Is Mascara Bad For You?

Is Mascara Bad For You?Is Mascara Bad For You?

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Short answer Long answer Side effects Ingredients Benefits Alternatives.

Grade.

Short answer.

Most mascara is not bad for you. However, some brands contain potentially toxic ingredients. And if you leave any kind of mascara on for too long or use it past its expiration date, it can do serious harm to your lashes and eyes.

Grade.

Letter Grade for Mascara.

A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.

Category ‘A’

A+

Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Side effects are rare. Things rated an ‘A+’ are typically necessary for survival (for example, water).

A.

Very healthy and numerous health benefits. A few harmful qualities may be associated, but only under certain circumstances such as an allergic reaction.

A-

Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Harmful qualities may be associated, but aren’t usually serious.

It is important to note that even the best things in life can become bad in immoderate amounts. So, although something may be rated an ‘A+’, overconsumption/overdoing can bring unwanted effects.

Category ‘B’

B+

Very beneficial to your health. Things rated a ‘B+’ may have a few harmful qualities to pay attention to.

B.

Overall beneficial to your health. Things rated a ‘B’ may have some harmful qualities to pay attention to.

B-

More beneficial to your health than not. However, harmful qualities are most likely associated and shouldn’t be overlooked.

The main difference between category ‘A’ and category ‘B’ is the harmful qualities typically present in ‘B’ items. Serious side effects are usually uncommon, but are still possible and should be taken note of.

Category ‘C’

C+

Both beneficial and harmful qualities associated. Things rated a ‘C+’ are typically a bit more on the beneficial side. Still, moderation is important.

C.

A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.

C-

More harmful than beneficial. Side effects are common, especially when consumed/done excessively. Moderation is very important.

Category ‘C’ usually denotes to both good and bad qualities. When it comes to this category, it is important to keep this word in mind: moderation.

Category ‘D’

D+

Harmful to your health. Although benefits may be associated, the bad most likely outweighs the good. Moderation is very important.

D.

Harmful to your health. A few benefits may be associated, but the bad outweighs the good. Moderation is extremely important.

D-

Harmful to your health. Very few, if any, benefits are present. Things in this category should be avoided as much as possible.

Category ‘D’ is typically for things that are more harmful than beneficial. While consuming/doing something unhealthy once in a blue moon shouldn’t hurt, we definitely recommend eliminating ‘D’ items as a regular part of your routine/diet.

Category ‘F’

F.

Category ‘F’ is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of ‘F’ items are usually very serious.

Category ‘N’

N.

‘N’ stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are generally (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.

Long answer.

For centuries, mascara has been used to thicken, lengthen and darken lashes and enhance the eyes. The beauty staple dates back to ancient Egypt; records from around 4000 B.C. indicate that both men and women used a thick, black kohl to mask their eyes and prevent evil spirits from entering their soul.

So, since mascara has been around for centuries—it can’t be that bad for you, right?

Not necessarily. Though mascara is used commonly (it’s an everyday product for many women), it can be potentially dangerous in a few different ways.

For one, not all mascara is the same. Different kinds are specially formulated to achieve specific results: curl, lengthen, lift, color, etc. For this reason, they contain different ingredients—not all of them are safe.

Like several other cosmetics and toiletries, some mascara contains parabens, which are preservatives that help prolong the product’s shelf life. For mascara, in particular, parabens are used to prevent bacteria growth within the tube. Although these preservatives have good intentions, the Breast Cancer Fund reports that parabens have been linked to a disruption of estrogen production in the body. Researchers aren’t exactly sure what this means quite yet. but parabens have been found in human breast tumors, so it’s likely that a correlation exists.

Mascara can also contain other harmful ingredients like aluminum powder (a neurotoxin) and propylene glycol (a known skin irritant). Fortunately, it’s easy enough to find toxin-free mascara. Read product labels and find out how your products stack up online: the Environmental Working Group (EWG) runs a “Skin Deep” website which ranks beauty products from most to least harmful. You can search the site or download the app to scan product barcodes while shopping in stores.

But even if you’re using a “safe” mascara, it doesn’t mean you can leave it on for days at a time. It’s important to properly remove mascara every night before going to bed. If you don’t, the product may mattify and dry out your lashes, which can cause them to break and fall out.

Finally, mascara should be thrown away after three months—even if there is still product remaining in the tube. Because of its packaging and close proximity to the eyes, mascara has the shortest shelf life of all cosmetics. Every time you apply mascara and then place the wand back in the tube, it increases the odds of bacteria growth. That’s why using mascara for longer than three months can easily lead to serious eye irritation, conjunctivitis, and even staph infections.