What is Waterproof Makeup

Waterproof makeup is great especially if you want to retain the freshness of your face from humidity, sweat, and heat. There are many international brands available in the market that offer waterproof makeup such as blushers, eyeliner, lipstick, mascara, foundation, and more. These make ups will give you the natural look throughout the day without any fading and smudges. Waterproof can be worn in your normal routines; however it still should be removed before sleeping at night.

Waterproof Makeup

Just like ordinary makeup, waterproof makeup should be well-applied in able to last the entire day without getting affected by external factors such as water, perspiration, and weather. This kind of makeup is designed not to come off, smear, or run even when wet. The most common users of waterproof makeup are the female athletes because the makeup is not easily ruined by their perspiration. Actresses are also common users of waterproof makeup as this does not wear off as they cry in tears in every scene. Women who travel a lot also find waterproof makeup beneficial since it does not consume their time for travelling.

Waterproof Cosmetics Makeup

Waterproof cosmetics contain silicon-based oil that keeps the skin soft and smooth. The same content is also used in the formulation of products that adhere to the hair and skin.

Although waterproof makeup can be very convenient to wear and makes you look clean and fresh, it accompanies some health concerns as well. The fact that it cannot be removed by water, its removal requires a special solution. This special solution can be quite harsh for the skin and can remove the skin’s sebum. The sebum serves as the barrier of the skin against irritants, pollutants, and chemicals.

How is Waterproof Makeup Made?

Many companies making waterproof makeup use these ingredients to resist water and stay in place:

Film Formers:

Film formers are the most popular form of waterproofing ingredients. This class of synthetic molecules includes PVP, acrylates, acrylamides, silicones, and copolymers. These chemicals work by creating a continuous cover over the surface they are applied to, which locks in the cosmetic and protects it from intrusion by water.


A type of film former, these chemicals are added to products to help water bead and roll off. Silicones can be comedogenic, cause breakouts, and are known as skin sensitizers, which can cause irritation to the skin and even allergic reactions.


Polymers work by creating a coating on a product to protect it against water intrusion. They are different from film formers in that polymers eventually evaporate. Most products that use polymers for waterproofing aren’t actually waterproof, but simply long-wearing. In terms of safety, polymers are a better option than film formers.


Plant-based waxes are an excellent, safer option for making products long-wearing without exposing the skin or eyes to unsafe, harsh chemicals. Plant waxes create a water-resistant barrier, much like they do for the leaves of the plants from which they are harvested.


This ingredient is a silicone-based polymer that is added to products to keep them from budging when exposed to water. Dimethicone is a known skin sensitizer with potential toxicity to both the body and the environment.

It’s pretty clear we pay a price for waterproof makeup formulas, and the longer and harder they resist moisture, the higher the cost.

Types of Waterproof Makeup

Not too long ago, the only waterproof makeup products available were for the eyes. There was a need to provide eye makeup that wouldn’t smear, smudge, or run on a teary romance flick or a particularly rainy day.

Today, practically any product you use on your skin is available in a long-wearing, waterproof formula.

Waterproof Mascara:

The original waterproof makeup item, waterproof mascara is by far the most popular waterproof cosmetic. Unfortunately, waterproof mascara is not a friend to your eyelashes.

Waterproof formulas require a lot of work to remove (more on that later). Wearing it every day can make your lashes brittle and weak, causing them to break and fall out.

Waterproof Eyeliner:

Eyeliner helps you avoid darkness around the eyes that can form when eyeliner mixes with your skin’s natural oils. They can be especially dangerous for sensitive eyes, so it’s important to make sure you are careful in application and never use it inside your lash line.

Waterproof Brow Gel:

Brow gel can be made waterproof by strengthening the formula with silicones that make it perform similarly to hairspray. Brow gel can be tinted or clear, but removing a waterproof formula can cause damage to your brows.

Waterproof Foundation:

Waterproof foundation is a sticky product that adheres to the face and can only be removed with an oil-based cleanser. These types of foundations are generally occlusive, meaning they form a barrier on the skin that is impenetrable by moisture.

Waterproof Lipstick:

Waterproof lipstick gives you the color you want in a formula that stays on… and on, and on. Waterproof lipstick is sometimes infused with primer oils to help give them more staying power. However, the more long-lasting the lip color, the more matte the formula may be, which could be a deal-breaker if you love a glossier look.


In summary, waterproof makeup offers convenience and longevity, particularly in humid or wet conditions. It’s available in various forms, including mascara, eyeliner, brow gel, foundation, and lipstick, catering to different preferences and needs. While it’s popular among athletes, actresses, and frequent travelers for its durability, its removal can be challenging and may require harsh solutions, potentially stripping the skin’s natural barrier.

The formulation of waterproof makeup typically involves ingredients like film formers, silicones, polymers, waxes, and dimethicone, which create a barrier against water intrusion. However, prolonged use of waterproof mascara, for example, may lead to brittle lashes. Overall, while waterproof makeup offers staying power, it’s essential to consider its potential impact on skin health and to use it judiciously.

FAQ About Waterproof Makeup

Is There a Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Makeup

Technically, there’s no difference between waterproof makeup and water-resistant makeup. However, if a company does differentiate between waterproof and water-resistant, it usually means:

Waterproof: The product can withstand continual exposure to water, such as submersion.
Water-resistant: Typically means the product is only able to withstand minimal exposure to water, like some passing summer rain or a quick dip in the pool.

Can You Swim In Waterproof Makeup?

Whether you’re at an indoor pool swimming laps or relaxing at a resort, waterproof makeup can help you look great while keeping cool. However, it’s important to note that if you’re in a chlorinated pool, continual exposure can break down even the toughest waterproof makeup formulas.

Does Waterproof Makeup Come Off?

Water-soluble mascara can be gently removed with micellar water. However, if you’re wearing waterproof mascara, it requires more effort to remove. In this case, micellar cleansing wipes or special eye makeup removers are a good choice, as they effortlessly and gently remove eye shadow, eyeliner, and waterproof makeup from your skin and eyelashes.

Leave a Comment