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Heavy metals in mascara-- Keep them lashes safe!

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

By: Camila Smith, LCSW

Love makeup? I do! But what about the toxins in makeup??

The ugly side to makeup is rarely discussed and is masked by companies who are motivated by sales and not the wellbeing of women. Research suggests that a majority of makeup consumers are unaware of the dangers of makeup, with only 18.9% reporting receiving advice from a healthcare provider! There are over 13,000 chemicals used in cosmetics, with only about 10 percent have been evaluated by the FDA!

Women utilize an average of 12 products a day, with an average exposure of 168 chemicals!! Research reports that one in eight chemicals used in personal care items are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.

The desired effects of mascara include volume, length, and tinting of eyelashes. Chemicals found in mascara include aluminum powder, propylene glycol, retinyl acetate, and parabens. A study explored the use of mascara and loss of eyelashes and found a positive association, with a higher incidence for waterproof mascara. They also found that using water instead of oil or makeup remover was associated with a higher rate of fall, because of the tendency to rub the lashes to remove the mascara.

Regarding tinting, there are currently no FDA approved color additives used in eyelash/eyebrow tints. Coal tar dyes are commonly utilized, which is a human carcinogen. Color dyes may also include toxic heavy metals and aluminum substrate.

And we didn't even cover animal testing and cruelty! Let's save that for another time.

But there is GOOD NEWS!! Not all makeup is made the same. After learning about the dangers in mascara, I did my research and have been transitioning to clean makeup! I've been using NaturLash Mineral Mascara. It's vegan, cruelty free, hypoallergenic, natural-- and it doesn't run!! Check them out in link below-- and PLEASE consider clean makeup.


Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (n.d.). Eye Cosmetic Safety. Retrieved from

Kadri, R., Achar, A., Tantry, T. P., Parameshwar, D., Kudva, A., & Hegde, S. (2013). Mascara induced milphosis, an etiological evaluation. Retrieved from

Non-Toxic Waterproof Mascara To Give Your Eyes A Healthy Beautiful Look. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The average woman puts 168 chemicals on her body every day! This is what can happen to your cancer risk. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Dirty Dozen: Coal Tar Dyes. (n.d.). Retrieved from


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