How To Use Coconut Oil To Remove Makeup (Even Waterproof Mascara!)

Last summer I went through what I like to refer to as a “hippie lifestyle audit.” I wanted to live a more eco-friendly life, so I overhauled many of my habits to cut down on unnecessary waste and chemicals. When it came to my beauty routine, I switched over to mostly natural makeup products and played around with a bunch of DIY beauty treatments (many of which I’m excited to share with you!). But it took me awhile to find an alternative to the products I used to take my makeup off. Storebought makeup removing formulas always left mascara on my lashes and dried out my skin. Disposable cleansing cloths worked pretty well, but they created so much waste that I really didn’t want to use them every day.

Turns out the perfect alternative was lurking in my kitchen cupboard: coconut oil.

Coconut oil is cheaper than cleansing wipes or store-bought makeup remover, it works better, and it smells like a tropical vacation. Since I started using coconut oil to remove my makeup, my skin has gotten clearer, the wrinkles around my eyes are less visible, and I’ve noticed a marked improvement in the condition of my eyelashes. When I was using traditional makeup remover or rubbing my eyes with cleansing cloths, my lashes were short, brittle, and fell out easily. Coconut oil takes my mascara off smoothly without any harsh rubbing required, leaving my lashes moisturized and luminous. Ready to try it for yourself? I thought so!

You can use the exact same kind of coconut oil you cook with to remove your makeup (and moisturize your legs and de-frizz your hair, for that matter). I love either Trader Joe’s organic coconut oil or Dr. Bronner’s Organic Whole Kernel Virgin Coconut Oil. I keep a small mason jar of coconut oil on my bathroom counter for easy access.

Step 1: Scoop a very small amount of coconut oil out of the jar (a pea-size amount is plenty). If the oil has hardened into a solid, rub it between your fingers until it becomes liquid and there’s a light coating of it on all your fingertips.

Step 2: Close your eyes and gently spread the oil over your eyelids and lashes and all around your eye area. There should be just enough oil to move your fingers around easily without tugging on your skin. You’ll feel eyeshadow and concealer come off right away. For long-wear mascara, you might need to open your eyes and use one finger to apply a bit of oil directly to your bottom lashes, and the underside of the top ones. If a little oil gets in your eye, don’t panic! It doesn’t hurt and washes out easily.

Step 3: Massage the oil into your skin in a circular motion all over your face to remove other makeup.

Step 4: Use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe off excess coconut oil (again, it should come off easily without any skin tugging or rubbing), then splash face with warm water. And voila! You’re done.

Your skin should feel dewy and moisturized right away. Try it for a couple weeks to see the other benefits (less noticeable wrinkles, luminous lashes) kick in, and I doubt you’ll be buying regular makeup remover again anytime soon.

READ MORE: 14 Ways Coconut Oil Will Make Your Life Better

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  • RachelPoo

    Coconut oil is just too thick for my skin. And it takes forever after many many wipes and towels to finally get that stuff out of your skin. And the smell is something to get used to too. Sure, everyone like the smell of coconut, but do you like it all the time? And how about near the eye? Its just super messy, and works horrible in the cold. How you ever tried to put on coconut under 76 degrees? it freeze and feels like a sheet of ice on your face! Just its makes the situation worse. Between freezing a sheet of coconut oil on my face, a very messy product, the really distinctive smell that you get from using coconut oil, I rather put a little money together and get Albolene, which is cleanser toner and moisturizer that is pretty cheap for the amount of product that you get in an average size bottle. It basically a multiple purpose product that give you moisture for you skin, a cleanser that keeps your skin free of acne, and a makeup remover face wash that really works effectively. Best makeup remover cream that I have ever worked. Melts off for minutes.

    • Allie Moore

      I’d have to agree with Rachel on this one! The thickness of coconut oil doesn’t mesh well with my skin type. I feel like I irritate my skin trying to get it off after using it. I like Albolene for my face as well, does the same job with less mess and wipes off much easier.

  • Yulia Mertsalova

    As to me I love coconut oil as a cleanser. Not in frosty winter of course. I especially love it in summer as it increases a mild suntan on my face. There is also some effect of lengthening the eyelashes if to apply coconut oil regularly, but I prefer quick results, so I use Cherish Lash serum for that) Quite happy with the results.

  • Julie Galactique

    I tried so many natural oils, and so many serums. Which is not surprising when you’re almost-40. There was some helpful stuff but NOTHING worked as good as Cherish Lash. Modern women are lucky to have it.