I’ve made a few forays into homemade eye make-up remover. My latest version worked really well, but as it sat on my vanity, the strength of the emulsifying wax slowly increased, and my nice, creamy (but liquid) eye make-up remover gradually turned into something rather too thick and creamy to use easily on the eyes without adding more water (it worked brilliantly for getting face make-up off, though). So, this recipe makes a thinner, definitely liquid remover. It’s just emulsified oil and water, with a bit of glycerin. It works like a charm as long as you’re not wearing waterproof mascara (though I’m beginning to think nothing takes off waterproof mascara except maybe turpentine… which I am not going to test for obvious reasons…).


There are just four ingredients; water, a gentle carrier oil (I used grapeseed, but safflower, olive or, canola would work as well), vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada), and solubilizer. The solubilizer serves to easily emulsify the oil and water, and though it is technically optional, it sure is nice to have (and it has tons of other applications!).


If you have a scale, you’ll only need the bottle you’re storing the make-up remover in—no dishes! Yay! This recipe is based around using a 125mL bottle; scale as necessary if your bottle is a different size.

Super Gentle Homemade Eye Make-Up Remover

25g Polysorbate 80 (optional, but you’ll have to shake it a lot before use if you leave it out)
22g gentle carrier oil (safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, etc.)
3g vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
75g distilled water

Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)

Weigh the solubilizer and carrier oils into the bottle. Cap it and shake to combine.

Add the vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada) and about half of the water. Cap and shake to combine (this is more effective when the bottle isn’t totally full).

Add the rest of the water and the preservative, and give a few final shakes. Use with a reusable cotton pad to remove your eye make-up!