before cleansing.
  • Let remover soak in for a few minutes to break down stubborn formulas.
  • Sweep or pat soaked cotton across lashes to avoid rubbing or tugging.
  • Double cleanse with a gentle cleanser or makeup remover.
  • Moisturize lashes after to prevent dryness or damage.
  • Natural oils like coconut, olive, or almond also aid the process.

Final Thoughts

With the right techniques and products, taking off waterproof mascara need not be a chore. Choosing a gentle yet effective remover and following some simple steps keeps the skin happy while eliminating all traces of pigment. Natural alternatives also offer soothing removal when needed. With a little care, both lashes and skin stay nourished whether wearing regular or waterproof formulas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to remove waterproof mascara?

Using a waterproof makeup remover and gently sweeping across lashes with cotton is the gentlest approach. Micellar water and coconut, olive, or almond oil also make removal easy with minimal irritation risk.

What can I use instead of waterproof mascara remover?

Natural oils, milk, lip makeup remover, micellar water, or gentle baby products can all assist in occasional waterproof mascara removal in a pinch. But true waterproof removers work best with the least effort.

Is waterproof mascara hard to remove?

Waterproof mascara formulas are more challenging to remove fully than regular mascara due to additional waxes and polymers.

Does Vaseline remove waterproof mascara?

Yes, massaging a small amount of petroleum jelly or Vaseline onto closed eyelids and lashes before cleansing can help dissolve stubborn waterproof mascara effectively and gently thanks to its emollient properties.

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