The Dirty World of Eye Make Up Removers

Dr. Sarah Darbandi
Board Certified Corneal Specialist / Surgeon

These days the best eyeliners are the ones that stay all day, last 24hrs, are waterproof, fade-proof, longwearing, no smudge, transfer-free, etc etc. There are all kinds of different eyeliners out there, gel eyeliners, liquid liners, crayons, and ones that look like little magic markers. It’s a whole new world out there when it comes to makeup, and I’ve always said the most important thing about makeup is taking it off at night. So, with all these long wear eyeliners, which makeup remover technique is actually the best? Let’s take a look. On my hand I put a variety of different eyeliners from different brands like, tarte, lorac, makeup forever, nars, marc Jacobs, Revlon, sigma, and stila. I know, I have way too many eyeliners.

First, I wiped with a dry tissue. Nada. No movement on any. Not a surprise.


Next, I took a makeup remover wipe and rubbed my hand 5 times. Still, pretty impressed by the staying power.


Okay, time for the big guns, let’s use a very common oil-free makeup remover.

This should work considering one of the ingredients is Benzyl Alcohol, right? Wrong! There are quite a few liners that haven’t budged.


Soap and Water? Wow. Still some survivors.


Now for my absolute favorite, the coconut oil. A few smears and…Voila! Well, almost!


Amazing that the Marc Jacobs liquid liner lasts despite all of these cleansers! What is in this thing? Is it literally a permanent marker? I guess there is a reason it’s named the Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. Turns out it’s also, soap, makeup remover, and nearly coconut oil-proof.


My point here is this, it’s just not enough to tell patients to “remove your makeup at night,” because who knows if what they are doing is effective, and additionally, many of the makeup removers out there have pretty harsh chemicals. And, if you were thinking it, just say no to baby shampoo! At Dry Eye University, we will explore this topic further and learn some better techniques for our make-up loving/addicted patients. Hope you can join us!