Tips on the best and gentlest way to remove eye makeup

Follow these steps to ace the art of makeup removal for that fresh-faced feeling.

Sleeping with your makeup on is a big no-no, especially when it comes to eye makeup. And after a long day out, you might be tempted to rush through your cleansing routine. But the skin around our eyes is thinner and therefore more delicate and fragile. It needs to be treated with a lot more care so as to avoid damage. Here are some tips on how to gently get every little bit of eye makeup off. 

The power of steam
Need to get off a full face of makeup, with heavy eyeshadow, lots of glitter, and mascara? Harness the power of steam to open pores and loosen stubborn makeup, grime, and bacteria. Bring some water to boil and then pour it into a bowl. Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel so as to create a tent from where no steam escapes. Do this for a few minutes and then get on with the rest of your cleansing routine, which will now go much more smoothly. So that means less tugging and harsh scrubbing of the delicate skin around your eyes.

Let it soak
Mascara can be frustratingly hard to remove at times. Which means you’re likely to scrub and pull and tug in your effort to get it all off. You might also be tempted to get stubborn bits out with your fingers. Don’t. Instead, soak your cotton pad in eye makeup remover and hold it over the area for a few minutes. This way you’re giving the remover enough time to penetrate and break up the product. Press down gently and move the cotton pad downwards, in the direction of hair growth, to remove the mascara. 

Don’t forget your lash line
Liner, mascara and other eye makeup products can build up around the edge of your eyelid. It’s that elusive area that you often neglect or skip over during makeup removal. But you really need to get in there if you use waterproof eyeliner, kohl or tight-line your eyes. Dip a cotton Q-tip in some eye makeup remover and gently go over the edge of your eyelids. This will coax off any leftover product without you having to scrub hard and damage your lashes.

Be careful how you handle the cotton pad
The first swipe over the eyelids deposits a whole lot of gunk on the cotton pad. So do you go in again to get more makeup off with the same side of the cotton pad? If yes, you’re actually redepositing the gunk you just removed. Don’t reuse the same side of the cotton pad over and over again. Once one side is done, fold the pad in half to get a clean side and swipe. If there’s still some makeup left, fold the pad into quarters, so you get two more clean sides. This way one pad can be used four times without the same side being reused and you aren’t burning through your stack of cotton pads in your goal to get clean. 

Use a cleanser made to remove makeup
It’s possible you’re using your regular face wash to remove your makeup. But is it made to do this? If your face towel has makeup smudges on it post-cleanse, then the answer is no. You need to use a product formulated to get makeup off. Use a cleansing oil or balm to glide off makeup without irritating the skin. Oil-based cleansers are quite effective at removing stubborn makeup as oil dissolves oil. Follow this up with a water-based foam or gel cleanser to get rid of any makeup residue. This is called double cleansing and is a popular to cleanse without stripping your skin of hydrating oils.

Photograph: freepik.com