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.

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.

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.

– 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.