Written by Sarah Jones
Last Updated

Waking up with the panda eye black ring after a night out is what every woman wants to avoid but even the best make-up removers sometimes struggle to take off the most stubborn waterproof mascara

If you have run out of eye make-up remover, or you are on holiday and forgot to bring it with you, there is no need to despair as there are many other ways to remove mascara quickly and easily – some of them might surprise you. 

Here are some key household products which you can use to remove that stubborn mascara before heading to bed:


Dairy Products

It might sound weird but dairy products, such as milk or even yogurt, are able to break down and remove mascara and even eyeliner. You just need to dip a cotton wool ball in and wipe it across your eye, then rinse with water afterward. 

Don’t try this with fruity yogurts; it needs to be white, plain yogurt, and whole milk. These are the only types that will be effective. Make sure to rinse it all thoroughly afterward to avoid any smelly residue in the morning. 


Cleansing Wipes

If you have some baby wipe or skin cleansing wipes lying around, these are perfect for using to remove make-up on the go. You might need to cut down a baby wipe as they can be quite big. Simply wipe over the eye to remove the product and then throw them in the bin. 

Make sure to properly cleanse your face: Best Facial Cleanser – 2020 Reviews


Petroleum Jelly

Commonly known by the name Vaseline, this product works wonderfully for removing eye make-up while providing a moisturizing effect on your eye area at the same time. Use a cotton bud coated in the product and wipe along the eyelashes to break up the mascara before using a cotton pad to then wipe it all off. 


Cold Cream

Another useful one that might have at the back of your beauty cupboard is cold cream, which again works well for removing stubborn eye make-up gently. Simply dab it onto closed eyes with your fingertips and then wipe it off with a wet cloth. 


Baby Lotion

A perfect option for people with sensitive skin, a baby lotion is a great way to take off your mascara without irritating your skin. Simply dab it onto your closed eyes with your fingers tips, rub gently over your lashes and then wipe it off with a cloth. 

You may also like: Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin – 2020 Reviews


Coconut Oil

This is the best choice if you are trying to remove waterproof mascara as it can take a bit more work than the regular kind. For this you need to warm up some of the oil between your fingers, then dab it onto a cotton pad. Close your eyes and press the cotton pad to your lashes for about thirty seconds, before wiping away and rinsing with water.


Home-Made Mascara Remover

If you don’t want to buy make-up remover and prefer to create your own more natural alternative then try mixing almond oil with witch hazel and some water. The easiest way is to put all the ingredients in a bottle and shake it. 

Apply the mixture to your closed eyes using a cotton pad and wipe across the eyelashes to clear away even the most stubborn of make-up products. Then rinse your eyes with water afterward to clear any residue.


More Tips for Removing Mascara

Use a cotton bud to clear stubborn eye make-up which is sitting close to your lash line, for more precise targeting.

Never rub your eyelashes or attempt to pick the mascara from them with your fingers as you could cause damage or any infection.

When using a cotton pad or wipe, don’t rub them on your eyelashes or you could break them, just wipe very gently until all the product is removed. 

Try out different types of mascara removers as some might be too harsh for your sensitive eye area, in which case opt for those aimed at sensitive skin, with natural ingredients. 

If a make-up remover does feel harsh, try using warm water on the cotton pad first, to dilute it slightly before using it. 

If a product stings or you suffer from any kind of skin reaction after using it, then throw it away and don’t use it again, it’s not worth it. 



No woman wants to wake up in the morning with the dreaded panda eye, and leaving make-up on overnight can cause irritation and infections so it’s not a wise choice for many reasons. The good news is there are many simple household products that you can use to remove mascara. 

It’s a case of trial and error to see which product works best with your particular mascara, and which works best with your skin type as well. The choice is up to you.


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