This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate links come at no extra cost to you. These links allow me to share the products I authentically recommend (and use) and support Live Simply by receiving a small commission.
A makeup remover? Really?!
Why do I need such a specialty product in my life?
Those were the very thoughts rumbling around in my constantly-questioning mind a couple of years ago, after reading a beauty book which suggested that makeup remover is essential in a skincare routine.
Since the book and author were reputable, I decided to add a makeup remover to my nightly skincare routine. At this point, I had already switched over from using a very expensive department store brand to homemade skincare products, so I decided to research simple options to naturally remove makeup.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to…
- be an informed consumer and read ingredient lists
- make your own body products using simple ingredients (i.e.cocoa powder, baking soda, oats, yogurt, honey)
- determine what to buy versus make
Within one night of using a makeup remover, coconut oil, I immediately realized that I was wrong. A makeup remover truly is essential to a skincare routine if you’re going to wear makeup, even more natural makeup. Because here’s the dirty truth: A cleanser is meant to cleanse the face, not remove makeup. Which means every single night I was going to bed with a superficially clean face. I thought my face was clean, but the truth was that most of my makeup remained on my face day after day.
I’ve been using a makeup remover ever since that night of revelation, followed by a gentle cleanser. And each night I’m shocked at how much makeup my trusty makeup remover strips away.
Since reading that book (I can’t even remember the title, but clearly the idea of removing makeup before bed really made an impact on me.), I’ve experimented with a few different natural makeup removers, ranging from simple one-ingredient oils to a homemade balm.
Today, let’s talk about each of the makeup removers I’ve tried over the past couple of years. Each person is different, so my goal is to present to you the natural options I’ve loved for removing my makeup, naturally, and then leave the decision up to you for which makeup remover will work best for your schedule, your skin, and your skincare routine.
How to Naturally Remove Makeup3 Easy Makeup Remover Options
1. Coconut or Olive Oil
This option only requires one ingredient you probably already have sitting in your real food pantry: oil. The basic idea behind using oil to remove makeup is that oil dissolves oil. Since makeup products are generally made of some oils and waxes, and your face secrets oil, an oil, like coconut or olive oil, removes the makeup from your face.
To use coconut or olive oil to remove makeup, apply a small amount of oil to a cotton ball or facial pad, and then gently wipe the face with the oil-moistened pad. Once your makeup has been removed, wash your face with a cleanser. I’m currently using this cleanser. If you’d like a soapy cleanser, I’ve also used this honey face wash recipe.
Easy to find in your pantry. Only one ingredient. Inexpensive. Last forever (until your oil goes bad).
Coconut oil, as a skincare product, doesn’t agree with everyone’s skin. I’m not sure if this has something to do with genetics (my personal opinion), or the fact that coconut oil has a higher chance of clogging pores than many other oils. Olive oil really doesn’t have a con, in my opinion.
After using coconut oil for a few months, which didn’t agree with my skin after repeated uses, I switched over to a combination of witch hazel and a nourishing oil, olive oil. Witch hazel is an easy-to-source, natural ingredient that’s also used as an astringent in skincare routines. For this recipe, I recommend using an alcohol-free witch hazel so it doesn’t dry out your skin.
To make this makeup remover, combine 3 tablespoons of alcohol-free witch hazel and 2 tablespoons of nourishing oil (like olive oil). Before each use, shake the bottle. To use this makeup remover, apply a small amount of oil to a cotton ball or facial pad, and then gently wipe the face with the moistened pad. Once your makeup has been removed, wash your face with a cleanser. I’m currently using this cleanser. If you’d like a soapy cleanser, I’ve also used this honey face wash recipe.
Lasts a few months. Great for someone who doesn’t want to use 100% oil on their face. Another perk of this recipe is that you can use the basic concept to make reusable face wipes, which are very handy if you travel!
Since this recipe is very liquid-y, it’s easy to use a bit too much and get some in your eye(s). Not that I know anything about this from experience ;). This is more of a user error than a product con, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Another con of this recipe is that you need to purchase witch hazel, which isn’t a basic kitchen ingredient. The good news is that witch hazel has many uses, and it lasts a while, so one bottle can be used in multiple ways or kept for an extended period of time.
This is the makeup remover that I’m currently using, and absolutely adore. Every single makeup remover shared here is a great option for naturally removing makeup, but hands-down this one wins my heart and face. The balm combines the power of an oil, olive oil or jojoba oil for me, and beeswax to create an easy-to-use product.
To make this makeup remover, combine 1/4 cup of jojoba oil (or olive oil) and 1 tablespoon of beeswax. Melt the beeswax into the oil, then pour the mixture into a container, and allow it to cool and harden. To use this makeup remover, apply a small amount of the balm to a cotton ball or facial pad (I scoop a small amount from the jar using the cotton pad), and then gently wipe the face with the balm-moistened pad. Once your makeup has been removed, wash your face with a cleanser. I’m currently using this cleanser. If you’d like a soapy cleanser, I’ve also used this honey face wash recipe.
Easy to use. No oil spills (once it’s made). Lasts several months.
More prep time required than the other makeup remover options. Another con of this recipe is that you need to purchase beeswax, which isn’t a basic kitchen ingredient, but it may be used to create multiple other homemade products, and it lasts forever.
Do you have a favorite way to naturally remove makeup?