How to Remove Waterproof Mascara

How do you remove waterproof mascara?

1. Use an oil-based makeup remover

Oil-based removers ensure that the eyelashes are deeply cleansed. An oil-based cleanser that is adapted for the eyes is gentle at the same time as it dissolves the mascara. Some people find that, for example, jojoba or almond oil is also good to use.

2. Let your remover work

The most common mistake is that you start rubbing and try to remove the make-up far too quickly.

You do not give your makeup remover time to start breaking down the mascara.

Apply the removal on the lashes, preferably on a reusable pad, and let them sit for a few minutes first.

3. Do not rub

Be kind to your eyes when removing makeup.

Rubbing wildly is not a good technique. Instead, try using the tips above to then wipe off the makeup, with light movements.

Rather use more product and repeat step two.

How to remove waterproof mascara with a cotton pad:

  • Dampen the cotton pad with micellar water or makeup remover such as NIVEA Glow Eye Makeup Remover to easily remove waterproof mascara
  • Apply with light pressure against your closed eyelid, keep in touch for a short time – the mascara will dissolve quickly.
  • After a few seconds (count to 5), wipe off the mascara with a cotton swab in downward or inward motions.
  • Repeat until the mascara is completely gone.

Be careful: When removing makeup from your eyes, it is important to be as careful as possible.

Rubbing or scrubbing hard can irritate the sensitive skin around the eyes, which can result in redness or wrinkles under the eyes.

Different eye makeup removers:

1. Cleaning wipes

These are perfect when you are on the go or want a quick and easy way to remove makeup at the end of the day.

2. Micellar water

Micellar water is gentle on the skin and effective when it comes to removing makeup. Discover NIVEA MicellAIR Expert Water – by combining the power of micellar water and dry oils, it easily removes waterproof mascara and eye makeup.

3. Cleansing milk

If you want a super moisturizing way to remove makeup that leaves the skin soft, you should try cleansing milk such as NIVEA Sensitive Cleansing Milk – it takes waterproof mascara while moisturizing sensitive skin around the eyes.

4. Oil-enriched cleaners

Oil-enriched cleansers contain effective oils that take care of makeup that is difficult to remove such as waterproof mascara, and then cleanse the rest of the skin with moisturizing cleansers.

If you have heavy makeup, this may be the option for you. Test NIVEA Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover.

5. Natural cleaner

If you are looking for an organic makeup remover, NIVEA Naturally Good Cleansing Milk is a good choice for you. It has 99% natural ingredients, and is both gentle and effective when it comes to removing waterproof mascara and makeup.

Things to keep in mind when using mascara

  • A mascara can last unexpectedly long, and often lasts longer than it actually stays fresh. Here’s how to make sure the mascara stays in good shape, while avoiding eye inflammation.
  • Change mascara about every three months, sometimes more often.
  • Use your senses: smell, look and feel! If the mascara starts to smell strange, if it starts to clump a lot, if it crumbles and is dry – then it’s probably time to change.
  • Screw on the lid securely and remember to never share it with anyone else.
  • Clean the mascara a little now and then, wipe off dry mascara and lumps from the shaft and brush with a napkin.
  • Is it not clean? Put the brush in a glass of hot water for a while to dissolve the dried product, but make sure the brush is completely dry before putting it back in the mascara tube again.
  • Try a mascara primer for more effect. These look like regular mascaras, but are usually white or transparent. They are applied before the mascara and not only give a maffier impression, but often have a lengthening effect as well.

Why do I have to wash off my makeup?

Have you seen the pictures online of the lady who sought medical help for her irritated eyes and it turned out that she had decades of mascara deposits under her eyelid? Not?

Do not google it, because the pictures will chase you forever – but feel free to keep her in mind when you are considering skipping the cleaning.

We leave it unsaid how common her ailment actually is, but regardless, the eyes (and the area around them) are sensitive.

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest in the whole face and it is easy for it to become irritated and inflamed if you do not clean it properly (but gently) when applying make-up.

Not only that, if you are careless with the removal of mascara, your lashes can, if it feels bad, be broken off.

How do I gently wash off the mascara with a cotton pad? (Step by Step)

1. Water-soluble and waterproof mascara

Although a water-soluble mascara can be easily removed with the help of a regular facial cleanser, it is easy for residue to remain on the lashes.

Therefore, it is not a stupid idea to use the same type of remover for a water-soluble mascara as for a waterproof one.

To apply a waterproof mascara, an oil-based make-up remover is required, preferably a so-called two-phase remover.

2. Two-phase remover

A two-phase remover is a combination of an oil-based and a water-based remover, which is activated by shaking the bottle so that the two different components are mixed.

You simply mix the best of both worlds in one and the same bottle.

Do this:

  • Wet a cotton pad and hold against the closed eyelid. Do not rub! Keep in mind that the skin is sensitive and the risk of skin damage if you rub is great.
  • When you hold the pad against the eyelids for a while, you pull down, along the lashes, and the makeup will slide off in a gentle way.
  • Still mascara left on the lashes? Take a new cotton pad and redo the process.

3. Water resistant and tube mascaras

To wash off a water-resistant mascara, a so-called tube mascara or a 38-degree mascara, you rarely need more than just water.

The key is that the water has the right temperature, and the magic limit is around 38 degrees.

Do this:

  • Soak a cotton pad with lukewarm water (slightly warmer than body temperature)
  • Hold the pad against the closed eye for about 30 seconds
  • Pull the cotton pad down and the mascara will follow. You will clearly see how the mascara has come loose from the lashes, as it now lies like small sausages on the roundabout.
  • Just like with waterproof and regular mascaras – if there is mascara left on the lashes, repeat the above steps.

When the eye make-up is gone, wash the rest of the face with a facial cleanser and follow with a toner, preferably a micellar water, which effectively lifts off the last remnants of dirt.

Do not forget to finish moisturizing. The skin loves moisture, so feel free to go in first with a moisturizing serum and then a cream or night mask.

The skin appreciates moisture throughout the year. But in the winter, it can be a good idea to pamper it extra much and maybe look at oil-based face washes.

While in the summer it may be time to switch to a lighter artillery.


Next time you lie down on the couch and consider skipping the cleaning, think of the lady with the mascara residue under her eyelids and drag yourself to the bathroom.

Your future will thank you! Probably already tomorrow morning when you do not have to start the day by removing the remnants of yesterday.



This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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