How to Remove Waterproof Makeup

Woman removes makeup at bathroom sink.
As the name implies, waterproof makeup usually requires more than standard soap and water for removal. See pictures of makeup tips pictures.
© Mitic

As it helps mask our imperfections, makeup can be a person's best friend -- unless, that is, it decides to run, smear or disappear. At least with waterproof formulas, you don't have to worry as much about whether or not your makeup will stay in place. They should remain intact when you participate in water sports, strenuous activities that make you sweat or even the simple act of shedding a few tears. But these special formulas do have some downsides.

Because waterproof makeup is stronger than regular makeup, it can be harsh on your skin. For this reason, you may want to restrict your use of waterproof products to special occasions like weddings, onstage performances or athletic events. If you wear contacts, make sure the label on your waterproof product -- particularly waterproof eye makeup -- says the item is safe to wear with lenses.


A big part of using waterproof makeup safely is in knowing how to remove it. Waterproof formulas are made up of different ingredients than regular makeup, and you need to take proper care to remove them. Obviously, something that is waterproof won't come off merely by splashing your face with water at the sink -- it requires a cleanser specifically designed to interact with the ingredients in waterproof products. Some waterproof makeup removers can range in price from less than $5 to almost four times that amount [source: Guglielmetti]. The most important thing about these removers, though, is their ingredients, so read the labels carefully before you buy them.

Now that you know some of the facts about waterproof makeup and why you need to be careful about removing it, you're probably wondering how best to do that. Read on to the next page for information about waterproof makeup removers.





Waterproof Makeup Removers

Because waterproof makeup is made to last, you'll need products that are specifically designed to take it off. Many women have experienced frustration at attempting to remove their makeup at night only to wake up in the morning with traces of it still on their face. The solution to this messy dilemma is in selecting the right remover.

Most makeup removers contain both oil and water. If you purchase a makeup remover, pay attention to its oil-to-water ratio. It's the oil that actually loosens the makeup from your skin, so when you're using waterproof makeup, you'll probably want to use a remover that has a higher concentration of oil [source: Brown].


Much like waterproof makeup, however, using makeup removers isn't always good for your eyes [source: DC Area Eyecare]. Some removers -- as well as more generic products, like baby oil and Vaseline, which are sometimes used to wipe off makeup -- actually leave a combined residue of remover and makeup on the rim of your eye. This can smudge on your face and get into your eye, causing a number of issues, including dry eyes [source: DC Area Eyecare]. You should be as cautious when you're removing your makeup as you are when you put it on.

Look for a remover that's specifically designed for use around the eyes. These products will be less harsh, less likely to irritate the eye and usually fragrance free. There are a number of products available, from oils to cleansers and wipes. There are even makeup removing sticks -- some brands claim their products don't leave any troublesome residue behind [source: Fox].

Now that you know how to choose the right makeup remover, read on to learn some tried-and-true techniques for wiping your face clean.


Waterproof Makeup Removal Techniques

Before dousing your face in remover, take a second to read the product instructions -- some come with very specific caveats about where the product should or should not be used. Once you're clear on that, you can apply it to your face as directed. Generally, after you remove your makeup, you should blot your face dry with a soft towel, then apply a moisturizer [source: Mercier].

If you're too tired when bedtime approaches to mess with bottles of oily liquids, consider cleansing cloths. Formulated to remove waterproof makeup, these cloths require no fuss or muss -- just gently wipe off your face, and you're done.


Your eyes are sensitive and require special care. Clean your eyes before the rest of your face. Make sure you use a formula specifically for eye makeup if you go for a store-bought remover. Dab your remover on something soft -- a cotton ball or pad or even small clump of toilet paper will work. Close your eyes, and press the cotton ball or toilet paper on your closed eyelids for a few seconds, then gently wipe away the makeup. When you're done, rinse the area with water [source: Brown, Mercier].

Removing waterproof makeup is important for the health of your skin, too. If not taken off properly, waterproof makeup can cause a host of problems. Read on to learn how to avoid any unwelcome skin situations.


Dangers of Improperly Removing Waterproof Makeup

Tempting as it might be to flop into bed right away after a long day -- don't do it. No matter how tired you may be, it's important to take off your makeup. The few extra minutes it may take you to wash and moisturize your face will be well worth it in the morning.

Your face needs a chance to breathe, meaning you shouldn't have makeup on 24 hours a day. Keeping makeup on overnight can lead to clogged pores and, consequently, acne breakouts. Removing your makeup will also keep it from rubbing onto your pillowcase or sheets during the night.


Always remember to put on a moisturizer after using a waterproof makeup remover. Because these products are made to remove the oils in waterproof makeup, they also remove some natural oils from your skin. These natural oils keep your skin safe from irritants you may come in contact with during the day. Moisturizing will help restore your natural oils [source: Mercier].

Despite some of the downsides of using waterproof makeup, the truth is that some people can't live without it. Learning to properly remove these potentially harsh formulas can help keep your skin healthy and blemish free while you use them. For more information about skin care, visit the links on the following page.


Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • Begoun, Paula. "Mascara." Prevention. October 14, 2004. (Accessed 8/31/2009)
  • Brown, Bobbi. "The Right Remover." Prevention. September 20, 2008. (Accessed 8/31/2009)
  • Crezo, Adrienne. "Nine Weird Ingredients In Makeup." CNN. July 18, 2008. (Accessed 8/31/2009)
  • Guglielmetti, Petra. "The Big Wipe-Off: Your Favorite Eye-Makeup Removers, Tested." Glamour. December 16, 2008. (Accessed 8/31/2009)
  • Matlin, Jessica. "Grade-A Papers: Boscia Rose Blotting Linens." Allure Magazine. March 18, 2008. (Accessed 8/31/2009)
  • Mercier, Laura. "How to Remove Your Makeup." Allure Magazine. (Accessed 8/31/2009)
  • Morales, Tatiana. "Waterproof Your Face." CBS News. 8/20/02. (Accessed 8/16/09)