Makeup Spotlight: Mascara

Mascara is one of those makeup staples I swear by.  Prior to doing some research, I never bought anything but drugstore mascara.  My go to brands were typically Maybelline, L'Oreal, and Cover Girl, I figured these did the job, so why fork over the extra $$?  But once I did a little digging and searching these brands on EWG Skindeep Database, and educated myself on what ingredients are typically in mascara...I've made some changes. 

According to WebMD, "Mascara's ingredients typically include a carbon black or iron oxide pigment to darken lashes; a polymer to form a film that coats lashes; a preservative; and thickening waxes and oils such as lanolin, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, castor oil, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax."  Doesn't sound so bad right?  Well, consider that petroleum jelly comes from the residue buildup on the outside of oil rigs.  And mineral oil is just a colorless, odorless by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline.  Oh yeah, and 'preservative' is typically a synonym for 'paraben,' a word you might recognize these days, an agent that prevents bacteria from growing. 

The scary thing is, the WebMD quote leaves out a lot of ingredients that you'll find in many mascara brands, which can include coal tar dyes, synthetic dyes, aluminum powder, formaldehyde, retinol acetate, and more.  And these are ingredients that yes, make you look good, but you're putting this ON. YOUR. EYES!  

Of course, brands are slowly wising up, but at present there are no legal ramifications for companies that include harmful ingredients in their products.  Translation: these mascaras are still on the market, so proceed with caution.   There are clean brands that make effective mascara without all the unnecessary junk.  Of course, my go to is Beautycounter's volumizing mascara, but that is by no means the only clean mascara out there, here are some others to consider.  I like Beautycounter's formula because it defines your eyes, is consistently clump free and stays put throughout the day. Here's a link to its EWG report so you can compare it against the other brands I posted above.

Bottom line...safer beauty doesn't come cheap.  But you've only got one pair of eyes, and one body. Be safe. Go clean. 

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