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While the point of traditional makeup removers may be to remove the chemicals from makeup, many removers only add to this buildup. Store-bought removers often contain alcohol, preservatives, and fragrances, to name a few.

When it comes to makeup — and makeup remover — natural products are often best for your skin.

In this article, we’ll explore six DIY makeup remover recipes that use only natural ingredients proven to be gentle on your skin.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, witch hazel works wonders for those with acne-prone skin. It’s also ideal for those with dry skin, since witch hazel rids the skin of excess oil, while still leaving it nourished.

Healthy living blog Wellness Mama recommends the following recipe:

You’ll need

  • a 50/50 solution of witch hazel and water


Using a small container, mix equal parts witch hazel and water. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or round. Then, gently apply it to your face or eyes in circular motions to remove makeup.

If you’re looking to liven up a dull complexion, this honey mask will remove makeup and leave your skin glowing by removing dead skin cells.

Honey is also known for its antibacterial properties, which makes it perfect for those with acne or acne scars.

You’ll need

  • 1 tsp. your choice of raw honey


Massage the honey on your face. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water and a cloth.

While it might sound counterintuitive to use oil to treat oily skin, this cleansing method actually pulls excess oil out of the skin. It’s safe to use on all skin types, and the ingredients can be tailored for individual skin concerns.

You’ll need

  • 1/3 tsp. castor oil
  • 2/3 tsp. olive oil
  • a small bottle for mixing and storage


Mix the castor oil and olive oil together in a bottle. Apply only a quarter-sized amount to dry skin. Leave on for 1 to 2 minutes.

Next, place a warm, moist cloth over your face to let it steam, making sure the cloth isn’t overly hot as to cause burns. Let it sit for 1 minute. Use the clean side of the cloth to wipe your face.

You can leave some product behind to soak into your skin. Store the bottle in a cool, dry place.

This combination of jojoba oil and rose water can be used on all skin types, but it’s most suitable for dry skin. The jojoba oil provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, while the rose water refreshes the skin and leaves a subtle, rose petal fragrance.

Lifestyle blog StyleCraze recommends this recipe:

You’ll need

  • 1 oz. organic jojoba oil
  • 1 oz. rose water
  • a bottle or jar for mixing and storage


Mix the two ingredients together in a jar or bottle. Shake. Using either a cotton pad or ball, apply to your face and eyes.

You can use a clean, dry cloth to gently remove any makeup that’s left behind.

If it’s gentle enough for a baby, it’s gentle enough for your skin! According to the Free People blog, this makeup remover is suitable for all skin types, and it won’t sting your eyes the way baby oil does.

You’ll need

  • 1/2 tbsp. of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
  • 1/4 tsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • enough water to fill the container
  • a jar or bottle for mixing and storage


Add the baby shampoo and oil into the container first. Then, add enough water to fill the container. Don’t be concerned when oil pools together at the top — this is normal.

Shake well and dip a cotton ball, cotton pad, or a cotton bud inside. Use on skin or eyes.

Store in a cool, dry place, and be sure to shake well before each use.

Commercial makeup remover wipes may be convenient, but most contain the same chemicals that liquid removers do.

Homemade makeup remover wipes are a great alternative. Plus, they only take a few minutes to make and should last you about a month, as long as they’re stored properly.

You’ll need

  • 2 cups of distilled water
  • 1–3 tbsp. your choice of oil
  • 1 tbsp. witch hazel
  • 15 paper towel sheets, cut in half
  • a mason jar
  • 25 drops essential oil of your choice


Begin by folding the pieces of paper towels in half and placing them in the mason jar. Next, in a separate container, add the water, oil of your choice, essential oils, and witch hazel. Using a whisk or fork, combine ingredients.

Right away, pour the mixture over the paper towels. Secure with lid and shake until all paper towels are soaked with the liquid. Store in a cool, dry place.

Storage tip

Be sure to use a tight-fitting lid, and always keep the jar closed when you’re not using it. This will help prevent the wipes from drying out as well and avoid contamination.

Exfoliating is an excellent way to take care of your skin. It sloughs away dead skin cells, improves blood circulation, and improves the overall appearance of your skin.

Brown sugar and coconut oil are great for the skin separately, but when combined, they’re a powerhouse. This homemade scrub is suitable for all skin types.

You’ll need

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • a jar to mix and store


Combine the brown sugar and coconut oil in a jar using a spoon or stir stick. Apply to the skin in circular motions using your hands, exfoliating gloves, brush, or sponge.

Don’t have an array of ingredients to hand? Single ingredients can work to remove makeup as well. You could try:

Baby oil

Baby oil is hypoallergenic, which means it’s safe for most people to use on their skin. There isn’t much research on how baby oil affects the skin, but it can be used to moisturize your face. It’s also noncomedogenic which means it won’t clog your pores. However, it may exacerbate acne so is best avoided if you’re prone to breakouts.

To remove makeup with baby oil, you could squirt a small amount into your hands and massage it into the skin before washing it off.

Coconut oil

When it comes to skin, coconut oil has many benefits and is shown to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. It also has emollient properties which can be beneficial to dry skin.

Applied topically, coconut oil can soften and hydrate the skin. It can, however, clog pores.

To use as a makeup remover, rub a small amount of coconut oil between your palms until it liquefies, and apply to the skin. Remove any thick residue with soft tissue before rinsing off.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is known for its moisturizing and healing benefits and is often used to topically treat skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and inflammatory acne. If you don’t have an aloe plant in your home, you can use an over-the-counter aloe gel. However, it’s important to note that aloe products are not regulated by the FDA.

If you’re planning on using aloe vera as a makeup remover, massage a small amount into the skin with your fingertips and rinse off with lukewarm water.

If you have sensitive skin, most of the options above will work for you. It’s also a good idea to stick to single ingredients.

Rose water, micellar water, and coconut oil are good options.

Whatever you choose, always make sure you do a patch test before you apply any new product or ingredient to your face.

Do a patch test before using any essential oils

A patch test helps you determine how your skin will react to a substance before using it fully. Follow these steps to perform it properly:

  1. Wash an area on your forearm with mild, unscented soap, and then pat the area dry.
  2. Add a drop of the essential oil onto a patch on your forearm.
  3. Cover the area with a bandage and keep the area dry for 24 hours.

Wash off the essential oil with soap and warm water. If your skin reacts, skip using that essential oil when making your homemade makeup remover.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil and dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil so it doesn’t burn your skin.

Don’t rub your eyes too hard when removing makeup

Since the skin around your eyes is very sensitive, don’t rub too harshly.

For waterproof mascara, leave a cotton round with remover on your eyes for 30 seconds to a minute before rubbing the makeup off.

After removing makeup, wash your face

After removing your makeup, you’re not ready for bed just yet. Be sure to take the time to wash your face afterward. Doing so:

  • prevents breakouts
  • removes impurities such as dirt and excess oil
  • helps with the process of skin renewal

Cleansing your skin after using makeup remover also picks up excess makeup that was left behind. Additionally, moisturize afterward — ideally with an SPF moisturizer of at least 30 if removing makeup during daytime hours.

Makeup remover is an essential item to have if you wear makeup. It’s even better, though, when you can make it at home, naturally, and for a fraction of the cost.

Instead of using store-bought makeup removers that contain harsh chemicals, try these natural DIY methods that can be made right at home. They’ll bring you one step closer to your best beauty routine yet.