8 Hypoallergenic Mascaras That Won; t Irritate Sensitive Eyes, According to Doctors

8 Hypoallergenic Mascaras That Won; t Irritate Sensitive Eyes, According to Doctors8 Hypoallergenic Mascaras That Won’t Irritate Sensitive Eyes, According to Doctors.

These gentle mascaras will give you longer, thicker lashes without any redness, stinging, or itching.

Whether you’re doing a full face of makeup or going minimal, there’s one product that you probably don’t let out of your clutches: a good mascara. Problem is, if you have sensitive eyes, the beauty of full eyelashes may be marred by red eyes and inflamed eyelids. We’re going to break it to you gently: Your mascara may be the problem.

“People who are prone to dry eyes, including contact lens wearers, are more likely to be sensitive to mascara,” says Arian Fartash (@glamoptometrist), O.D., an optometrist in Orange County, California.

What’s more, it may also be what’s formulated in the mascara that’s proving to be a nuisance. “In order to prevent the growth of microbes, any cosmetic product that contains water—like mascara—needs to contain preservatives. Some people are sensitive to preservatives, which can lead to redness or irritation near the eyes,” says Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology, in Austin, Texas.

Signs that you’re sensitive will show up in and around the skin of eyes. For instance, you have dry, flaky eyelids or eyes that are watery and red, says Dr. Fartash. If that’s you, stop wearing eye makeup (yes, mascara, too) until the symptoms disappear. Consider consulting your doctor who can tell you if you have an infection that needs to be treated.

And finally: Can’t remember the last time you bought mascara? That may be your problem right there, as bacteria builds up in the bottle, which can lead to styes and other eye infections. “Chuck your mascara every three months,” says Dr. Fartash. She writes the date she bought hers on the bottle with black marker. Consider it a healthy excuse to treat yourself to a new one.

How to choose the best mascara for sensitive eyes.

Experiment with cake mascara: A formula that populated old Hollywood glam has reemerged—and is a surprising pick for sensitive eyes. “Cake mascara is a powder that you moisten and apply with a brush,” explains Dr. Geddes-Bruce. The powder may be more hygienic (since you don’t have germs multiplying in the dark tube) and you can regularly clean the wand. (Unfortunately, the most popular picks are nearly always sold out!)

Scan the label: Even though it is not regulated, look for the word hypoallergenic. “It might be your best bet to finding a product with the least amount of added allergens,” says Dr. Geddes-Bruce. You may also see label lingo like “natural,” but that term doesn’t mean much, and it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for sensitive skin, as it can still contain irritating botanicals, she says.

Go simple: Fiber mascaras are super popular, as they contain materials that tack on extra length to lashes, giving you that “falsie” look. However, “these fibers can fall into your eye and cause even more irritation” says Dr. Fartash. It is best to avoid these and opt for traditional volumizing or lengthening ones. In the same spirit of going back to the basics, avoid colored mascaras, as well as those that are waterproof.

Not sure where to start? Check out these eight hypoallergenic mascaras if you’re in need of something more gentle.