Help! Looking for a Hypoallergenic Eye Makeup

by Marcie
(Tucson, Arizona)


I have never had any problems with makeup in my 40 years, but last winter I started having allergic reactions to all eye makeup.

My eyes don't itch, but they become very swollen and seep a real icky stuff that has actually glued my eyes shut over night.

Therefore I am on the hunt for hypoallergenic eye makeup. The only way I am gonna figure this out is to try what I can before ordering/purchasing a full line.

Can you imagine the cost if I had to try everything AFTER purchasing?

I would appreciate any advice, input, and implore any product I may try.

Gratefully yours,

Our reply

Hi Marcie, thanks for your message! My goodness, I do SO empathize and understand your concerns. I have the same problems myself, and for this reason I've had to learn to shop very, very carefully.

First, most commercial eye makeups contain all kinds of irritating ingredients, any one of which could irritate your eyes. I will explain this a little so that our other readers understand why they may be waking up in the morning with itching, burning, swollen eyes that are glued shut! :(

For example, I looked at the ingredient list from one popular brand of mascara that millions of women buy every day. I've highlighted the most irritating ingredients.

Main ingredient:

Petroleum Distillates - it's hard to believe that this ingredient is still allowed in makeup. Petroleum distillates have already been restricted or banned in the European union because of concerns that it is possibly cancer causing.

Petroleum distillates are also suspected as being harmful to the environment because they builds up in the Earth and in our bodies. Think of it, do you really want to put petroleum on your eyes? It is sad that cosmetics manufacturers are still allowed to use this ingredient.

Other potential irritants in commercial mascaras:

Aluminum Stearate - this is suspected to be toxic to our nervous systems and possible other areas of our bodies.

Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben - These are less severely toxic than petroleum, and are present in smaller quantities, but can be irritating to those who are prone to skin rashes. See my page on parabens in skincare products and why these can irritate your sensitive skin.

Then there are other ingredients in mascara can be less irritating such as Polyethylene, but I don't like the idea of putting plastic on my eyes, unless I really have to!

Our free Safe Cosmetics Guide has more information on how you can avoid some of the potential irritants that are currently allowed in skincare products.

How to Find Eye Makeup for Sensitive Skin

Unfortunately, even products that claim to be hypoallergenic can contain ingredients that produce skin rashes and breakouts.

Many of us with sensitive skin have our own unique sensitivities, and so any one ingredient may trigger a rash. It is a real challenge to figure out exactly what may work for you, without breaking the bank and having to try and send back dozens of products!

There are a few ways to minimize the time involved in finding
something that will work for you.

  • Choose products with shorter ingredients lists - this will minimize the potential for irritation.

  • Choose botanical free or salicylate free hypoallergenic products, as these contain the minimal amount of plant allergens which could set off a skin rash.

  • Avoid products with added fragrances, parabens, petroleum products, and other chemical irritants

Now, the bad news is, that I have only found one brand of hypoallergenic products that meets all three of these criteria. I'm amazed that more companies have not taken the opportunity to create safer products! Unfortunately you won't find them at the store where you can go try a tester, unless you would like to visit them!

The good news is that the Cleure hypoallergenic eye makeup is very good quality, at affordable prices, and it is unlikely that they will cause any kind of irritation for your eyes. (Still, I always recommend to you test anything first on the inside of your elbow to be sure!)

Although they do have some sample sizes available of their other products, they don't yet have samples for their eye makeup. Yes, I know so well how inconvenient it is to have to order something and then try it out, and to possible have to return it, and pay for postage, etc.

The one thing I am certain of however is that the ***z-cleure-cleure-makeup.shtml*** is some of the least irritating that you will find, which makes it much less likely that you will have to return it.

Shopping for Eye Makeup for Sensitive Skin

Depending on where you live, it may be possible for you to find some nice brands of more natural eye makeups locally. These may not be hypoallergenic, and will likely have some botanical ingredients, but it is possible that these could work for you.

One of the challenges that manufacturers of more natural products run into is that good ingredients are more expensive, and they also don't last as long. Some of the safer brands of mineral mascara for example can clump or run, or dry out your lashes so that they break.

The reason why I like the ***z-cleure-cleure-mineral-mascara.shtml*** is that it works like a 'regular' brand mascara, but without the toxic chemicals and irritation. It colors my lashes nicely and doesn't run, and is easy to remove.

If you'd like to be able to try some samples of hypoallergenic eye makeup before you buy, there are three choices.

  • Some natural food stores carry non-toxic eye makeup and the larger ones may have testers available so you can try them.

  • Some salons and spas may carry more natural brands of eye makeup that you try out. Just yesterday I saw a tester for some natural cosmetics which was right at the counter at the hair salon.

  • Some skincare brands are sold through direct marketing and these sales consultants will usually have samples available for you to try. I don't know of any hypoallergenic eye makeup that is sold through direct marketing, but it is possible if you ask around that you may find something!

I hope these suggestions can be helpful for you!

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