Whether you’re primping for a wedding, a day at the beach, or a hot summer’s day, waterproof mascara is a must. You love it for its stick-ability, but how exactly does it work and how do you get it off at the end of your fun-filled day?

The sticky secret

The “sticky” ingredients in waterproof mascara are typically silicone- or wax-based. Since these materials don’t mix well with water, they’re the perfect ingredient to keep that mascara on. The just-right balance of oil-and-water soluble ingredients allows for the mascara to resist smudging, but still wash away.

Stop pumping! If you “pump” the wand to prime the mascara, you’re speeding up the breakdown of the special waterproof formula. Try swirling. You will preserve the ingredients in the mascara and it will last longer.

Simple solutions to take it off

After you’ve enjoyed the benefits of waterproof mascara, you need to take it off. Here are a few no-fail ways to let your natural lashes breath!

  • Use a mild cleanser that won’t sting your eyes—like baby shampoo or a non-irritating facial cleanser. Try not to pull or tug at your lashes.
  • Get a gentle eye makeup remover. Pour some onto a cotton ball and gently brush over the mascara. Use a cotton swab to get some of those hard-to-reach areas without getting the makeup remover in your eyes.
  • Try a cold cream to remove stubborn makeup. This product, an oldie-but-goodie, isn’t as drying to your lashes and some are hypoallergenic.

Remember to read the labels and make sure that the products you choose are safe for your eyes. Stop using certain products if you experience irritation, or see your VSP doctor if your irritation doesn’t go away within a few days.

The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only. Please consult your eyecare doctor or physician for actual advice.