Does mascara damage your eyelashes?

Mascara is used as a prime product in make-up procedures. It is used to make the eyelashes look thicker or thinner, longer, voluminous, or darker. This gives a protruding and beautiful look to the eyes. Mascara also enhances the natural shape of the eyes by altering the appearance of lower and upper eyelashes.

The question which gets asked often is-

Does mascara damage your eyelashes?

No, mascara doesn’t damage the eyelashes provided it is free of harmful chemicals and applied in the correct manner.

How to choose mascara that is safe to your eyelashes?

Mascara is a basic component of every make-up, be it formal, casual, or party-look. Our skin, especially the eyes, are delicate organs exposed directly to the environment. They thus need extra protection and care.

We all know that make-up products are rarely natural and contain chemicals to give a perfect texture and look along with longevity and shine. Chemicals are harmful but one can always make a choice between the good and bad ones.

It thus becomes important to notice the ingredient list given at the back of your mascara. If the ingredient list is incomplete, try finding out reviews for the same on different websites.

Harmful ingredients to be ignored while choosing a mascara

If your mascara contains any of the following chemicals as one of its ingredients, do not buy it. Petroleum is generally a constituent of such chemicals.

The chemicals cause itching of skin, redness of skin, swelling in the eye region, allergic reactions, eczema etc.

These chemicals do enhance the look of your eyelashes by giving them volume and extra elegance, but at the same time lead to the thinning of eyelash density and weakening of hair follicles on the eyelids.

  1. Propylene Glycol- This has petroleum as its main chemical in the ingredient list. When added to the mascara, it gives shine and volume but slows down the growth of your natural eyelashes.
  2. Retinyl Acetate- It is also called Vitamin A Acetate, more commonly mentioned in the ingredient list. This chemical is often linked with alteration of genes in the region of the eye, being a precursor to cancer or reproductive toxicity.
  3. Aluminum Powder- The colored mascaras often contain this chemical. It adds vibrance to the color but results in Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Parabens- Parabens are often considered to prevent bacterial growth in the region of their application but it is a tumor-promoting chemical. They are often related to causing breast cancer.
  5. Coal Tar Dye- As it is a mixture of several chemicals obtained from petroleum, the mascaras with this ingredient should be strictly avoided. They are used to give a darker color but are highly cancerous and toxic to the brain.
  6. Formaldehydes- Methanamine, diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, DMDM, etc are highly irritating to the skin which can cause dermatitis. These should be thus avoided.
  7. BHT/BHA- These are chemical antioxidants used to enhance the longevity of mascara to give it a 12-14 hours look. They affect the endocrine controls of the body.
  8. Wax and silicone- Waterproof mascaras have this as an ingredient. These are added to make the mascara resistant to heat, sweat, tears, or water. The eyelashes lose moisture and eventually dry out due to these suberised ingredients which also restrict proper aeration.

How to safely use a mascara on your eyelashes?

Organic ingredient-based mascara

Do not go for an expensive one, go for an organic one.

Choose an organic mascara. It is obvious that purely organic mascaras are very rare but you can switch to the one in which organic ingredients dominate the chemicals present in the list. A mascara that is hypoallergenic prevents any allergies that might occur in the occipital area.

These do not soak moisture from the eyelashes and maintain proper aeration and hydration under the mascara. Therefore, it doesn’t alter their growth.

Avoid multiple lashings

Many people think that applying multiple layers of mascara would enhance their look. But, health comes first. Using too much mascara at a time leads to their straining.

Also, it becomes difficult to remove. They need to be cleaned thoroughly with rough motions and sometimes chemicals for removal are also required. This further weakens the lashes.

Regular changing of mascara

Mascara should be changed every 3-5 months even if it doesn’t expire. Opened make-up products are exposed to air which leads to oxidation of some of its ingredients which may cause harmful reactions. Mascara shouldn’t be used longer than this to respect the sensitive nature of the eyes.

Avoid regular use

Prolonged use of anything can be harmful. Avoid using mascara daily for long hours. Use it as and when required as it is for all make-up products. Remove it in a gentle manner after the purpose e.g. meeting or party is over.

Stay out of the reach of the eye

Avoid the use of devices such as an eyelash curler after applying mascara. Do not apply the mascara in a rush. It commonly causes a jerk of the brush into the cornea of the eye. The cornea may get ruptured by the brush or the chemicals present in the mascara.

The harmfulness of the mascara depends on how you use it. Careful and alternate use doesn’t make the eyelashes thin or weak. Go as per the list of ingredients to choose which mascara to use. Also, following natural methods such as less coating and occasional use can protect your eyelashes while using mascara.

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