Hypoallergenic Mascara

How to Choose a Safe Mascara 
That Will Not Irritate Your Eyes

Are all hypoallergenic mascara products safe to use for sensitive skin? Learn why some eye makeup products that claim to be gentle actually can cause skin irritation.

Unfortunately, the FDA does not require cosmetic companies to support the hypoallergenic claim, so there are products on the market that are not truly safe for people with sensitive skin and eyes.

Even mascaras marked with the term hypoallergenic often contain irritating ingredients that cause allergic reactions! Some of the newer mineral makeup brands are now developing safer mascara products such as mineral mascaras.

How to Find High Quality Mineral Mascara

  • Read the label - get into the habit of reading the label on every cosmetic you think about buying. Check for ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Test the product - check mascara by placing a small amount of it behind one ear. If your skin doesn't get red or itchy after a few hours, then the product will likely be safe for your eyes.
  • Read customer reviews - reviews from people who have actually used the product are very helpful when you're trying to decide which brand of mascara to purchase.
How to Find High Quality Mineral Mascara

Comparison of Regular Mascara vs. Hypoallergenic Mascara

When you begin reading labels or ingredients lists for cosmetics, you'll discover very quickly that the ingredients used in each of the products is quite different.

The first three ingredients listed are the ones that make up the largest percentage of the product, so pay special attention to these in addition to the remaining ingredients.

Let's take a look at the first three ingredients in standard mascaras that you may find at your local department store, such as Maybelline. The first three ingredients are, not in any particular order:

  • Carnuba wax
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Pentaerythrityl hydrogenated rosinate

Cosmetics with petroleum will likely cause an allergic reaction for someone with sensitive skin. Hydrogenated rosinate is a confirmed irritant to the eyes and skin. This mascara also contains parabens which are also known to cause skin, eye and lung irritation. Does this mascara sound like something you want to put on your eyes?

Now let's take a look at a true hypoallergenic cosmetic product like Cleure mineral mascara . The first three ingredients listed, in no particular order:

  • Beeswax
  • Water
  • Iron oxide

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by bees and a hypoallergenic ingredient in high quality cosmetics. Water of course is excellent for hydrating the skin and lashes. Iron oxide is an inorganic compound used in cosmetics, but one that is not considered hazardous to the skin. In addition to these healthy ingredients, this mascara contains Pro-Vitamin B5 and glycerin - both considered safe ingredients.

Can you see the big differences between these mascaras?

Benefits of Hypoallergenic Mascaras

  • Beautiful eyelashes without the chemicals
  • Hydrated, healthy eyelashes
  • Safe ingredients - less chance of allergic reactions ... no more red eye!
  • Good texture

Are there drawbacks to choosing mascara that has only hypoallergenic ingredients?

  • Lashes may not appear as plump and full
  • Color of mascara may not be as black or brown as desired
  • Some brands smudge under the eye after a few hours
  • Flaking or clumping can be a problem

I'm not a mascara expert, however I do use the Cleure mineral mascara and it performed as well or better than "regular" mascaras. The product was completely non-irritating to my eyes, which is a miracle for me as almost everything I try is irritating, especially to my eyes.

The product had no scent, went on my lashes smoothly with no clumping or flaking, and it remained on my lashes all day with no smudging.

Unsafe Ingredients = Allergic Reactions

Keep your eyes open for ingredients like parabens, fragrances, petroleum, and propylene glycol. If you see these, avoid the product if you have sensitive skin. See our safe cosmetics page for more information on chemicals in skin care products that can irritate sensitive skin.

Another potentially dangerous ingredient in some mascara is Thimerosal, which is essentially a mercury-based ingredient that can cause severe eye irritation for some women. Thimerisol is quite hazardous and should be avoided by anyone who is sensitive or who has health challenges.

It's no wonder that some women experience allergic reactions to mascara! Red puffy eyes, sty's, runny eyes, and even swollen eyelids are a few of the adverse reactions women have endured after using a so-called hypoallergenic cosmetic. Please, check the ingredients before purchasing!

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