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How to Remove Waterproof Mascara? (12 Easy Ways)

By Mariela
May 5, 2023
6 minutes

Although you love wearing waterproof mascara all day because whether you cry or sweat, it does not go away, you hate it at night when you have to take it off, and going to bed with makeup is not an option. Moreover, it is so hard to take it off with regular makeup removers that you feel like taking your lashes off instead.

And at times, you just sleep with it on and wake up in a worse condition. So, what to do? How to remove it easily? How to remove it fast? And are there any natural ways to get rid of stubborn mascara?

Hold on because that is exactly what we are going to explain in this article for makeup lovers to keep loving makeup and trying new looks without giving up on one of the important makeup products. We searched and searched to find the simplest yet most effective 12 ways to remove waterproof mascara at home.

What is Waterproof Mascara?

As the name implies, waterproof mascara is waterproof eye pigment that brushes the eyelashes, enhances their appearance, and makes them look longers and denser. It is formulated with silicones and waxes which makes it resistant to water. So, it is perfect for a damp sunny day, a swimming pool party, a beach vacation, and even an emotional event.

Most of the waterproof mascaras are brown or black to suit the eyelashes of the general population. But there are some colored waterproof mascaras as well to have our *cool and trendy* population set new trends.

Beyond all that, let us not forget how difficult it can be to cleanse your eyes off mascara that does not respond to water.

12 Ways to Remove Waterproof Mascara

Here are the 12 tried, tested, and trusted ways to remove waterproof mascara.

1. Eye Makeup Remover

First of all, the easiest but not so inexpensive option for removing hard-to-remove mascara is using products that are specifically designed for this purpose. Waterproof eye makeup removers contain ingredients that bind the waxes and silicones of the mascara and cleanse your eyelashes.

All you need for this technique is a good quality eye makeup remover like Maybelline or Lancome and cotton pads. Soak the cotton pads in makeup remover and keep them on your lashes for a while. After that gently rub off your lashes towards their tips and remove the mascara.

If the mascara is not removed in one go, repeat the procedure. Also, you can use Q-tips damped with makeup removal for more precise removal of mascara.

2. Micellar Water

After makeup remover, micellar water is an excellent choice for removing water-resistant mascara stuck to your eyelashes. Micellar water is water containing tiny microscopic micelles that are invisible to the human eye but are very effective in binding and dissolving dust, makeup, and oil. It works wonderfully without being harsh on your skin.

However, to work on waterproof mascara, you must have oil-based micellar water. Oil-infused micellar water of Garnier can do the job seamlessly. Just like using waterproof makeup, take 2 cotton pads, wet them in micellar water, and place it on your eyes for a couple of seconds.

Then rub your lashes with the cotton pads until the mascara comes off. Moreover, you can use Q-tips to remove mascara from the inner sides of the eyes.

3. Tear Free Baby Shampoo

While we recommend ideal ways of removing waterproof mascara like makeup remover or micellar water, they might run out if you have not stocked them leaving you looking for other makeup removal options. Baby shampoo is one of the top options for removing waterproof mascara.

Baby shampoo is gentle, hypoallergic, effective, safe, and does not irritate the eyes. Take a small amount of baby shampoo on your fingertips or a cotton pad, apply it on your eyelashes, massage it a little, and clean it with a washcloth. Moreover, we recommend looking for a sulfate-free baby shampoo.

4. Petroleum Jelly

“Like dissolves like”. Waterproof mascara consists of a high proportion of waxes, and so does petroleum jelly. You can use petroleum jelly like Vaseline to help you with stubborn mascara. Wash and dry your hands and take a small amount of petroleum jelly into the palm of one hand.

Then with the other hand, take petroleum jelly in between your first finger and thumb and apply it on your lashes moving from roots to tips. Also, make sure to close your eyes while applying it to your lashes to prevent the jelly from falling into the eyes. After coating the lashes, leave it for 5 minutes to let it dissolve the mascara.

After that rub your eyes to remove the mascara. And to remove the petroleum jelly, you can use cotton pads and warm water.

5. Coconut Oil

There are two things that can be used to dissolve mascara, water for water-based mascaras and oil-based products to take off waterproof mascara. If you do not have oil-based products, simply resolve to oils.

To use coconut oil, apply a thin layer of coconut oil on your eyelashes and leave it overnight. When you wake up in the morning and wash your face, the mascara will be gone.

6. Olive Oil

If you do not have coconut oil, olive oil is the way to go. It works in a similar way as other oils to dissolve waterproof mascara. Although any olive oil can work, you can use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for the best results.

First of all, wash your eyelashes so that they do not become too greasy when you apply oil to them. Then take olive oil and coat it on your lashes. Leave it for 30-60 seconds to let it settle into the lashes and dissolve the mascara. Wipe it off and repeat the procedure until your eyelashes are completely clean.

Lastly, wash your eyes with gentle soap and water to get rid of the oil residues.

7. Almond Oil

If do you not have olive oil or coconut oil, use almond oil instead. It works in the same way and you can either leave it overnight or wash it instantly.

8. Moiturizing Lotion

The moisturizing lotion also contains ingredients that can help you take off waterproof mascara. However, you should aim for a gentle and hypoallergic lotion with no active agents in it.

To remove mascara with a body or facial lotion, apply a layer of the product onto your lashes and rub it softly. Then wipe it off with a lukewarm washcloth. Also, it might take a few tries before mascara comes off.

9. Gentle Cleanser or Face Wash

Have your noticed how double cleansing cleanses your face better than makeup removers? The same is the case with waterproof mascara. You need to use an oil-based cleanser first to work on the stubborn product, most of it will be removed. To remove the leftovers, a hydrating water-based cleanser can do the job.

However, if you do not double cleanse and do not have both types of cleansers, take any gentle facewash, close your eyes, and rub it on your lashes till the leather is formed and mascara is removed. Lastly, wash it off.

10. Cold Cream

If you use a cold cream regularly, you can use it to remove waterproof mascara as well. Wash your face and dry your skin. Then take any cold cream and coat it on your eyelashes. Massage the cold cream into the lashes and when you feel like the mascara is gone, remove the cold cream from your eyes using a cotton pad.

11. Mixture of Jojoba Oil and Hazel

An effect homemade serum is a good way to get rid of waterproof mascara and can also be every day. To make such serum, take 30 ml of witch hazel, 30 ml of jojoba oil, and 30 ml of water. Add them add into a clean jar and shake it well.

You can use it with a dropper or on a cotton pad.

12. DIY Makeup Remover

To make your own makeup removal that quickly takes the mascara off your eyes, take a few drops of baby oil, add a few drops of almond oil into it, and mix both with a facewash. Then simply apply it on eyelashes and use it like a regular makeup remover.

But do not open your eyes as long as the product is there. In the end, simply wash your face with warm water. Moreover, if you do not want to try such a not-so-complex procedure, you can use baby oil alone.

However, using oil alone can take more time than mixing it with a facewash.


Removing stubborn waterproof mascara can be hard but it is not that hard when you use the right products. As waterproof mascara contains water-resistant ingredients, it can not be taken off with water-based products. Rather products such as oils, petroleum jelly, tear-free shampoos, lotions, creams, and homemade makeup removers work well.

However, the fastest and most efficient way of removing stubborn waterproof mascara is waterproof makeup removers and micellar water.

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