Is Mascara Bad For Your Eyelashes?

Mascara is a staple in every makeup bag. For most of us, it was the first makeup product we were introduced to as little girls. It is essential in every single look and without it, many of us feel incomplete and naked in our own skin. So, naturally, learning that mascaras may be bad for eyelashes is something we would prefer to ignore and avoid. We did the research and asked the question: Is mascara bad for your eyelashes? 

Mascara ingredients that you should avoid when shopping

  • Propylene Glycol: This petroleum-based formula can slow down the growth of your eyelashes. Keep an eye out for mascaras that have incorporated this ingredient into their product. 
  • Retinyl Acetate: Simply put, it is dangerous. It may appear as Vitamin A Acetate on the ingredient list. Retinyl Acetate has been linked to issues such as gene mutation, cancer, and reproductive toxicity.  
  • Parabens: While parabens are generally included in mascara ingredients to prevent bacteria, in the past, parabens have been linked to breast cancer. Take the safe bet and look for paraben-free mascara. 
  • Aluminum Powder: While perfect for adding color to mascara, this ingredient may result in the formation of Alzheimer’s disease over time. An excellent alternative is mascara with Kaolin White Clay.

Do your research to ensure your mascara does not include any of the ingredients or formulas listed above. If your mascara has any of the ingredients listed above, avoid applying the product. If the packaging does not include the full ingredients list, look online, and read reviews to make sure you are knowledgeable. If you are still feeling weary, try all-natural mascara. Natural products exclude artificial chemicals and are a great alternative. 

Is using waterproof mascara safe?

At one time, waterproof mascara used to be the holy grail. It was the best! Unfortunately, we now know, it can do more damage than good. It can be damaging to the lashes for a few reasons. 

Waterproof mascara is designed to dry out your eyelashes and keep the mascara put on your eyelashes which can lead to your eyelashes falling out and/or breaking. Another issue with waterproof mascara is the removal process. Makeup remover is ineffective against it and it takes so much more effort to remove. Because it is so difficult, users of waterproof mascara tend to excessively rub, tug, and pull on the eyelashes and the eye area to remove the stubborn product. If you insist on wearing waterproof mascara, it is recommended to administer one coat of standard mascara, top it with waterproof mascara, and finish it with one coat of standard mascara. This makes removal of this makeup-less of a traumatic experience for your lashes. 

Why are eyelash curlers bad when using mascara?

women curling lashes

This may come as no surprise, but there are a few reasons and ways eyelash curlers are bad for your eyelashes. 

  • You put mascara on before curling your lashes: Curling lashes while they are dry and stiff from mascara making the hairs less flexible and harder. This may lead them to break or to be pulled. To avoid this, curl your eyelashes before you put mascara on. 
  • You are applying too much pressure when curling your eyelashes: Pressing down too hard can cause your eyelashes to bend at an unflattering angle or cause your eyelashes to break. Be gentle. To correct this, bring the eyelash curler to the base of your lashes, making sure it is not touching the eyelid skin. Gently squeeze the curler for a few seconds, then release the curler, slowly moving toward the center of the eyelashes, and then press gently again. Repeat this process until you get to the tip of your lashes. 
  • Your eyelash curler is dirty: If you are curling your lashes before applying mascara, there is a chance remnants of makeup such as eyeliner or eyeshadow, are on your eyelashes.  Bacteria and dead skin cells can also gather on your lashes which can make curling your lashes not effective because the lashes are dirty.
  • Clean the curler once a week: Spraying rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and wiping it on your eyelash curler so you can be sure the curler is dry before using it again. 
  • The eyelash curling pad needs replacement: The pad inside of your eyelash curler can become dirty, it can split, crack, or develop holes. This puts your eyelashes at risk for exposure to the metal. To fix this, make sure you are replacing the pad every few months or when you notice it starts to diminish. You can purchase replacement pads online. 
  • Your curlers are cheap: Quality over quantity is our mantra. It is worth it to spend more money and invest in a quality eyelash curler. If you are feeling adventurous, try a heated eyelash curler!

Few additional tips to keep your eyelashes healthy

Eye women eyebrows eyelashes

In addition to minimizing the use of waterproof mascara, avoiding the ingredients listed above and properly using an eyelash curler, keeping lashes moisturized, and carefully removing mascara makes a huge difference. 

It is discouraged to sleep with any makeup, but sleeping with your mascara can cause a wide array of issues. Eye irritation, infection, and aging just to name a few. Sleeping in mascara increases the difficulty in the removal of mascara without damaging eyelashes. Mascara clings to the eyelashes and if we are too rough, we run the risk of pulling them out if not removed correctly or gently. Choose a makeup remover that is in the form of a face wash that loosens the mascara making it easier to remove the tough stuff with less friction. 

Prevent eyelash dryness and breakage by keeping your eyelashes moisturized. Petroleum jelly has been hailed as an excellent option to moisturize and condition eyelashes. Other options are natural oils such as castor, almond, or olive oil. To apply, use a q-tip or a clean mascara brush. Just be careful to not get it in your eye! If you are looking for a way to boost your eyelashes without damaging them further by applying fake lashes, try an eyelash boosting product like Latisse. With daily use, Latisse will give you the longer, thicker, fuller lashes you have sought after. 

Latisse lash serum is the first and only brand name prescription treatment approved by the FDA to treat thin or sparse eyelashes by growing them longer, fuller, and darker. With a simple once-a-day application (it is recommended to administer Latisse at night) using one drop of Latisse per eyelid, you’ll see a visible difference in as little as 4 weeks, with full results after 16 weeks! 

You do need a prescription for Latisse, but not to worry, it is included in your order after a consultation with our doctor. The most common side effects from Latisse are itching, redness, irritation, or dry eye symptoms. It is important to note, these side effects occur in less than 4% of patients using it. If you still have questions about Latisse or if you are ready to take the dive, contact us! Someone from our team would be happy to assist you. 

Yes, mascara can be dangerous for your eyelashes. If you incorporate our notes and minimize your use of waterproof mascara, properly use an eyelash curler, and keep an eye out for harmful ingredients, you and your eyelashes will flourish and live in harmony. And if you are looking to give your lashes a boost, be sure to give Latisse a try!

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