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DIY Makeup Remover-Swipe away makeup in seconds

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Learn how to make your own makeup remover with all natural ingredients that can be used on all skin types including sensitive skin and oily skin! This easy to make recipe is perfect to thoroughly, yet gently swipe away dirt, makeup and sebum. You’ll love how soft your skin feels after using it!

DIY Makeup Remover

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If you’re looking for a quick, yet thorough, yet natural DIY makeup remover recipe, look no further! While I have dubbed myself the queen of oil cleansing, I do find that having a makeup remover on hand is needed. I’ve scoured my favorite DIY blogs, experimented and reformulated and have landed on what I think is a fantastic makeup melter that will not strip your skin or clog your pores! 

DIY cleansing products can be tricky, tricky… Trust me, I’ve made my fair share of really bad “cleansers”. I’m air quoting cleansers because many of them turned out to be the exact opposite of a cleanser. Ever washed your face with liquid bacteria?

You might wonder why cleansers tend to be hard to make? It’s mainly because Castile soap, the main ingredient used in natural homemade cleansers, has a very high pH. A high pH can burn and strip the skin of it’s natural oils. Also, because a cleanser is typically over 1/2 water, it’s impossible to get a gel consistency and all that water is a bacteria trap if you don’t preserve your cleanser correctly.

Oil and Skin Cleansing:

After having so much trouble making a soap based cleanser, I turned to oil cleansing. I’m thrilled to have failed at making cleansers because oil cleansing has definitely been such a game changer for my skin. If you’ve never tried it, the oil cleansing method is a great way to balance and detox skin. No more do I deal with dry patches, unbalanced, irritated skin. Plus, my skin is smoother and less congested. Turns out that oil dissolves oil which is why cleansing with oil works. Oil is insanely effective at gently removing makeup so not only are you getting a detoxing facial experience with oil cleansing, you are also removing makeup in one fell swoop. Which is why I have added a decent amount of oil to this recipe.

I add grapeseed oil to my makeup remover. However, you could add any carrier oil you have on hand. Olive oil, jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, avocado oil will all work just fine.

Recently I have ventured into the world of cleansing grains. I’m enjoying cleansing my skin with “grains” when I don’t oil cleanse. However, my cleansing grains aren’t effective when it comes to removing makeup. I typically use my cleansing grains when I don’t wear makeup or in the morning but if I do use them after a day of wearing makeup, I use a very simple and natural makeup remover to first remove makeup. 

Witch Hazel for Cleansing:

Witch hazel has been used on the skin for centuries. We typically use it in homemade toners for it’s tightening properties as well as it’s ability to stabilize pH. Did you know it is a powerful cleanser as well as toner?

Witch Hazel is anti bacterial and antiseptic. It also has powerful anti inflammatory, astringent and healing properties.

I just recently discovered how effective witch hazel is for removing makeup. It can be used on it’s own but adding an oil helps it to be even more effective making it a more gentle and moisturizing cleansing experience.

My super simple DIY makeup remover recipe can be made in seconds and works like a charm when removing makeup. It can be used alone or used as the first step before grain, honey or oil cleansing. It’s gentle and thorough and best of all, totally safe and natural. 

A Few Recipe Notes on DIY Makeup Remover:

Many of you are well versed in DIY beauty products and will note that A.) oil and water don’t mix and B.) witch hazel and Castile soap are water based ingredients so a preservative is necessary. 

Yes, oil and water don’t mix so this is one of those DIYs you’ll need to shake each time you use. 

And yes, making this recipe in a large batch or not using it within 2 weeks will cause you bacteria issues.

Since this is such an easy to make recipe, I make small amounts and make sure I use it quickly. I like to store it in my skin care fridge for extra freshness as well. I have also added a bit of vitamin E to my recipe to prolong shelf life.

If you’d like to add a preservative and make a bigger batch, you can add 1/4 tsp. Neodfend (find it HERE) to the witch hazel and let it dissolve then add your oil. 

In case you’re looking for an eye makeup remover rather than a makeup remover, you should check out my oil based homemade eye makeup remover recipe. You might also enjoy my DIY cleansing pads that are formulated for a quick, gentle cleanse for those of you that don’t wear makeup or wear very little.

And if you prefer a simple diy face wash, I’ve got a foaming facial cleanser recipe as well. I don’t claim this one thoroughly removes stubborn makeup though.

DIY Makeup Remover Mascara

What You’ll Need to Make DIY Makeup Remover:

How to Use Homemade Makeup Remover

  1. Shake bottle to combine ingredients.
  2. Using a cotton pad or cotton ball, pump 1-3 pumps on the cotton pad and gently swipe over eyes and face in a circular motion. 
  3. Repeat until all the makeup is removed.
  4. You can rinse or not-it’s up to you. I personally like a splash of cold water afterwards.
  5. You may follow up with oil cleansing or grain cleansing if you choose. 
  6. Finish with a homemade toner and homemade face oil.

DIY Makeup Remover on a marble tray with dirty cotton rounds.

DIY Makeup Remover

Yield: 4 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Learn how to make your own makeup remover with all natural ingredients that can be used on all skin types including sensitive skin and oily skin! This easy to make recipe is perfect to thoroughly, yet gently swipe away dirt, makeup and sebum. You'll love how soft your skin feels after!


  • 5 TBSP. Witch Hazel
  • 1/2 tsp. Castile Soap (optional)
  • 4 TBSP. Grapeseed or Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp. Castor Oil (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vitamin E Oil (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Neodefend Preservative (optional)


  • 4 ounce glass pump bottle
  • Small Funnel
  • Cotton Rounds


    • Mix all ingredients in a pump bottle and shake before each use.


    • This recipe makes about 4 ounces.
    • For a very simple recipe, simply combine 5 tbsp. of witch hazel and 4 tbsp. of oil. Skip all ingredients marked optional.

    Did you make this product?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

    DIY Makeup Remover

    Optional Additive: Essential Oils

    I don’t add essential oils into this recipe because I personally use it to remove eye makeup so I didn’t want to add anything that might irritate my sensitive eyes. However, essential oils can be a great additive if you don’t have to concentrate so much on removing mascara.

    Tea tree oil is a gentle oil with strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help preserve your makeup remover as well as aid in cleansing the skin. Tea tree is my number one choice in essential oils for treating acne-prone skin. Lavender essential oil is another gentle yet effective oil that would work well in this recipe. I would only add 2-4 drops for this recipe.

    This natural homemade makeup remover removes even stubborn eye makeup. I find that the oil working together with the witch hazel is such a winning combo. 

    I’m absolutely loving this DIY makeup remover. I’ve been in an oil cleansing rut for years. Of course I use different cleansing balms here and there but I rarely deviate from oil cleansing. Using my new cleansing grains and this makeup remover has been a welcome change both to my skin and my routine! 

    My skin feels clean, fresh and well moisturized. This cleanser has not stripped my skin of much needed oils and quite honestly, I feel like it’s a more thorough cleanse.

    I will add that I have the most sensitive eyes. When formulating products for the eyes (like my homemade eyelash serum) I can rest assured that if my eyes don’t sting from using the product, no one’s will. This cleanser does not burn my eyes or leave them irritated. It has just enough Castile soap to be effective without irritating the sensitive eye area. 

    Enjoy making this simple makeup remover. It’s gentle yet effective and an added bonus, you made a handmade, natural product that is free of harsh chemicals!

    If you’re new to DIY skin care, the good news is, you only need a few simple ingredients to make quality skin care in your home! Check out my guide on How to get started with DIY skin care!

    What is your cleansing method of choice? Please share in the comments!

    xx, Jenni

    PIN IT!!

    DIY Makeup Remover Pinterest

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    Jennifer Phillips

    Jennifer Phillips

    Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

    1 thought on “DIY Makeup Remover-Swipe away makeup in seconds”

    1. It should also be noted that witch hazel is an acid and Castile soap is a base: You can’t use them TOGETHER as they will cancel each other out(same with vinegar and soap) You may THINK they are working, but trust me, they will cancel each other out and they will not be working together.

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