Is Mascara Bad for Your Eyelashes? So Here’s The Deal…

We’re about to reveal this huge beauty secret we’ve been gatekeeping for awhile now: mascara isn’t bad for your eyelashes, but a mascara detox is always a great idea. 

Mascara is one of the many products we, as beauty geeks, can hardly live without. It makes your eyes pop and enhances your features, but here’s the thing, is it harmful for your eyelashes?

The truth is that a mascara isn’t necessarily bad for your lashes—the damage though, lies in how you remove it. It shouldn’t be too big of a concern if you know how to remove them properly. Daily rubbing or tugging can cause brittle, dry, weak lashes in the long run. 

We recommend that you use an oil-based remover or solution such as castor oil—it helps condition your natural lashes during the removal process, and so that you don’t rub your lash hair too aggressively by stripping or pulling them out. You may opt for cotton swabs, Q-tips, or wipes alongside the solution.

We strongly advise against waterproof mascara because they’re harder to take off.

Scientifically speaking, your eyelashes contain tiny oil glands or meibomian glands that keep your lashes nourished and eyes protected. Wearing mascara on a daily basis will lead to build up if it’s not removed thoroughly. In the case of buildup, the oil glands become blocked, which then further lead to meibomianitis, viral infections or sties. Signs of infection include watery or dry eyes, a burning sensation in the eyes, blurred visions, sensitivity to light and many more.

To keep all these complications at bay, make sure you don’t use an old tube of mascara. By replacing your product every two to three months can help avoid bacterial infection.

is mascara bad for your eyelashes

Is Bad Mascara a Thing?

There isn’t such a thing as bad mascara, but its ingredients can be if you’re not  meticulous enough during your purchase.

Let’s have a look at those ingredients:

  1. Parabens: To prolong shelf-life that mimics estrogen affecting hormones.
  2. Propylene glycol: A type of petroleum that may cause skin and respiratory issues.
  3. Retinyl acetate: Otherwise known as Vitamin A Acetate which can lead to biochemical or cellular changes in the body.
  4. Aluminium powder: To give color to the mascara and may impair essential cell and body functions under long term exposure. 
  5. Coal tar dye: Used as colorant, is cancerous and toxic to the brain.
  6. Fragrance: Otherwise known as parfum can irritate the skin and eyes.
  7. Formaldehydes: Otherwise referred to as imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM, methenamine, diazolidinyl urea, or quaternium-15; is a cancer-causing agent which may also lead to dermatitis.
  8. BHT and BHA: Two types of preservative that can disrupt the endocrine system.

All of the above ingredients are prone to bring about itchiness, redness, and inflammation around the eyes. Even worse, disrupt your hormonal and reproductive system.

What to Look for in the Best Mascara?

Making smart decisions will limit harm in the long run. Prior to your purchase, simply look it up on EWG’s Skin Deep database to check the safety, potential toxicity, and a breakdown of the mascara’s ingredients.

Rating of 1 to 2 indicates safety, and 3 to 4 is an average. Anything 5 and above is unsafe and should be avoided at all costs. 

It’s important to opt for a good, ethical brand, and most preferably cruelty-free and vegan, and stick with it. This also means reconsidering a brand you’re currently using that isn’t clean. 

Seeking a clean mascara brand that lengthens and volumizes your lashes? Check out this list.

How to Go About the Dangers of Mascara?

  1. Limit your use of mascara.
  2. Avoid using waterproof mascara unless necessary.
  3. Always remove your mascara with a gentle eye makeup remover. Alternatively, you may use oil such as castor oil, olive oil, or coconut oil.
  4. Have a proper eye care regime that’ll strengthen and nourish your eyelashes.
  5. Apply your mascara from root to tips, and wait till the coat dries before applying another. Multiple coats and layers are apt to cause clumping and serious damages to both the lashes and eyes.
  6. Pay attention to the ingredients before buying your mascara.
  7. Opt for a clear mascara if possible.
  8. Comb your lashes once or twice a day to help them distribute natural oil along the length. 

Taking a Break From Mascara

Getting on a mascara detox will give you denser and stronger eyelashes. Apart from not putting your strands through hadcore makeup-removing, you’re also giving your lashes time to go through their natural growth cycle. 

We recommend taking a five to seven-day mascara break every two weeks, which is enough time for your lashes to grow and stay healthy at its own pace. You may also use castor oil as a nourishing boost.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mascaras

a) Does Mascara Damage Your Eyelashes?

Not necessarily unless you overuse it. Using the waterproof ones typically requires more effort while removing, which can result in lashes falling out.

b) Is Clear Mascara a Better Alternative?

Though it gives your lashes a rather natural look, it contains the same ingredients as its colored counterparts, but without the colorants in it. They may seem invisible but still pose the same threat to lashes.

c) Is Waterproof Mascara Bad for Your Lashes?

Waterproof mascara contains added wax and silicone to make it resist sweat, tear and water. Therefore, your lashes tend to lose moisture and eventually dry out. Having said that, all these are avoidable if you remove them completely and gently.

d) Does Mascara Make Your Lashes Thinner?

It all comes down to how you use the mascara—either carefully or carelessly. Multiple coats and layers add burden to your natural lashes, making them appear thin and short overtime.

e) Is Wearing Mascara Everyday Bad for Your Lashes?

Yes. Using it everyday can cause the removal process to be much more difficult and the lashes to break. 

f) Is Mascara Good for Your Eyelashes?

Also yes—only when it’s clean and all natural. Opt for formulas that condition, protect and hydrate your lash hair. Do note that however, these types of mascaras typically come with hefty prices. 

Celine So

Celine So

Be mindful of your words as they are impactful, which also explains why I'm fond writing.

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