Zero Waste Makeup Remover: DIY Oil Cleanser

zero waste makeup remover

Removing your makeup doesn’t have to be wasteful. I like to keep things simple at night, so I use a DIY oil cleanser and an organic facial cloth to do the job. I store the cleanser in a little upcycled glass dropper bottle, making it the perfect zero waste makeup remover. Just a few drops of this stuff works wonders and practically melts my makeup off with minimal effort. When I’m done rubbing it in to my skin, I just rinse it off with some water and wipe it off using my facial cloth. Easy, simple and effective. The best part is making this makeup remover didn’t cost me a thing: I used oils I already had in my pantry. 

Have you ever tried cleansing your face using oil? I promise, there’s nothing to be afraid of. The DIY oil cleanser I use is gentle on the skin and actually helps regulate excess oils on my face. You wouldn’t think it, but oil dissolves oil (go figure right?). So, if you have oily skin, an oil cleanser is actually a good idea. I have combination skin and my face absolutely loves this stuff. If you give this zero waste makeup remover a go, be sure to take a picture and tag me in it on Instagram ( @greenifyme – I’d love to see your version of it).  Now without further ado, here’s how to make my favorite all-natural oil cleanser.


Zero Waste Makeup Remover
DIY Oil Cleanser

zero waste makeup remover


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of (melted) coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of almond oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

Note on ingredients: If you can, try to get these ingredients in bulk. If you don’t have access to oils in bulk (I know I don’t), then go for the second best option and buy them in sustainable packaging. Look for glass or aluminum containers filled with your desired oil (as these are easier to recycle or reuse). If you must buy your oil in plastic, try to buy it in the biggest container they have to reduce the amount of plastic bottles you’ll have to buy over time. Also, if you don’t have access to certain oils listed in this recipe, you can try to substitute them for apricot, grape seed or avocado oil. I used oils I already had in my house.

zero waste makeup remover


  1. Clean out your dropper bottle if you have to. When it’s ready, put a small funnel in its opening. Prepare your oils by making sure all are completely liquefied (I had to melt my coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave). Then, using a measuring spoon, add each oil to the funnel so it can transfer mess-free into your bottle. 
  2. When each oil has been added, remove the funnel and screw the dropper top back on. Give the bottle a good shake so all the oils can blend together nicely. Congrats – you just made yourself some zero waste makeup remover!

Note on dropper bottle: I reused an empty 1 oz. dropper bottle I had lying around, so before you go out to buy one, see what you have around your home. If you use a bigger bottle to contain this recipe, you’ll probably have to double or triple the amount of ingredients I used, so keep that in mind.


zero waste makeup remover

To use the DIY oil cleanser:
Using the cleanser is simple. Just add 4 to 5 drops to your hand, then massage it into your skin in circular motions. Do this for a few minutes – it’s totally safe to use on your eyes and removes eye makeup without hassle. Your makeup will literally melt away. 

Usually, since I’m lazy, I just wash my face off with warm water afterwards and then wipe it dry using a facial cloth. However, if you want the full oil cleanser experience, wet a washcloth with hot water and wring it out (so it’s not too hot to burn you), then place it on your face. Breath in deeply – the steam from the washcloth will pull off the makeup and open your pores. Repeat as many times as needed to remove your makeup. 

So, would you give this zero waste makeup remover a try? It’s such a simple DIY, but it really does get the job done. Plus, it certainly beats going out and buying an expensive cleanser. 

zero waste makeup remover

What’s your favorite zero waste makeup remover?

By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.


  1. A decent normal will expel abundance sebum (recall sebum is the oil we normally produce to keep skin sound, supple and energetic). An excess of sebum can cause pore blockage and enable microscopic organisms to increment to a level that will cause irritation.
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