1. Using harsh products
Many eye makeup removers rely on harsh ingredients to tackle tough eye makeup (like waterproof mascara). The worst offender is alcohol. Alcohol can appear on the ingredient’s list in many forms including: SD alcohol, denatured alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. But not all alcohol’s are created equal; cetyl/ cetearyl/ stearyl alcohols are more friendly.
It’s easy to see why alcohol is added as a key ingredient; it is super effective in terms of breaking down even the toughest pigments and waxes in eyeshadows, eyeliners and mascaras. But alcohol is not only irritating to the surface of your eye (leading to stinging, redness and tearing), but also incredibly drying for the delicate eye lid area. Long term use of alcohol in skincare products can also cause the skin to become sensitized, which means it will be more reactive to other ingredients.
Stick to an oil-based eye-makeup remover instead. It will be just as effective as alcohol in removing even the most stubborn eye makeup but much more gentle, nourishing and will help lock in the moisture of the skin, rather than dry it out.
The key to getting the most out of your eye makeup remover is to give it time to work. Even the most effective remover, will take a few seconds to break down the makeup before it can be (gently!) wiped away. Apply your makeup remover to a cotton pad (or even better, a reusable cotton round) and pause; hold it over your eye for 5-10 seconds. Although this sounds like it might slow down your routine; it will actually mean less rubbing and wiping (see the next two tips) – so save you time overall.
3. Rubbing and tugging your lids
Rubbing and tugging the delicate eyelid and undereye area is the cardinal sin of makeup removing. Repeating this motion on a daily basis can cause the tiny capillaries in your eyelids to break; which can cause a darker appearance (and contribute to under eye dark circles). The rubbing and tugging of this thin, delicate skin can weaken the elasticity and so create looser skin. Avoid this unwanted side-effect of makeup removing but being super gentle when you wipe on and off any eye products; especially eye makeup remover. Use pads that are soft and gentle and an eye makeup remover that feels silky (has lots of ‘slip’) so that it easily glides across the eye without needing to pull.
4. Wiping ‘downwards’
As a general rule for makeup removing (including eyes!) always wipe upwards. Fans of facial massage will be familiar with this rule – the guiding principle is that you put on your skincare (and take off your makeup) in upwards motions. This helps the facial muscles and skin stay ‘pert’.
5. Forgetting about the eyelashes
Eyelashes are a super important part of your eyecare routine but often an afterthought. Look for an eye makeup remover that doesn’t just remove the eye make up but also includes nourishing ingredients and vitamins to help bolster the eyelashes. Makeup like mascara can cause eyelashes to become brittle and dry, finding an eye makeup remover that adds back the lustre to your lashes is an easy way to balance this out.