{Natural DIY} Homemade & natural MAKEUP REMOVER

All natural DIY, Makeup remover, A life lead simply, www.alifeleadsimply (1).png

My natural journey started a few years ago when I realized that more than half of the things I was putting on my body and my face were chemicals. I could not even pronounce the ingredients, yet someone was trying to convince me that they were safe. I did a bit of research and came up with scary theories. Although not everything seemed plausible or true, I still found enough startling facts to make my decision easy – go natural. In South Africa, the natural movement has not yet picked up enough steam to give us natural options to choose from, from the shelves. If you wanted natural products you had to order them online, or make them yourself. I opted for the “make them yourself” option. This was a tough “try and test” process, with a lot of oopsies and mistakes. A few products I got right after a try or two, and others I am still struggling to figure out. The things I have gotten right, were bath bombs, body butter, hair treatment, and the products needed for my face.

Although I have battled eczema all my life, I have never really had skin problems. That was up until my first pregnancy. After A1 arrived my skin got a bit blotchy – nothing serious, just a little blotchy. Then A2 came, and she changed everything, least of all my skin. My eczema made its way up to my face and settled around my eyes. I tried to treat it but my efforts only seemed to make it worse. After trying numerous treatments, from natural to less natural, I eventually found success and it was not one thing but a bunch of things. Number one, change my diet, number two, change my day and night face cream, number three, switch to natural makeup (if I have to wear makeup at all), and number four – use a natural makeup remover. Using these four things, I fixed my eczema problems, and also sorted out a few other things like fine lines, blemishes and dry spots.

Natural makeup remover

This post will focus on number four – natural makeup remover. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, mostly eyeshadow cream, eyeliner and mascara. Only for special occasions will I use foundation or concealer. But getting eyeliner and mascara off are the trickiest things in any case. Why not use commercial makeup remover? Because many of the available products contain parabens, mineral oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, imidazolidinyl urea and other problematic ingredients. The Internet is full of numerous natural options and recipes that you can try to remove your makeup naturally, and I tried all of them. I will share some with you here, as well as the recipe I found that worked the best.

Disclosure: when testing recipes, I ignored the ones that contained baby oil, commercial soaps, or baby shampoo.

Some of the options I tried:

1. Honey

Naturally antibacterial, honey can be used to fight acne and renew skin by removing dead skin cells. Simply use a teaspoon of raw honey and spread it over your face. Massage, then leave on for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove with warm water, leaving your skin fresh and makeup free.

I didn’t like putting honey on my face. Firstly, it was difficult to work with, and secondly, the honey stung my face where the eczema spots were. Oh, and honey is really expensive (if you get it for cheap you should wonder what is in it – we have had a slew of tampered brands lately) so this definitely didn’t work for me.

2. Castile soap, olive oil and water

Mix 1 cup water with ¼ tsp castile soap and 1 tsp olive oil. I felt the soap wasn’t strong enough to really clean my skin, and if you add more it stings your eyes. Also, didn’t feel that it was gentle enough for my skin. So no.

3. Oil, vitamin E and water

Almost the same as the above method, you just omit the soap and add vitamin E. didn’t like this one, the water really bothered me. Felt like the mixture split too soon and didn’t clean as it should. So pass.

4. Oil and witch hazel

¼ cup oil of choice mixed with ¼ cup witch hazel. If you want to try this recipe, try to get the alcohol free witch hazel, and for oil, I find the best is sweet almond oil, jojoba, olive oil or apricot kernel oil. I find the witch hazel has too strong a smell for my liking, and it can be too astringent leaving my skin feeling too tight. Also, eye stinging. Next!

5. Makeup remover wipes

This was my first almost-successful attempt. You take a glass jar of choice, then add to it 1 tbs aloe vera, 3 tsp witch hazel, 1 tsp castile soap, 2 tsp oil of choice (avocado, sweet almond or apricot kernel are great choices) and essential oils of choice (lavender, frankincense, rose geranium and chamomile are all wonderful for your skin). You can add vitamin E oil or rosemary essential oil to this mix to act as a preservative. Once all in the bottle, shake the bottle well to combine. Use either by squirting or adding a few drops to a cotton round or face cleaning cloth, or put your rounds or cloths directly in the bottle, shaking lightly to coat the cloths with the mixture. This worked great for me, for a very long time. But then my eczema reacted to something in my mixture (I think it was the tea tree I added for its antibacterial effect) and forced me to stop using it. Will probably try again since I really loved the convenience as well as how soft it made my skin feel.

All natural DIY, Makeup remover, A life lead simply, www.alifeleadsimply (3).png

6. Milk and almond oil

This is one I was reluctant to try. Milk and oil conjure up images of baking, and that is not what I want to associate with my skincare regime. Tried it once, didn’t like it at all. If you want to try – you add a few drops of almond oil to a tablespoon of milk and then use this to wipe your face. Then you wipe it off, leaving behind skin that smells faintly of milk… also didn’t remove all of my makeup, not even with heavy wiping.

7. Rose water cleansing gel

This recipe almost won, it just came short because of the glycerine. I struggle to always find, and when I can find it is difficult to determine whether it is vegetable-, animal-, or petroleum based. So I will make this when I can find either plant or animal based glycerine, and use my other favourite recipe for the times when I cannot. To make the rosewater gel, combine in a pump bottle 1 cup rose water (I buy mine from my local Housewife’s market), ¼ cup aloe vera gel, 2 tsp glycerine, 1 tsp castile soap and a few drops either rose or rose geranium essential oil. Shake well to combine. To use, squirt some onto your hands or a facecloth and massage over your face until clean. Then rinse off. Smells lovely, cleans wonderfully and leaves your skin soft and supple.

8. Plain water and soap

So obvious I only tried it much later. Didn’t work. Burned my face, burned if it got into my eyes (which it always did) and didn’t remove my makeup. I made it by adding about 4 tsp castile soap to about 1 cup of water. If I wanted to use soap and water I would much rather buy a soap bar made for your face and use that in the shower. It is just so inconvenient.

9. Cleansing scrub

Very easy to make, and I also found it to be very effective. Negatives – I don’t feel I can use it every day, and almost impossible to use at the sink without making everything around me wet. Sometimes I need to remove my makeup without taking a shower or a bath, and with something like this (or even a bar of soap) it is difficult to do. Also, since it is a scrub you cannot really use it around your eyes so you still need to make a plan to remove your eye makeup with another method. My go-to scrub recipe is ¼ cup sea salt (not coarse, the fine variety is what you want), ½ tsp vitamin E oil, about 4 tbs avocado oil and essential oils of choice. Mix it all together and use when needed.

10. My best makeup remover: Oil Cleansing

The simplest method I have found, you literally clean your face using oil. As with other things in life, simpler is often better and so this method won. Oil cleansing is suitable for all skin types, even if you have oily skin. It might sound counterproductive, but using an oil to cleanse can actually dissolve excess oil on your skin, and “trick” your skin into thinking it doesn’t have to make more oil since there is already oil present. This is especially the case if you use jojoba oil, which mimics the sebum (naturally occurring oil) of your skin. If you want to use this method, my advice would be to try a few different oils until you find one that works for your skin type. I use a combination of avocado and olive oil, with a few drops of essential oil. To use, massage about half a teaspoon of oil over your face. While doing this, soak a face cloth in very hot water. Once done with the massage, wring out the cloth and place over your face. The steam will open your pores and relax your skin. Then give your face a wipe to remove excess oil. Because there is no splashing of water needed, I can use this method even at the sink. It is easy enough to do even late at night, and I can store the oil mix in a glass bottle for an extended period. Convenient, affordable, customisable, effective, and it makes your skin feel wonderful. That is why this method won!

Deciding to change your beauty routine, especially your skin care regime, to be more natural and then on top of that going the DIY route, can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Play around, take a few calculated risks, and I am sure you will find something that not only works for you but makes your skin look and feels like it is 10 years younger.

So which one of these methods are you going to try, or have you had some success (maybe even failures) with some? Please share!