Soaps and cleansers designed to remove makeup can be expensive and harsh on your skin; you might be tempted to skip them and go to bed without removing your makeup. Instead, turn to your pantry to grab some household basics that you already have on hand.
You'll find effective makeup removers stocked in your fridge and cupboards—like your grandma told you! People have relied on many of these natural skincare products for thousands of years.
You could call honey the golden child of the natural skincare world because it can be used for many things. Whether you need to soothe eczema or condition your hair, honey is there for you. It's a great moisturizer and an effective (but thick) makeup remover. Apply a thin layer onto the area you want to clean, then wipe with a wet cloth. Rinse any remaining honey off or massage it into your skin.
Many oils can remove makeup, but few are as versatile as coconut oil. You can use this natural powerhouse in its liquid form or semi-solid virgin form to remove makeup. The oil works by breaking up the pigments in makeup so you can wipe them from your face. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which kills bacteria and can help prevent breakouts. Use a small amount of oil, as too much can clog pores and cause blackheads.
TV chefs love extra-virgin olive oil because it's tasty and versatile for cooking, but it can also do wonders as a makeup remover. Like its coconut cousin, this oil breaks down makeup so it can be wiped from your face without scrubbing. Olive oil also contains antioxidants, including vitamin E, that fight free radical damage while soothing irritated skin. It can be mixed with oils such as jojoba and almond to make a natural cleanser for dry skin.
You've probably already heard that aloe vera can help soothe a painful sunburn, but it has plenty of other skincare uses too. Aloe is a common remedy for natural beauty lovers and a popular ingredient in many products because it helps skin heal. Apply a thin layer to your face, then wipe it away with cotton pads or a face cloth. Aloe vera is ideal if you have sensitive skin or need to remove eye makeup.
Rubbing yogurt all over your face sounds like something a toddler would do, but it's actually a perfect way for people with dry skin to remove makeup. Yogurt's beneficial probiotics and fats are as good for your skin as they are for your digestive system. Opt for whole-milk yogurt, as it has the lipid fats needed to dissolve makeup. If this still seems weird, think of yogurt as a natural version of cold cream, that white stuff glamorous movie stars from the 1950s would smear on their faces at night.
Have baby oil in your bathroom cabinet? So does Martha Stewart, and it might be the secret to her glowing skin—the home guru says baby oil is her preferred makeup remover! Maybe she loves how it effectively removes lipstick and all-day-wear foundation. Pour this gentle oil on a cotton pad to wipe away makeup. Any remaining oil can be rubbed into your face as a moisturizer. If you have acne, skip this step, as the oil can clog pores.
Do you have vegetable shortening in your pantry for baking and cooking? You probably wouldn't think of using it for skincare, but the plain and butter-flavored versions of this solidified fat will work as a makeup remover. Like other oily products, shortening dissolves makeup, making it easier to remove. Its smooth, easy-to-apply texture can even tackle heavy makeup and waterproof mascara. Clean eyelashes with a baby wipe, then wash off any excess shortening with mild soap to avoid leaving the oils on your skin.
Surprisingly, tear-free baby shampoo works well as an eye makeup remover. This gentle shampoo is formulated for the delicate scalps of newborns, so it won't irritate your face or leave your skin feeling parched. Dab a small amount on your face, gently massage the area, and rinse it off. Baby shampoo is ideal for around the eyes because it doesn't contain sodium laureth sulfate or other short-chain surfactants that cause burning.
Milk baths have been a popular beauty treatment for as long as humans have milked animals. This easy-to-find beverage can also gently remove makeup. It soothes inflammation and won't clog pores, making it a suitable choice for people with acne. Like yogurt, milk has beneficial fats that dissolve cosmetics while cleansing the skin. It also contains lactic acid, which kills bacteria and helps fight acne. Soak cotton balls in milk to gently wipe your face and the delicate skin around your eyes.
You might mash avocados for guacamole, but have you ever considered using this delicious fruit as a makeup remover? Avocados have healthy fats and oils that dissolve makeup without irritating the skin. Massage your face with mashed avocado before wiping it with a soft cloth. You can also apply an avocado mask for 20-30 minutes to benefit from antioxidants that will soothe your skin. Just be sure to throw the mashed avocado into the garbage so the pulp doesn't clog your sink.