I’ve always had minor allergies associated with mascara, and have tended to blame the problems on inefficient eye makeup remover, but once you look at the mascara ingredients it makes more sense to blame the mascara. There are some decent choices of organic mascara out there now; the only problem is that none of them can be kept for longer than six months
Invented in the 19th century, mascara was originally a mixture of coal dust and vaseline. Today’s waterproof mascaras have a composition based on a volatile solvent (isododecane), animal-derived waxes, mineral origin wax (ozokerite, paraffin), pigments (iron oxide, ultramarine) and filmifying polymers. They are basically similar in composition to oil-based or solvent-based paints.
Organic mascara is made from hydrolates – by-products of the process of making essential oils – such as camomille or linden; vegetable oils such as jojoba, sesame and macadamia and beeswax. To increase the viscosity of the product, some manufacturers add xanthan gum. To nourish and protect lashes, some add extracts of thyme, rose and lavender. Grapefruit seed extracts are used for conservation
Here’s the pick of the pack:
Dr Hauschka, certified BDIH (German certification).
Phyt’s, certified Ecocert and Cosmebio. Only keeps for 3 months.