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Is your mascara hazardous?

Hey beautiful,

In case you didn't know, there are many dangerous chemicals lurking in mascara and other makeup products you might be using.  Although mascara is not a recent invention, (it's history dates back to when the Ancient Egypt’s used it as a cosmetic.)

Cosmetics and beauty formed an essential part of the daily lives of the Ancient Egyptians, who considered beauty as a symbol of spirituality. Hence, they used Kohl for their eyes and lashes. This simultaneously protects against long hours of exposure to the sun and dust. To make it long lasting and durable, they also used to add honey and crocodile stool to it. 

Nowadays there are many toxic ingredients you should watch out for including:

  • Carbon black

Carbon black is a powder found in eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow and eyebrow shadow and has been linked to cancer and organ system toxicity.Forgetting to wash off your makeup before going to bed can be hazardous to eyes, too. Mascara can cause 2-3 of your lashes to fall out. Mascara also stiffens your eyelashes, makes them dry, and can cause eye injuries as well.


hazardous makeup

  • BAK 

Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) is a preservative found in eyeliner, mascara and makeup remover.  BAK is well documented to be toxic to the epithelial cells of the eyes. These cells keep dust, water and bacteria out of the eye and provide a smooth surface on the cornea to absorb and distribute oxygen and cell nutrients from tears to the rest of the cornea. Many women are unaware (especially vegans and vegetarians) that mascara often contains a substance called Guanine, derived from fish scales (also found in your lipstick and nail paints). It is an essential ingredient used to add lasting shimmer and shining texture to the mascara.

BAK can be listed under various names including benzalkonium chloride, quaternium-15 or guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride.

  • Prime yellow carnauba wax

Used in mascara and eyeliners to stiffen the product and make them waterproof, prime yellow carnauba wax clogs the oil glands in the eyes and can lead to dry eye disease, which affects 3.2 million women age 50 and older, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Using products that contain waxes isn’t a good idea, although Japan wax might be a safer alternative.


  • Avoid waterproof.

  • Don’t use mascara and eyeliners labeled “waterproof” since they can lead to dry eye disease. If you’re using them because your eyes water a lot, it’s better to see your doctor first to figure out the cause.


    • Always read labels carefully.

    When purchasing makeup, choose brands with the fewest ingredients possible. Just because a product is labeled “hypoallergenic” or “natural,” doesn’t mean it’s safe.

    “There’s no legal definition of the word "natural".

     Avoid all mascara and makeup products that contain fragrance.

    What ingredient are you most worried about in your cosmetics? What do you want to read about on the blog next? Drop a comment!

    As always stay beautiful,

    Cassandra McClure

    Photos De Joy Photography, Makeup Cassandra McClure some text information sourced from:


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