how to remove mascara

How To Remove Mascara Properly (Reasons Why)

One of the most asked questions on the internet is how to remove mascara properly. In fact, if you search it up on Google, many articles talk about this topic. Removing waterproof mascara can be a real pain and time-consuming sometimes, but why is it important to remove mascara every night?

Here, I am going to talk about why it is important to remove your mascara properly every night. There are some steps that you should follow to cleanse your lashes thoroughly before going to bed. I will also provide you with some makeup remover recommendations that can remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara from your lashes. 

6 Steps To Properly Remove Mascara from Eyelashes

We all love wearing mascara since it makes our eyes look bigger with long and dark eyelashes. Unfortunately, some mascaras, especially waterproof ones, are really hard to remove. Follow these steps to remove even the most stubborn mascara from your eyelashes. I guarantee that your eyelashes will be spotless and healthy if you follow these tips!

Step one: Use Soft Cotton Pads

how to remove mascara

The skin around your eyes is fragile. Therefore it is important to thread them with a gentle touch. Obnoxious tugging and stretching using rough cotton pads repeatedly will make the skin lose its elasticity and lead to wrinkles. To avoid this from happening, you need a soft and gentle cotton pad when removing mascara. Also, I highly recommend that you steer clear from using cotton balls when removing mascara since the fibers are loose and can get into the eyes.

Step Two: Use the Right Eye Makeup Remover

how to remove mascara

There are many types of eye makeup removers in stores that you can get. There are oil-based ones, lotion, micellar water, balm, and many more. Oil-based and lotion eye makeup removers are the best to use to remove waterproof mascara since they are packed with oils that will work effectively and quickly when removing waterproof mascara.

Meanwhile, balm eye makeup removers are perfect for sensitive skin since they are gentle for the skin. Furthermore, micellar water is perfect for removing non-waterproof mascara or if you want to double cleanse the lashes after using oil-based eye makeup remover.

So, you should pay attention to the type of your mascara and choose the cleaner accordingly.

Step Three: Soak Your Cotton Pad with Makeup Remover

how to remove mascara

The principle of less is more does not apply when using makeup remover products. In fact, the more products you put on the cotton pad, the better. That is why you need to really wet them with makeup remover before applying it. And yes, according to my experience, the more you soak the cotton pad, the better it will grab the mascara on your lashes and remove them.

Step Four: Press the Soaked Cotton Pad to the Eyes for 15 – 20 Seconds

how to remove mascara

Removing waterproof mascara is probably one of the most annoying steps to do when cleansing your face. They are really stubborn and hard to remove. One of the best ways to deal with these mascaras is by getting them really wet. You can press a cotton pad that you have soaked with oil-based eye makeup remover for 15 – 20 seconds on your eyelashes. After that, the mascara will be easier to remove.

Step Five: Wipe Them Off Gently

how to remove mascara

After pressing the soaked cotton pad to your eyelashes for 15 – 20 seconds, you can rub the cotton pad to the eyelashes. Use a gentle motion from the bottom of the lashes to the tip, or wipe it off in circular motions. Remember not to be too rough when swiping the cotton pad since it can cause the skin to wrinkle.

Step Six: Double Cleanse Using Gentle Face Wash

how to remove mascara

After all the steps above are finished, you want to wash off the oil from the eye makeup remover using a face wash. At this point, your favorite face wash will do since the point of this last step is to remove the oils from your face. We recommend you use a gentle face wash, though, to keep your skin hydrated.

Why You Should Remove the Remaining Mascara Every Night

Now that you know how to remove mascara properly, it is time to talk about the risk of sleeping without removing the mascara first. Although it seems like an innocent habit, sleeping with dirty lashes can harm your eyes and eyelashes’ health. Here are the reasons why you should remove your mascara every night before going to bed.

Preventing Eye Problems Caused By Mascara

Not removing your mascara properly before going to bed can cause eye problems such as irritation and pink eye. It is because the bacteria that form throughout the day in the mascara will get into the eyes when you rub them. In some cases, not removing mascara properly in the long term causes dark concretions. These concretions that form under the eyelids cause eye pain, headache, irritation, and in some cases, even lead to blindness! Do not underestimate your eyelash hygiene.

Dark Under Eyes Areas

The remaining mascara will smudge and flake under your eyes, making this area look darker and dirty. Yes, the darkness is not permanent. But, when you layered the dirty under eyes with a concealer the following day, it is going to cause creases.

Honestly, I believe this is one of the main reasons why beginners tend to get smudgy mascara: because they neglect to properly clean the residual mascara from the previous day. People say that eyes are the windows to the soul. You do not want your windows to look tired and dirty, right?

Problems With Lashes

Sleeping with mascara in the long term will make the eyelashes dry and brittle. It is going to lead to dramatic fallout and extreme loss of lashes. Therefore, you need to remove your lashes every night before going to bed to avoid having unhealthy lashes and help their growth.

Wrinkling And Damaging Skin Around The Eyes

Skin repairs itself when you are sleeping by creating new collagen that will take care of your skin’s health and slow down the process of aging. That is why dermatologists always tell their clients to clean their skin properly and get enough sleep every night.  Unfortunately, sleeping with makeup on is going to compromise this process of creating new collagen.

The pollution that sticks to the mascara throughout the day will sink into the pores around the eye area and break off the process, which will make your skin aging quicker. The result will be wrinkles around the eyes. Not to mention the skin damage from having pollution and bacteria around the eyes every night.

Good Eye Makeup Remover that You Should Try

I have personally tested the following eye makeup removers myself. They work well dealing with even the most persistent mascara. 

  1. Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. Your eyelashes can be brittle when you apply mascara on them. So, you have to clean them gently when you want to remove the mascara. This brand allows you to remove all residual mascara in one gentle swipe! But I’d like to mention that this eye makeup remover contains sesame seed oil, which can cause irritation if you are allergic. The formula is creamy, which is quite unique, and is pleasant to the eyelid. 
  2. e.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm. Now, if you want a budget-friendly yet effective eye makeup cleaner, this balm will be a good option! I find that the formula is quite gentle. However, it does have a downside: this cleansing balm does not work quite well to remove waterproof mascara; you’ll need to put more effort into the swipes.
  3. Vichy Purete Thermale Mineral Micellar Water. For waterproof mascara, you can try using this cleaner to remove it. The formula is not harsh on your skin, and it contains a lot of nourishing supplements like vitamin B5 and various minerals. I recommend that you gently wipe your eyelashes several times to remove mascara thoroughly!

There are of course other brands that also work like a charm. As an alternative, you may try products from Bioderma and Glossier. Make sure that you choose the correct remover based on the type of mascara that you wear. I also recommend that you check for allergens inside the eye makeup remover first before you use it on your skin, just in case.

Promoting Eyelashes Growth After You’ve Done Cleaning

Once you have finished removing the mascara from your eyelashes, you might do some further grooming. This activity will let you promote eyelashes growth, making them stronger and thicker! I recommend the following method to make your eyelashes more luscious:

  1. Brush your eyelashes. Once you have finished wiping your eyelashes clean with the eye makeup remover, you need to pat them dry. Then, you can use a clean small eyelashes brush or spoolie to comb them gently. Do multiple upward strokes and make sure that the hairs are not tangled up.
  2. Take a break from wearing mascara. I do not recommend that you use mascara every day. Sure, removing mascara is easy enough, just as I’ve explained. However, prolonged mascara exposure to your eyelashes will inhibit their growth. The hairs become brittle and the roots weaker.
  3. Use coconut oil and aloe vera solution. Both ingredients can hydrate your eyelashes. They will nourish them and boost collagen, preventing breakage.  Alternatively, serum and supplements would also be ideal for making your eyelashes healthier.

So, while cleaning the mascara out of your eyelashes is super important, do not neglect the grooming process. If you clean and groom your eyelashes properly, they will grow more beautifully. And the next time you wear more mascara, they’ll curl more nicely too!


I cannot stress enough the importance of thoroughly removing mascara from your eyelashes after you are done for the day. You should not expose your eyelashes to mascara for too long because that will damage them. Your eyelashes may become brittle and fall out. The dirty residual mascara may also cause irritation and attract germs that could infect your eyes.

Residual mascara will also make your appearance look bad. If you do not clean your eyelashes before you apply mascara again the next day, the leftover mascara from the previous day may cause clumpiness and smudges.

However, do not forget that different mascara requires a different method to remove. Check out my explanation above to see how you should remove the mascara from your eyelashes depending on the mascara type. Try them out at home and see how effective my methods are in keeping your eyelashes clean and healthy!


What is the Best Way to Take Mascara Off?

The best way to take mascara off is by using eye makeup remover. Eye makeup remover will remove the most stubborn waterproof mascara from your eyelashes effortlessly. Try Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm to get rid of mascara from your eyelashes. The gentle cleansing balm will do its job easily and quickly without irritating your eyes.


How do You Get Mascara Off Without Makeup Remover?

Using coconut oil is how you get mascara off without makeup remover. Coconut oil is able to remove mascara as well as your favorite makeup remover. If you do not have coconut oil, you can try using Vaseline. Although Vaseline takes more time to remove mascara, since it was not made as a makeup remover, it will get the job done. 


Can You Remove Mascara with Water?

No, you cannot remove mascara with water. There are some tips on the internet that claim washing your eyelashes using warm water will get rid of the mascara. Even if the tips worked, which I highly doubt, since mascaras are made from wax, just think about how much damage you will bring to the skin around the eyes by rubbing and forcing the mascara out of the eyelashes. Instead of using water, use Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water to remove mascara from your eyelashes.


How do You Get Mascara Off Naturally?

Mascara will get off naturally after a few days of sticking on your eyelashes because our skin produces oil naturally. But, letting them stick on the lashes for days might cause irritation to the eyes and damage the skin around the eyes. Therefore, you need to clean your eyelashes every night. Organic coconut oil is perfect if you want to use natural products to remove your mascara.


Can Vaseline Take Off Mascara?

Yes, Vaseline can take off mascara. Like balm-based makeup remover, Vaseline will melt when you rub it on your skin. Take a little product from the jar and rub it gently on your eyelashes to remove the mascara. Then, use a soft cotton pad to clean the excess from your eyes. You have to be patient, though. Since Vaseline is not made to remove makeup, it might take some time. I personally only use this method in a pinch because I believe that actual eye makeup remover is safer for the eyelashes.


How do You Get Mascara Off Without Damaging Your Eyelashes?

To get mascara off without damaging your eyelashes, you have to rub it off gently. Do not rub or pull your eyelashes too hard since it might cause the eyelashes to fall out. Using makeup remover, such as Glossier Milky Oil, helps to get rid of the mascara without damaging eyelashes since it makes the job so much easier and effortless.

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