Eye makeup remover has been a tough one for me. My eyes are very sensitive! Actually, I think most people have sensitive eyes. My struggle has been to find an eye makeup remover that isn’t too oily, but also isn’t too soapy and drying. Over the years, I have purchased many eye makeup removers and have never been truly happy with any of them! In addition to painfully stinging my eyes, many of them were full of chemicals that we shouldn’t be putting on our bodies.

Harmful ingredients in store-bought eye makeup remover:

  • Mineral oil: This is a common ingredient in eye makeup removers. It is a by-product of petroleum that does remove makeup, but it also coats the skin, suffocating it. When the skin can’t breathe, it can cause breakouts.
  • Sodium laurel sulfate: This is an emulsifier and foam agent that is probably in your eye makeup remover and also in your face wash, dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, bubble bath, etc. It goes by many names, so even if you don’t see the exact words “sodium laurel sulfate” in the ingredient list, you are necessarily in the clear. Look for eye makeup removers, shampoos , etc that are marked “SLS-free”. Although SLS and it’s derivatives are derived from coconut, the manufacturing process contaminates them with a carcinogen (cancer-causing) called dioxin.
  • Diazolidinyl urea: This is a preservative that is in almost all of your personal care products. It does the job of preserving, but it also releases formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen). It can also cause skin irritations.
  • Benzalkonium chloride: Japan and Canada have prohibited this additive, yet here it is in all kinds of personal care products, even ones touting themselves as “natural”. It is associated with asthma, dermatitis, and immune system disorders. No thanks!!
  • Cyclopentasiloxane: recognized as a mild carcinogen

My long road to this eye makeup remover recipe:

As you see above, there is a good reason to stay away from store-bought eye makeup remover. I decided that I should just start making my own quite a while back, but it was a difficult task. I tried so many DIY recipes. Some were too oily and would sting my eyes. Others were too soapy and stung my eyes as well as dried out the skin around my eyes. Quite often, the dread of stinging my eyes has lead me to just use a water and a wash cloth near my eyes. This is less than ideal though, as it can leave mascara residue which leaves me looking like I have dark circles under my eyes. Not the look I am going for!  Well, I finally figured it out.

If you are looking for an eye makeup remover that is gentle on the eyes, hydrating, and effective, look no further! I have the recipe for you right here. I use this recipe to make them into ready made pads, but if you would rather make the remover and put them onto pads as you go, go right ahead. Be sure to store your eye makeup remover in the fridge. Because we have added water, this will extend the shelf life. They feel very refreshing on your eyes coming straight out of the fridge anyway.

DIY Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads


To make gentle homemade eye makeup remover pads, you will need:

  • 2 T Rose Water (hydrosol): Rose water is extremely hydrating and nourishing which is why it stars in both my Rose and Hyaluronic Acid serum and my Marshmallow-Rose Face Mask. Rose has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe angry skin and calm down redness. It is gentle enough that it can even be used on eczema and rosacea. Rose water helps maintain the ph balance of your skin. It is also antibacterial, smells amazing, and can lift your mood immediately.
  • 1 tablespoon organic aloe: Aloe is very soothing to the skin, calming inflammation and promoting healing.
  • 1 T apricot kernal oil (or Jojoba): Apricot kernal oil is a non-greasy moisturizing oil that is rich in vitamin K, which reduces dark circles under the eyes. It is anti-inflammatory and firms and tones the skin as well.
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder (or organic cornstarch): This is just to emulsify your eye makeup remover so that it blends together well.
  • 1.5 teaspoons unscented mild Castile soap: This is s very gentle, olive oil-based french soap.
  • a few drops vitamin E oil : This is optional, but vitamin E oil contains loads of antioxidants and is hydrating and nourishing. You can buy a bottle of the oil if you think you have use for it, or just open up a capsule.
  • 2/3 cup distilled water
  • 30 organic cotton rounds: Organic cotton rounds are better for your skin and the environment. They are pesticide-free! Or even better, you can buy reusable cotton rounds in bamboo or cotton. I actually have both of these reusable eye pads and love them.
  • glass jar for storage

Homemade Gentle Eye Makeup Remover


Directions for gentle eye makeup remover pads:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the Castile soap to your jar and mix.
  2. Once the ingredients are well blended, add the Castile soap and stir gently so as not to make too many bubbles.
  3. Next, add your organic cotton rounds.
  4. Push them down until all of the pads are wet with the eye makeup remover.
  5. Store your eye makeup remover in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life.

Note: I use a natural mascara, and you should too. It is, unfortunately, hard to find a good one. Many flake off throughout the day. I finally found Zuzu, and I have been wearing this one for a couple of years. I wouldn’t consider it a long wearing mascara though. I don’t believe any of the natural ones are. However, reapplying my mascara if I am doing something in the evening seems a small price to pay to avoid the harmful ingredients in most mascaras.

harmful ingredients in most Mascaras:

Parabens: These bad boys truly are evil and they are in all sorts of personal care products. Parabens disrupt hormone function because they mimic estrogen. They are linked to breast cancer, reproductive issues, immune system disorders, neurological and skin problems. The European Union banned parabens in 2012. Check your deoderant, toothpaste, lotion, and, of course, makeup. If your product has any ingredient that ends in “paraben”, methylparaben, propylparaben, etc., switch to a new product when that one runs out. I would personally throw it right out, but you spent your hard earned cash on that product, so it reasonable to want to finish it first.

Aluminum powder: Unfortunately, this colorant is a neurotoxin (meaning it damages your brain and the rest of your nervous system). It is considered worse than mercury, and it can actually interfere with your bodies efforts to eliminate mercury, making it a double threat.

Propylene glycol:  Beauty products as well as processed foods contain propylene glycol. It is known to cause skin irritations, and could be harmful to the liver and kidneys. It is best avoided by small children and pregnant women. There are other possible problems with this personal care ingredient. Read this article from Dr. Axe for a more in-depth look at propylene glycol.

Retinyl acetate: This ingredient can interfere with cellular communications and even cause gene mutation. Scary! Canada thought so too, so they banned it. Check your mascara label!


Homemade Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Make a gentle, hydrating eye makeup remover in just a few minutes, skip the harmful ingredients in store-bought remover, and save money all at the same time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 T Rose Water hydrosol
  • 1 tablespoon organic aloe
  • 1 T apricot kernal oil or Jojoba
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch
  • 1.5 teaspoons unscented mild Castile soap
  • 2/3 cup distilled water
  • 30 organic cotton rounds
  • glass jar for storage


  • Add all the ingredients except the Castile soap to your jar and mix.
  • Once the ingredients are well blended, add the Castile soap and stir gently so as not to make too many bubbles.
  • Next, add your organic cotton rounds. Push them down until all of the pads are wet with the eye makeup remover.
  • Store your eye makeup remover in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life.


You don't have to put the pads in the eye makeup remover all at once. You can apply it to a cotton round each night if you prefer.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Homemade Eye Makeup RemoverHomemade Eye Makeup Remover