How to Fix Dry Mascara: Quick and Easy Tips
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Mascara is a staple in many beauty routines, accentuating eyes and enhancing eyelashes with just a few strokes. However, it’s frustrating when a once-smooth mascara becomes dry and clumpy. Before you consider throwing out your favorite mascara, there are several quick and easy tips you can try to revive it. This article will guide you through various methods to fix dry mascara, ensuring your makeup application remains flawless.

Understanding Why Mascara Dries Out

Before diving into solutions, it’s important to understand why mascara tends to dry out. Mascara consists of a combination of pigments, oils, and waxes. Every time the mascara wand is pulled out, it exposes the product to air, which causes some of the solvents to evaporate. Frequent use accelerates this process, leading to a dryer, clumpier texture. Additionally, incorrect storage or keeping mascara beyond its expiration can contribute to its drying out.

Tips to Prevent Mascara from Drying Out:

  • Avoid Pumping the Wand: Pumping the wand pushes air into the tube, drying the product faster.
  • Tighten the Cap: Always ensure the mascara cap is tightly closed after use to minimize air exposure.
  • Store Properly: Keep your mascara in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Methods to Fix Dry Mascara

When you find your mascara becoming dry, these tips can help restore its original consistency and extend its usability.

1. Hot Water Method

Materials Needed: A cup of hot water.


  • Heat water until it’s hot but not boiling.
  • Place the closed mascara tube into the cup of hot water.
  • Let it sit for about 3 to 5 minutes. The heat helps loosen the mascara’s formula, making it smoother.
  • Remove the tube, dry it off, and test the consistency on your lashes.

2. Eye Drops/Saline Solution

Materials Needed: Eye drops or saline solution.


  • Add three to four drops of a saline solution or eye drops into the mascara tube.
  • Insert the wand and gently swirl it around to mix without pumping.
  • This method can help restore moisture to the mascara, making it more fluid.
How to Fix Dry Mascara: Quick and Easy Tips
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3. Aloe Vera

Materials Needed: Aloe vera gel (clear).


  • Place a small drop of aloe vera gel onto the mascara wand.
  • Carefully insert the wand back into the tube and swirl gently.
  • Aloe vera not only helps in thinning out the mascara but also conditions the lashes during application.

4. Contact Lens Solution

Materials Needed: Contact lens solution.


  • Similar to the saline solution, add a few drops of contact lens solution to the mascara.
  • Mix it gently using the wand.
  • Contact lens solution is sterile and safe for use around the eyes, making it a good choice for thinning mascara.

5. Professional Makeup Solvent

Materials Needed: Professional makeup solvent.


  • Purchase a professional makeup solvent designed for thinning dried cosmetics.
  • Add a small amount to your mascara tube.
  • Stir gently with the mascara wand.
  • This method is highly effective but should be used sparingly to avoid altering the mascara’s original properties.

Additional Tips and Considerations

While the above methods can temporarily fix dry mascara, it’s important to consider hygiene and the overall lifespan of the product.

  • Hygiene: Introducing any foreign substances into your mascara can introduce bacteria. Always use sterile products and clean your wand regularly.
  • Shelf Life: Mascara generally has a shelf life of three to six months. If your mascara is older, it’s better to replace it to avoid eye infections.
  • Safety First: Never use substances not intended for eye use (like water or oils) as they can lead to irritation or infections.


When it comes to fixing dry mascara, there are several common questions and concerns. Here’s a detailed FAQ section to help you understand the best practices and precautions for reviving your mascara.

How to Fix Dry Mascara: Quick and Easy Tips
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1. How often should I fix my dry mascara?

Answer: It’s best to fix your mascara only when you notice it starting to dry out or get clumpy. Frequent interventions may introduce bacteria or dilute the formula excessively, reducing its effectiveness and potentially harming your eyes.

2. What is the safest ingredient to add to dry mascara?

Answer: Saline solution or eye drops are the safest options to add to dry mascara because they are sterile and formulated to be safe for use around the eyes. They help to moisten the dried mascara without introducing harmful bacteria.

3. Can I use water to fix my mascara?

Answer: It is not recommended to use water to fix mascara. Water can introduce bacteria into the product and is not effective in restoring the mascara’s consistency. It can also make the mascara formula more susceptible to smudging or running after application.

4. How do I prevent my mascara from drying out?

Answer: To prevent your mascara from drying out, avoid pumping the wand in and out of the tube, which introduces air and speeds up the drying process. Always ensure the cap is tightly closed after use, and store your mascara in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

5. Is it safe to use dried mascara after fixing it?

Answer: If the mascara is fixed using a safe method and has not surpassed its expiration date, it is generally safe to use. However, if the product smells odd or causes irritation upon application, it’s best to discard it immediately.

6. How can I tell if my mascara is too old to fix?

Answer: Mascara typically has a shelf life of three to six months from the date of opening. If your mascara is older, it may not be safe to use even if you manage to restore its consistency. Check for changes in smell, texture, and performance. If it smells bad or applies unevenly, it’s time to replace it.

7. Can I use oils or moisturizers to fix my mascara?

Answer: Oils and moisturizers are not recommended for fixing mascara. These substances can break down the mascara formula and make it unsafe for eye use. They can also increase the risk of eye infections.

8. What should I do if my mascara becomes clumpy?

Answer: If your mascara becomes clumpy, you can try using a clean mascara wand to carefully separate the lashes after application. To prevent future clumps, ensure that you are not overloading the brush with product and that the mascara hasn’t dried out in the tube.

9. Are there any professional products specifically for fixing mascara?

Answer: Yes, there are professional makeup solvents available that are specifically designed to thin out and restore the consistency of dried cosmetics, including mascara. These products are effective but should be used sparingly to avoid altering the mascara’s original properties too much.

10. What is the best way to apply mascara to avoid drying it out?

Answer: To apply mascara without drying it out, avoid pumping the wand to get more product. Instead, gently twist the wand back and forth or move it in and out slightly to coat it evenly. Apply mascara in thin layers, allowing it to dry between applications.

By following these tips and using the correct methods to fix and apply mascara, you can ensure your product remains in good condition, providing optimal performance without compromising eye health.


Dry mascara doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your favorite makeup product. By employing simple techniques like using hot water, eye drops, or professional solvents, you can extend the life of your mascara, ensuring it delivers perfect results every time. Remember, keeping your mascara well-maintained from the start can prevent it from drying out quickly, saving you both time and money in the long run.

Image Credit: Image by garetsvisual on Freepik

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