If I had to choose only one makeup item to use for the rest of my life, it would be mascara! You can have a face full of makeup, but it won’t look good unless you finish it off with some mascara. On the other hand, you can have a completely bare face, but just put mascara on and it immediately gives you a fresh, bright eyed look. Unfortunately, most mascaras are full of harmful chemicals. Now I know why my eyes have been burning after applying mascara! The worst offenders were the drug store brands, and everyone’s favorite, Maybelline, in particular. Toxic ingredients used in most mascaras include:
- Parabens are used as a preservative in makeup and can cause some serious health issues including reproductive health problems and breast cancer.
- Aluminum powder is finely ground particles of aluminum used as a colorant. It has a high risk of causing neurotoxicity. FDA only bans it in lip products. I don’t know about you, but I do not want ground aluminum seeping into my eyeballs!
- Retinyl Acetate is a form of vitamin A and can cause biochemical or cellular level changes, cancer, and organ toxicity. It is banned in a lot of countries, including Canada.
- Coal Tar Dyes are derived from petroleum and are known carcinogens and toxic to the brain.
- Propylene glycol can cause irritation and skin allergies.
Sounds disgusting, right? Lucky for you, Honey and Dates researched and tested many natural mascaras. These mascaras are also eco-friendly and not on the BDS list, so you can feel good about using them! Here are our favorites:
- Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara – made with 70% organic ingredients. Has good volume and length. One of the more affordable mascaras and can be found in drug stores. Free of parabens, coal tar, aluminum powder and propylene glycol. Where to buy: Amazon.com, Ulta, major drugstores.
- Ecco Bella Flower Color Natural Mascara – A pure formulation that lengthens lashes to the max, without flaking or smudging! Paraben free and fragrance free. Bonus: has a mirror on the side! Where to buy: eccobella.com, amazon.com
- Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes – one of my favorite mascaras! Gives the lashes a nice curl with a lot of volume. Comes in a waterproof version as well. It is also supposed to condition and help lashes grow. Paraben, sulfate, and synthetic free. Where to buy: Sephora, Ulta, tartecosmetics.com
- Ilia Mascara – This natural formula, lengthens, strengthens, and conditions your lashes. It does not smudge and separates the lashes extremely well. One plus about this mascara is that it has a very tight opening, reducing the amount of product and potential clumping issues. Where to buy: iliabeauty.com
- Juice Beauty Lash Defining Mascara – This is an excellent natural mascara choice because it contains conditioning organic cocoa and avocado butter and vitamin E. It goes on smoothly and lengthens the lashes in one swoop. Apply additional coats for a more dramatic finish. Made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Where to buy: Ulta, juicebeauty.com
- Apply mascara after applying other makeup, especially eyeshadow or loose powder.
- Start from the root and work your way up while moving brush gently side to side. This gives excellent volume and length.
- Use a lash comb to separate lashes and prevent any clumping.
- Toss away your mascara every three months. Bacteria grows inside the mascara tube and it may cause eye irritation and disease. If you keep mascara in hot places, like the car, then throw out sooner.
- Use organic coconut oil to remove mascara gently and easily.
- Apply expeller-pressed castor oil on lashes every night before sleeping. This helps condition and thicken lashes.
- Even using a less toxic mascara everyday is not good for the lashes. Do your eyes a favor and give them a break every now and then. Instead, apply some coconut or castor oil on them using a clean mascara brush!