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3 Ways to Revive Dry Mascara Like a Pro

Don’t toss that tube before you read this!
July 21, 2023

It doesn’t get much better than a fresh tube of mascara; the wand glides in seamlessly, there’s no leftover product crunched up around the edges and the wet formula makes for an easy application and in turn, a great lash day. Unfortunately, fresh mascara does not last forever and just a few weeks later, what was once fresh and easy to use may be dry and difficult to apply. 

While your first instinct may be to toss your dry mascara and reach for a fresh tube, there are a few things you can do to salvage the formula. Below, we’re sharing three ways to revive dry mascara and answering some commonly asked questions about dry mascara. 

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How to Avoid Mascara from Drying Out

Before we talk about how to fix dry mascara, we’re going to talk about what you can do to keep your mascara from drying out prematurely. This seems obvious, but make sure you properly close and tighten the tube every time you apply your mascara and mascara primer. If the cap is left unsealed, it can make the formula dry out faster, plus it can also harbor bacteria. Another thing to avoid is pumping the wand into the mascara repeatedly. Doing so pumps more air inside the tube, which can cause the mascara to dry out faster than it normally would. 

3 Ways to Revive Dry Mascara

Once you’ve reached the point where your mascara is dry and difficult to apply, here are a few things you can do to revive the formula and extend its usage. 

Add Some Contact Lens Solution

To quickly rehydrate the formula, add a couple of drops of contact lens or saline solution to your dry mascara. Twist on the lid and shake the tube to help the liquid disperse throughout the mascara. This is a great and easy way to get a four or five more uses out of your dry mascara with products you may already have on hand. 

Or, Add a Drop of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a savior for dry skin, and it can also help to revive a dry tube of mascara. Like the contact solution, add a drop or two of aloe vera gel to your tube of mascara, seal the lid and shake or roll the tube between your hands to blend the two together. 

Soak Your Mascara in a Cup of Hot Water

Fill a coffee mug with hot water and let the tube of mascara sit in the cup for about 10 minutes. Make sure the cap is sealed so water doesn’t get inside the tube. Soaking the mascara tube will help to soften and warm up the formula, squeezing a few more uses out of your dry mascara. 

How Often Should I Replace My Mascara?

Unlike powder blush or bronzer which feels like it can last for years, mascara and other eye products have a much shorter shelf life that’s very important to follow to avoid irritation and the potential risk for infection. Defer to the instructions and labels on the packaging of your mascara to see how often you should replace it. Typically, three to six months is the standard shelf life for a tube of mascara. It’s recommended that you replace the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara every six months.

Should I Add Water to My Dry Mascara?

In a pinch, water can help to revive dry mascara but it’s not going to work as well as contact or saline eye solution. Instead of adding water to your mascara, let the tube sit in a cup of warm water. 

Next: The Best Colored Mascaras to Shop for Every Eye Color


Photographer: Nelson Huang, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Producer: Becca Solovay, Beauty Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Digi Tech: Jacky Jiang, Photo Assistant: Tyler Andrews, Model: Erin Williams

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