There’s an important piece of conventional wisdom that says “if you wouldn’t put in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin.” It may sound a little ridiculous at first but the truth is that your skin is also your largest organ; it’s your first defense against keeping nasty little bugs and toxins out, but your skin also has absorption qualities that can let certain undesirables in. Think about it: a number of medications are applied topically, including smoking cessation patches. Absorption in to the blood stream is how these medications manage to be effective, but by that same principle, you should be careful about what you rub on your skin during your daily beauty routine, because you may just end up with a little more than you bargained for. It’s easy to see, then, that beauty is more than skin deep, and it has just as much to do with what you put in your body as well as on it.
Fortunately, there are a lot of natural makeup remover concoctions that you can mix up straight in the kitchen in seconds flat. Whether you put on a whole “face”, complete with foundation and finishing powder, or just like to swipe on a little lipgloss and mascara, when you’re done wowing the world with your beauty, you’ve got to take it off to keep your skin healthy. Let’s take it a step further with some natural makeup remover recipes that will heal, soothe, and definitely not damage your skin.
What’s in Conventional Makeup Remover?
Before we discuss how to whip up some easy natural makeup remover that will clean your face without damaging your skin, let’s take a look at what is actually already available if you’re just purchasing your remover in a drugstore:
- Isopropyl palmitate
- Typically used as a moisturizer, isopropyl palmitate can often have the opposite effect. For those with sensitive skin, the isopropyl alcohol in this ingredient can dry out your skin or irritate it. Dry skin flakes can also dislodge and clog pores. Yuck.
- Parabens are found in almost every type of beauty product, from shampoo to makeup remover to the makeup itself. Look for some common prefixes that include methyl-, ethyl-, and butyl- on the label. This ingredient can actually disrupt endocrine absorption and certain forms of it are banned in countries like Denmark. Yikes!
- Formaldehyde family
- Do we even need to explain why putting formaldehyde on your skin isn’t a great idea? Well, we’re going to anyway. Formaldehyde is found in a lot of makeup removers but especially in wipes as a way to increase their shelf life. While it might keep your wipes fresh, it’s also a known carcinogen with frequent exposure, say, taking your makeup off every night. No thanks.
If that isn’t enough to convince you that you should forego the beauty aisle when looking for something to remove your makeup maybe this will; natural makeup removers cost a fraction of what the store bought stuff costs, they’re super simple to make, and some of them have a pretty impressive shelf life even without cancer-causing ingredients like formaldehyde. But enough about the icky stuff. Let’s get to what you came here for: a whole slew of natural makeup remover recipes that you can make yourself.
Cool As A Cucumber
Cucumbers boast a whole bunch of great-for-your skin benefits, including working as a natural way to constrict blood vessels to reduce puffiness and redness. Eating cucumbers has also been shown to reduce stress, too, so feel free to make yourself a little snack while you’re mixing up this little concoction.
What you need:
- A whole organic cucumber
- 1/2 cup organic milk
- Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
- An airtight or screw top container
What you do:
- Peel, seed, and chop your cucumber.
- Puree the cucumber pieces into a nice paste. You want it to be pretty fine.
- Simmer the pureed cuke and the milk on the stove for 10 minutes.
- Strain the entire mixture into your airtight container, and store it in the fridge.
You’ll use this natural makeup remover by dipping an organic cotton ball into it and slathering it onto your eyelids, cheeks, and anywhere that you’ve applied cosmetics. Because this particular mixture needs to be refrigerated and used pretty quickly, you can consider halving the entire recipe, so that you only have what you need on hand.
For something you’d like to apply to your whole face, this next cleanser could be just the ticket. Remember that as you are choosing a face wash to add to your mixture, search the label for any of the big skin offenders above. It’s best to stick with all-natural or organic cleansers like Desert Essence or Savannah Bee Company. You can keep your overall cost low by choosing a trial sized container, which will yield you a couple of containers of this all natural makeup remover.
What you need:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon organic liquid face soap
- An airtight container, like a hinged jar with a rubber seal
What you do:
- Heat the cup of water over the stove. If you didn’t use filtered or distilled water, you may want to boil it to get rid of any impurities
- Add the coconut oil. If you use coconut oil in your cooking, you know that it usually starts out solid. It doesn’t take much to melt it, and adding it to the warm water will do the trick very nicely.
- Add the face soap or cleanser and give the entire brew a couple of good stirs to mix it all up together.
- When it cools, pour the mix into your airtight container or hinged jar.
That’s it! This one lasts a little longer–about 5 or 6 months, and you can adjust the recipe to make less if you don’t often wear makeup. It’s common knowledge that oil and water don’t really mix, so when the mix separates (which it will!) don’t freak. Just give it a few shakes and you’re good to go again.
Another thing to keep in mind is that any time you apply pure oil to your skin, you need to rinse. You should be doing this with any makeup remover, not just the natural stuff. It helps to learn a little about how to promote clear skin depending on your own individual skin type.
Witch Hazel Brew
Witch hazel is a wonder ingredient. It’s been used as a toner on it’s own for a long time, prized for it’s natural ability to prohibit bacterial growth and unclog pores. It also soothes burns! Is there anything it can’t do? Well, sure. Using pure witch hazel can sting a little if you have sensitive skin, so it helps to dilute it or mix it up to avoid that.
What you need:
- 1 ounce water
- 2 ounces olive oil (use organic EVOO, if possible)
- 2 ounces witch hazel
- Narrow necked, screw top bottle
What you do:
- pour all the ingredients into bottle (you may need a funnel, depending on how narrow the neck of your bottle is)
- Shake it up!
What could be easier? You can use an organic cotton round or ball, or even just a washcloth to apply the mixture onto your face, and this natural makeup remover will last you an entire year!
You’ve heard of quick and dirty, but how about quick and clean? Oil cleansing sounds a little counter intuitive, but the fact is that oil is a wonderful surfactant. A number of store-bought makeup removers include mineral oil, which is essentially made from crude oil. Eye makeup removers in particular include it. Beautiful eye makeup is usually the bulk of any beauty routine, with so many glam options for your lids and lashes. Once you’re ready to take it off, though, you can avoid mineral oil altogether by using an organic cotton ball or round soaked in the gentle oil of your own choosing, like:
- Olive Oil--this do everything oil isn’t just great for cooking, it’s a wonderful moisturizer, too.
- Coconut Oil–gaining ground on the old EVOO standby is coconut oil, which won’t leave your skin feeling super greasy or slick.
- Jojoba oil–nature’s multitasker. Jojoba won’t clog pores, and it leads a double life as a dandruff-buster.
- Argan Oil–this “liquid gold” is having a major moment. It’s considered a dry oil, so it won’t turn your face into an oil slick.
Now you’ve got an entire cosmetics-cabinet’s worth of great, affordable natural makeup remover recipes that you can easily make yourself. Take it a step further by learning how to develop your own, completely natural skin care regime right at home. Or, now that you know how to take off makeup without stripping your skin of the nutrients it needs, you can go ahead and experiment with some ridiculously chic high fashion makeup looks.