Allergies to Mascara: Reasons and How to Prevent


An allergic reaction to mascara is a common problem. Many people paint their eyes every day. Preservatives, fragrances, and chemicals that are in almost every product accumulate in the body. As a result, it rejects them. Your eyelids become red, swollen, itchy, flaky, and sometimes your eyelashes fall out.

How to avoid this and what to do if the process has already begun?

What products are best avoided in the formulation

  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) is a preservative that may cause contact dermatitis;
  • Triethanolamine (TEA) – found even in luxury products, this substance can cause lacrimation, redness and burning when in contact with mucosa;
  • Cetyl alcohol (Alcohol), a thickening agent that can also cause irritation;
  • Acacia Senegal Gum (Acacia senegal) – Senegalese acacia resin, a natural component, often included in biotusha, but some people are hypersensitive to it;
  • Phenoxyethanol – a universal preservative of synthetic origin, banned in cosmetics with an organic certificate. It can cause skin irritation and allergic dermatitis;
  • Propyleneglycol, 1,2-propanediol – used in many products, including shampoos, conditioners, creams, powders, wet wipes, toothpaste, can also cause a severe reaction and dry skin and lashes;
  • Parabens are preservatives that are often rejected by the immune system.

How can I prevent mascara allergies?

  • Change your mascara every four to six months,
  • Check its expiration date,
  • Store it properly: not on the dressing table, where the sunlight hits, not on the windowsill, where it’s too hot because of the radiator, but in a dry, cool and dark place,
  • Try not to buy the same one all the time, so that the harmful substances in its composition do not accumulate in the body,
  • Avoid products with a strong chemical odor,
  • Bring your mascara to makeup artists and don’t let girlfriends or female relatives use it,
  • Read the fine print on the label in the store – not the most convenient thing to do, so it’s better to study the composition in advance on the website of the brand,
  • Aqua-resistant mascara and green mascara are considered the most highly allergenic, and dermatologists suggest that it is better to use them in extreme cases.

If allergies have already started

Give up mascara for a while and try to eliminate highly allergenic products in all cosmetics. Perhaps the same preservative is present in your micellar water, foundation, lipstick, nail polish. If you don’t give your body a break, the reaction can go to all beauty products.

Use antihistamine pills and ointments to relieve swelling and irritation.

Get skin scarification tests from an allergist to see exactly what substance you’re having a reaction to. You may also be asked to take a test to determine your immunoglobulin levels – antibodies that protect your body from bacteria and allergens.

Hypoallergenic mascara – not a panacea

Before you find out what you’re allergic to, it’s better not to use any products at all, even natural ones with eco-compounds. It is possible that your reaction is just to vegetable ingredients or beeswax. But if it is still the products of oil refining, it is worth switching to mascara with a natural composition. The only disadvantage is that often it is worse for your eyelashes, and you have to renew your makeup every 5-6 hours.