DIY Makeup Remover With Just 2 Ingredients

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DIY Makeup Remover

Y’all, I love my homemade honey face wash and its composition of gluconic acid and enzymes do amazing things – brighten skin, promote cell renewal, and balance pH to name a few – but it is not awesome at removing mascara.

Apparently many of you have noticed the same thing, because in the past few weeks I’ve received several messages like this one . . .

Ok, I’m absolutely loving how my face looks after using this . . . My problem is my eyes, though. I’m still using my regular makeup remover for my eyes because it works so well, but there’s a noticeable difference between the skin above my eyelids and the rest of my face. What should I use that’s gentle enough for my eyes but still gets my mascara off?” – Stacia

Well, Stacia, I’m so glad you asked.

Why avoid store-bought makeup remover?

Many of the most popular eye makeup removers contain parabens (hormone disruptors), imidazolidinyl urea (a formaldehyde releaser), and other problematic ingredients. (1) (2)

Although there are some good products out there – this one, for example – they can be pricey. Fortunately, the gentle, quick and inexpensive recipe below works just as well. Let’s take a look at the two ingredients you’ll need.

Ingredient #1: Witch Hazel Extract

Derived from witch hazel branches (Hamamelis virginiana), this extract is renowned for its ability to soothe, balance, cleanse and condition skin. It also acts as an astringent, which helps to tighten pores. I always keep a bottle of witch hazel extract on hand for cuts, scrapes, and general skincare.

Ingredient #2: Skin Nourishing Oil

For this recipe, the oil you select doesn’t make a significant difference. Makeup remover doesn’t stay on very long and the skin around our eyes isn’t particularly acne prone, so in most cases any nourishing oil will probably work. I typically use olive or avocado oil because I have them on hand.

That said, if you’re purchasing an oil for this recipe, it makes sense to select one that you could use on your whole face as well. Here are some options to consider:

Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus amygdalus dulcis)

Light and gentle, sweet almond oil softens, soothes and moisturizes, then wipes away clean.

Best For: Dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin

Shelf Life: Approximately 12 months

Buy sweet almond oil here

Avocado Oil (Persea americana)

Rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs), vitamin E, and antioxidants like oleic acid, avocado oil is rich and nourishing. It also absorbs well into skin.

Best For: Dry or acne-prone skin

Shelf Life: Approximately 12 months

Buy avocado oil here

Fractionated Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera)

This oil makes an excellent all-around body moisturizer, but may cause breakouts for people with acne-prone skin when used on the face.

Best For: Most skin types

Shelf Life: Approximately 2-3 years

Buy fractionated coconut oil here

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)

Like tallow balm, jojoba oil has a structure that is similar to our natural sebum, which makes it uniquely compatible with our skin. It’s helpful for supporting skin repair without clogging pores. Also, it’s actually technically a wax, but most refer to it as an oil because it’s liquid in its natural form.

Best For: Most skin types, including combination and acne-prone skin

Shelf Life: Approximately 2-3 years

Buy jojoba oil here

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)

Rich in antioxidants like phenols, fatty acids and vitamin E, olive oil is deeply nourishing and well-absorbed. It’s best for dry and normal skin types. If possible, opt for extra virgin olive oil because it’s higher in antioxidants.

For more information on different oils and how they interact with skin types, check out this post on the oil cleansing method.

Best For: Dry or acne-prone skin

Shelf Life: Approximately 1-2 years

Buy olive oil here

This gentle, natural and inexpensive diy makeup remover works just as well as store brands, which often contain parabens, formaldehyde releasers, and other problematic ingredients. It's quick and easy to make, too!

DIY Makeup Remover


2-Ingredient DIY Makeup Remover

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This easy, natural homemade makeup remover works beautifully, can be made in less than five minutes, and doesn't contain harsh ingredients like many store bought options. One batch fills one of these 4 ounce pump bottles.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 ounces
Author Heather Dessinger


  • 4 oz bottle



To Make:

  • Pour ingredients into a clean 4 ounce bottle.

To Use:

  • Shake bottle, then pump the makeup remover onto a reusable washcloth, cotton pad or cotton ball. Wipe across your eyes and follow with the dry side of your cloth or cotton pad/ball. Follow with a cleanser or homemade face wash.


Shelf Life: Up to one year. Store in a cool, dry place.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular coconut oil?

Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it will likely clump and mix unevenly with the witch hazel in this recipe. For that reason, I don’t recommend it.

Can I add essential oils?

According to Robert Tisserand, author of Essential Oil Safety, diluted essential oils may be used close to the eyes. However, he cautions that placing essential oils directly into the eye can “cause a chemical burn and may result in temporary blindness.” Personally, I prefer not to use essential oils in my makeup remover because it doesn’t add a substantial benefit and requires much more care to use.

Will this work on waterproof mascara? 

Although I haven’t tried it personally, I’ve been told it will work if you place the cotton pads on your eyes and let the makeup remover soak in for about 15 seconds before wiping the mascara away.

Want More Easy DIY Skincare Recipes?

Hyaluronic Acid Serum Recipe – Ever wonder why baby skin is so plump and dewy? It’s due to hyaluronic acid – a naturally occurring polysaccharide that can absorb up to 1,000x’s its weight in water. Over time our bodies make less of it, but we can apply it topically as a serum to support hydration. It’s very, very easy to make.

Skin Repair Serum – This two-ingredient moisturizing serum contains cold-pressed rosehip seed oil, which researchers say promotes collagen production, helps to even skin tone and fade brown spots, and supports scar healing.

FREE Ebook: DIY Body Care Gifts Made Simple

Do you want to give gorgeous, handcrafted gifts for family and friends, without spending a bunch of time on them?

Then I’d love to give you a free copy of DIY Body Care Gifts Made Simple – my step-by-step guide to making gorgeous handcrafted gifts without stressing yourself out – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. I’ll show you how to make vintage labels, luxurious lotion bars, lip balms, sugar scrubs, body sprays and more like a pro. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be redirected to the download page immediately!


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Article Sources:

1. Environmental Working Group. Maybelline Expert Eyes 100% Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

2. Environmental Working Group. Neutrogena Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads

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