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How to Fix Dry Mascara: Quick and Easy Tips

Mascara is an essential makeup product for many, helping to define and emphasize the eyes. But when mascara dries out, if you try to apply it, you can find yourself with clumpy lashes, which can ruin your makeup look.

Fortunately, there are a few easy solutions to help get your mascara back to its original creamy consistency and help you extend the life of your tube of mascara.

How to fix dry mascara collage.

In this post, I’ll share how to fix dry mascara and help guide you through the process of bringing your mascara back to life.

So, let’s learn how to quickly revive dry mascara so you can finish your eye makeup look and move on with your day or night!

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Before Fixing Dry Mascara

Before attempting to fix your dry mascara, it’s important to understand that mascara, like all makeup products, has an expiration date. It’s generally recommended to replace your mascara every 3 to 6 months.

Using expired or old mascara can expose your eyes to bacteria and even cause infections.

So, if you’re unsure about the age and safety of your mascara, it’s better to err on the side of caution and replace your mascara with a new one instead of trying to revive it with one of the methods below.

Also, be sure to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or an optometrist if you have any concerns about your eye health or potential reactions to new or old makeup products.

These professionals have the expertise to guide you on the best practices to maintain your eye health.

Now….onto the quick fixes…

How To Fix Dry Mascara

These simple and quick dry mascara fixes aren’t expensive. Some use items you can find around your house, including water:

Soak The Mascara Tube In Hot Water

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara tube soaking in a mug of hot water.

To fix dried mascara with hot water, first, ensure your mascara tube is closed tightly to prevent water from getting in.

Next, fill a coffee mug or bowl with hot water (not too hot so that you burn yourself), and place the mascara tube in it for about 5-10 minutes. This will help soften and warm up the formula.

Once done, swirl the mascara wand inside the tube. Your mascara should now be easier to apply.

Add A Few Drops Of Contact Lens Solution

Bausch & Lomb Biotrue Contact Lens Solution, handheld.

An easy option to fix your dried-out mascara is adding saline solution (or eye drops), which can soften your mascara and make your mascara more fluid.

Start with a drop or two of saline solution to the mascara tube and mix with the mascara wand. You can add another drop or two as needed to improve the mascara’s texture.

This dry mascara hack will help to dissolve the clumps and make your mascara more spreadable without creating a watery consistency.

Open bottle of Bausch & Lomb Biotrue Contact Lens Solution being poured into open mascara tube.

If you don’t wear contact lenses, you can buy a small bottle of inexpensive lens solution. I bought this 4 oz bottle of Bausch & Lomb Biotrue Contact Lens Solution here (it matches the pH of healthy tears).

You may have read about other additives that you might add to your mascara, like aloe vera gel to your mascara, but you want to avoid adding anything that may contaminate or cause irritation, allergic reactions, or even eye infections.

Add Oil To Your Eyelashes

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, open bottle with dropper.

You can use a gentle, natural oil like coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or squalane (The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is shown above) to fix dry mascara.

Instead of adding oil to the tube, apply a thin layer of oil to your eyelashes with a clean spoolie. Then, apply your mascara as usual. The oil may give you a few more applications from your mascara.

It’s also a great way to give your lashes an extra boost of nourishment while wearing mascara.

Use A Mascara Primer

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Serum Infused Lash Primer in Soft Black, open tube with mascara wand, handheld.

Using a mascara primer to fix dry mascara will work as a base layer to help nourish and condition your eyelashes while also increasing the longevity of your mascara.

Not only will it add volume to your lashes, but it can also make your lashes look longer and thicker.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Serum Infused Lash Primer in Soft Black, and Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara in the shade True Brown.

I like using Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Serum Infused Lash Primer (available in the shade Soft Black, shown above) as it helps thicken and lengthen your lashes for a dramatic look (pair it with Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara).

This lash primer has a serum-infused base that contains vitamin B5 and a ceramide for extended lash length, volume, and thickness.

Preventing Your Mascara From Drying Out

Flatlay of the best L'Oreal mascaras on pink twinkly background.

Keeping your mascara fresh is essential for achieving gorgeous lashes. Here are some tips to help you prevent your mascara from drying out.

First, pay attention to the shelf life of your mascara. As previously noted, most mascaras have a shelf life of three to six months.

Using your mascara beyond this time frame can lead not only lead to dried mascara and clumpy lashes but also bacterial growth and eye infections. To keep track of the expiry date, mark the purchase date on the tube with a permanent marker.

One major factor that contributes to your mascara drying out prematurely is the presence of air. Every time you open the mascara tube, air sneaks in and dries up the product.

When you pump the wand in and out of the tube, you accidentally pump too much air into the mascara, further drying it out. To avoid this, gently swirl the mascara wand inside the tube instead of pumping it up and down.

Make sure to properly close the mascara tube after each use. An airtight seal helps maintain the eye mascara’s freshness and prevents it from drying out early.

Storing your mascara in a cool, dry place can extend its life. Excessive heat or direct sunlight can compromise the mascara formula, causing it to dry out. Keep it away from radiators, windows, or other sources of heat.

As a general application tip, to get even mascara coverage, swirl the wand back and forth as you remove it from the tube, and be sure to wipe off any excess mascara on the wand onto the mouth of the tube before applying.

This prevents overloading your lashes and making them clumpy while reducing the amount of wasted product.

By following these tips, you can help extend the life of your mascara and ensure that it stays fresher for longer!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does castor oil do to revive dry mascara?

Using castor oil to revive dry mascara can be beneficial, as it has natural moisturizing properties. To revive your mascara, simply apply a drop or two castor oil with a fresh spoolie brush directly to your lashes.
This should help restore moisture and improve the mascara’s texture to give you a few more uses.

Is it OK to add water to dry mascara?

It is not recommended to add water to revive dry mascara. Water can introduce bacteria, dilute the preservative that protects it from bacterial growth, and cause the mascara to spoil.
Adding water can also thin the formula out too much and cause a mess. Instead, you can try other methods, such as soaking the mascara tube in hot water, coating your lashes in oil, or adding a few drops of contact lens solution.

Can eye drops be added to prolong mascara life?

Adding a drop or two of eye drops or contact solution to your dry mascara can help prolong its life. This can help restore the mascara’s smooth consistency and make it easier to apply. Just know that this is a quick fix and does not extend your mascara’s shelf life.

How often should I replace my mascara?

It is important to keep track of the life expectancy of your mascara. Most mascaras should be replaced every 3 to 6 months once opened, as bacteria can start to build up in the tube and cause an eye infection, redness, and irritation.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara in the shade True Brown, open tube with mascara wand.

The Bottom Line: Fixing Dried Mascara

Dried mascara can be frustrating to use and difficult to apply. But luckily, the methods in this post can help you fix it quickly and easily.

Of course, if all else fails and your mascara is not salvageable, then it’s time to purchase a new tube of your favorite mascara.

Just remember that it’s important to avoid using old, dried-up mascara, including waterproof mascara, because it can cause irritation, infection, or damage to your lashes and eyes.

For some affordable drugstore mascaras, be sure to check out my posts on the best L’Oreal mascaras and the best Better Than Sex Mascara dupes.

Thanks for reading!