7 Natural DIY Makeup Remover Recipes for Happy Skin

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » 7 Natural DIY Makeup Remover Recipes for Happy Skin

If we’re going to go through the trouble of applying natural DIY makeup, it makes sense to have a natural way to remove it.

After battling acne-prone skin when I was younger, I’ve made it a priority to take good care of my skin. I’ve found some great natural solutions for healthy, glowing skin through experimentation over the years, and below I’ll give you my best DIY makeup remover tips.

Why Wear Makeup at All?

Let’s be honest, just because you’re a “Wellness Mama” doesn’t mean you don’t like to feel pretty.

From taking a soothing lavender bath, to lathering up with a homemade whipped body butter, to applying makeup, I’ve learned it pays off to go out of my way to take care of myself in simple, natural, inexpensive ways. With six little ones underfoot, it makes a big difference to do these little things for myself.

So while I feel just fine on the days I don’t wear makeup (which are many), I appreciate having a few beauty tricks up my sleeve … while avoiding the harsh chemicals found in conventional products.

Best DIY Makeup Remover Solutions

There are several great options for removing makeup naturally, and these are also great skincare recipes even on no makeup days.

1. Oil Cleansing

Oil cleansing is just what it sounds like: cleaning your face with oil. This DIY makeup remover may be the simplest of all.

It sounds funny, but oil cleansing can actually dissolve excess oil in your pores. Using the right oils, you can balance overly dry or overly oily skin because oil cleansing can work for any skin type!

Popular oils to use for oil cleansing include castor and olive oil, but with some experimentation, you may find that other oils work well for your skin. Sunflower, safflower, avocado, and coconut oils may work as well. Personally, I’ve found a ratio of 3/4 olive oil to 1/4 castor or hazelnut oil is perfect for my skin.

Try one of the following recipes to decide which oils are right for your skin:

  • Oily Skin: 1/3 castor oil or hazelnut oil to 2/3 olive, sunflower, or other oil
  • Combination Skin: 1/4 castor or hazelnut oil and 3/4 olive, sunflower, or other oil
  • Dry Skin: All nourishing oils like olive oil, or a very small amount of castor/hazelnut oil added to the nourishing oils.

To use the oil cleansing method as a DIY makeup remover:

  1. Use about a quarter-sized amount of oil and massage over your face for one to two minutes. (No need to pre-wash or wet your skin.)
  2. Soak a clean washcloth in very hot water and wring it out before placing it over your face. Allow it to sit and steam your face for about a minute.
  3. Give your skin a wipe with the clean side of the cloth and allow the thin layer of oil left behind to remain and soak into your skin.

I found that I had an adjustment period of about 3-4 weeks while my skin detoxed, during which I had increased breakouts. After my skin adjusted, it cleared right up and has looked great since!

2. Witch Hazel

If you want to step up your oil cleansing a notch, you can try adding witch hazel.

Made from the witch hazel shrub, witch hazel is basically an herbal extract or hydrosol. It has been used traditionally for skin problems and has a long history of use in the beauty industry.

I love witch hazel as a multi-purpose remedy because it helps with a variety of skin conditions. It helps with spot-treating acne, soothing dry skin or itching, and removing makeup.

To use witch hazel as a DIY makeup remover:

  1. Use witch hazel on its own or diluted 50:50 with water.
  2. Soak the corner of a washcloth or cotton makeup pad and remove makeup in circular motions.

3. Aloe Vera

Combine aloe vera gel with a couple of skin-nourishing ingredients to whisk away makeup and impurities.

To use aloe vera as a DIY makeup remover:

  1. In a small container, combine equal parts aloe vera gel and raw honey.
  2. Add 2 TBSP of your oil of choice for every 1 cup of cleanser.
  3. Use an immersion blender to combine the ingredients until a paste forms. Store in an airtight container, and be sure to keep your cleanser in the refrigerator if it contains fresh, preservative-free aloe vera.
  4. Use a small scoop of the cleanser to remove makeup by massaging it into the skin for one to two minutes before rinsing clean with cool water.

4. DIY Makeup Remover Wipes

I’ve written about the dangers of conventional baby wipes and why I make my own. Conventional, store-bought makeup removing wipes pose the same problems: chemical preservatives and other hormone disrupting, unnatural ingredients.

Making your own makeup remover wipes is easy though!

To make DIY makeup remover wipes:

You’ll need:

To make:

  1. Combine everything but the cotton rounds in the jar and shake or use an immersion blender to combine well.
  2. Stack the cotton rounds in the jar, then gently shake it to coat them with the mixture.
  3. Use a cotton round to wipe your makeup off anytime you need a quick DIY makeup remover. The cleansing wipes are great for traveling!

5. Honey Face Wash

Naturally antibacterial honey fights acne and contains enzymes that help slough away dead skin cells.

To use honey to clean off your makeup:

  1. Simply use about a teaspoon of raw honey (I like either Manuka Honey or Raw Organic Honey) and rub between your hands.
  2. Spread it over your face and massage in a circular motion.
  3. Allow the honey to sit for 5-10 minutes before removing with a warm cloth. Once your skin dries, it will be fresh and dewy!

6. Exfoliating Scrub

I’ve always loved the feeling of a good scrub to exfoliate my skin and get rid of dead cells and microscopic dirt in order to get a glowing complexion.

Ground walnut shell makes a great exfoliating ingredient, and there are some great natural products that contain it. However, if you want to go even more natural, plus save money by making your own DIY makeup remover scrub, you can try this recipe:

How to Make:

  1. Combine walnut shells and castile soap in a small bowl; stir and set aside.
  2. Over low heat, combine the calendula oil with the emulsifying wax in a small pot or double boiler and warm until the wax has melted.
  3. In a separate pot, gently warm the aloe vera gel for a minute or two, then add it to the oil mixture and whisk to create an emulsion.
  4. Add the emulsion to the walnut shell mixture, along with the essential oil.
  5. Stir once more to combine well and store in an air-tight jar.
  6. Massage about a 1/2 teaspoon over skin to cleanse, then rinse with warm water.

Caution: As this is a scrub, avoid the eyes and use one of the other makeup remover recipes for eye makeup.

7. Rose Water Cleansing Gel

I don’t know if there’s anything that smells more lovely or feminine than rose water. I make it for all sorts of things, including perfume, flavoring foods, uplifting my mood, and, of course, my beauty routine.

To make a DIY makeup remover with rose water, combine the following ingredients in a pump bottle:

  • 1 cup rose water (see how to make it here)
  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2 tsp glycerine
  • 1 tsp castile soap
  • 8 drops rose absolute for additional scent and skincare benefits
  1. Pump a squirt of this cleanser into clean hands or on a clean washcloth and massage over your face in a circular motion until clean.
  2. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Demystify Safe, Natural Skin Care!

Going the DIY route with your skin care routine doesn’t have to be scary or hard, and with all of the above options, you’re sure to find a solution that works for your skin type.

Which DIY makeup remover are you excited to try first?

Simplifying your beauty routine is actually good for your skin, and your budget. These easy DIY makeup remover recipes take the mystery out of skincare!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


62 responses to “7 Natural DIY Makeup Remover Recipes for Happy Skin”

  1. C. Dirks Avatar


    I tried to make your ‘DIY makeup remover wipes’. The mixture is only o,5 cm high in a jar and doesn’t cover the pads at all. Did you forget to add water in the recipe? Or should all the teaspoons maybe be tablespoons?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Did you mean.5 cm or 5 cm? The liquid makes about 1.5 ounces which will absorb into the cotton rounds. It’s not meant to completely submerge them, but if you shake the jar the cotton will soak up the liquid and make them damp. If you add too much cotton though there won’t be enough liquid to go around. If your cotton is still too dry after shaking and letting it sit for a day, then I would try whipping up another batch of the liquid ingredients to pour over and shake again.

      1. C. Dirks Avatar

        So according to you 1 TBS and 5 teaspoons are 1,5 ounce? I’d like to see your spoons 🙂 .

        1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

          One fluid ounce is equivalent to 2 Tablespoons. This recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of liquid if you’re also using the vitamin E oil. So that would equal 1.5 ounces. If you’re not using the vitamin E oil then that would be 2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons, or 1.44 ounces.

  2. Misti Avatar

    The link for pure aloe vera on Amazon does not go to any product. Do you recommend just any pure aloe vera gel? Or is it not a gel that you recommend?

      1. Misti Avatar

        Thanks for the reply! This is the one I ended up purchasing so that is good to know. Thanks!

  3. Tan Mathew Avatar
    Tan Mathew

    Hi, just wanted to say that ground up walnut shells can cause micro tears in your skin, causing long term damage. It might look good for short term, but it damages your skin beyond repair. Please do not use it.

    1. lea McClure Avatar
      lea McClure

      ive been a dermatologist for over 10 years and i can definitely say that crushed walnut shells ate terrible for your skin and actually cause alot of damage. please dont recommend them to people.

  4. Gray Kvale Avatar
    Gray Kvale

    I was skeptical at first because I’d never tried a make-it-yourself makeup remover. I do drag, and so I usually use some pretty heavy duty cleanser to take off my face. Tonight I ran out of the store bought stuff and stumbled on this list!
    The aloe gel one is super useful. I used about 4 Tbs of raw honey and aloe vera gel mixed with one tsp of olive oil and a splash of water. It didn’t become a paste for me after mixing it for a long time, but even as a pseudo-gel it worked really well!

  5. Alexandra Avatar

    If castor oil is for hair growing, then why should I use it on my face everyday? Thank you!

  6. Arohi Avatar

    Homemade Eye Makeup Remover is easy to make at home with a few ingredients and is the perfect alternative to pricey commercial products.

  7. Joseph Avatar

    A makeup remover truly is essential to a skincare routine if you’re going to wear makeup, even more natural makeup.Homemade Eye Makeup Remover is easy to make at home with a few ingredients and is the perfect alternative to pricey commercial products.

  8. Diane Avatar

    Rosemary essential oil and vitamin E are not preservatives. They are antioxidants and will not preserve your makeup remover wipes.

  9. Kay Avatar

    What can I use for the aloe vera in place of the immersion blender?

  10. Jane Callahan Avatar
    Jane Callahan

    Ground walnut shells create microscopic cuts into your skin, and, as a result, wrinkles show up and makes you age faster.

  11. Denise Avatar

    Hey again Katie,

    I am disappointed in using red cabbage leaves for purple. I have a mortar/pestle but I can’t get the powder fine enough. Any ideas? When I try it on my hand, it just looks like little dots, no powdered shadow yet? I know you never mentioned using red cabbage, I just hope I can find purple as that’s my color;) Denise

  12. sunil dugar Avatar
    sunil dugar

    for preservative what we should do , to keep it useable for 6 month to 12 month atleast

  13. Rebecca Avatar

    For the DIY makeup remover wipes how many cotton rounds do you normally put in the jar?

  14. Megan Avatar

    Do these cleansing methods work well for someone who wears a lot of make up? I wear a full face of make up daily, but I am looking to move towards more natural ways of cleansing my face. For several years, I’ve used a dove soap bar and it effectively removes my make up, but I’ve noticed it is drying my skin out overtime. I just need something that can effectively rid the make up from my face. Are any of these methods better than the other at doing this?

  15. Jen Avatar

    I made the makeup remover wipes today and tried one tonight. The rounds are falling apart and it’s so soapy that I had to rinse it off. I thought this would be more like a non-rinse thing like toner? I followed the ingredients exactly (I even use the baby castle soap) with 1 tsp vit E oil option. Did I do something wrong? I normally use regular cotton balls with witch hazel by itself so I’m not used to the rounds. Is there a certain brand I need to use that may hold up better? Also I make my own body wash and shampoo and it calls for 1 tsp of castle soap for the entire bottle and you rinse it off with water when done, so this seemed like a lot to use for this little jar. Is the soap in this recipe less concentrated maybe? I so want this to work as it sounds like it would be great for my skin!

  16. Kelly Avatar

    For the DIY makeup remover wipes are we supposed to add water to the mixture before we add the cotton rounds?

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