Even on days where you aren’t planning on wearing make-up, “I’ll just put a bit of mascara on” is everyone’s golden compromise. It enhances up your face, makes your eyes look bigger and brighter, and doesn’t even require hours of beauty tutorials to get right. So, the question of whether it is damaging for your eyelashes is a concerning one.
In and of itself, mascara doesn’t damage your eyelashes. Indeed, mascara can spawn bacterial infections, and once dried it creates a tugging effect which causes the lashes to fall out, but this is not a direct effect of mascara, it’s a result of people misunderstanding the product they’re using.
Thankfully, the major things you need to remember when it comes to correctly applying mascara are very manageable – here is what you can do to ensure mascara does not damage your eyelashes.
Mascara is not, contrary to popular practice, a product that can live at the bottom of a purse for years, surfacing whenever a make-up spruce is required. Mascara expires after 3-5 months, and even if it doesn’t seem necessary, this time-frame should be respected. Expired mascara will lead to infection, as well as dry out the lashes. Granted, when the scope of expiration is a period of 2 months, it can be difficult to tell when it’s time to throw yours away. As a rule of thumb, base it on the smell. Expired mascara smells like stale oil, and is often described as gasoline-like.
Importantly, the mascara wand is a bit of a bacterial hotspot if not cleaned semi-regularly – not to mention, cleaning it can mean your mascara stays the perfect consistency, rather than becoming lumpy or congealed. It’s not tricky, as the following video shows:
Sharing Isn’t Caring
Make-up can be such a wonderful, unifying hobby and practice – especially when you and your friends are crowded in a bathroom stall doing it together. Unfortunately, keeping your mascara to yourself is an important part of avoiding damage to your eyelashes. Without getting too clinical about it, a shared mascara wand is the quickest way to spread infection from one eye to another.
Remove Your Mascara
Everyone has done it by accident, and that’s to go to bed without taking off your mascara. The process goes: you wake up with your lids practically glued together, you rub your eyes and yelp at the sight of clumps of lashes coming out, and then you spend the next two years trying to remove the stains from your linen. The simplest way to ensure mascara is damage-free, and arguably the most forgotten approach, is to remove the mascara before you go to bed. Not only does it dry them out (which is the key factor in why they then fall out), but it can also scratch your eyeballs while you sleep.
Quality Over Quantity
It’s tempting to buy cheap make-up. Sometimes, luxury brands are so extortionate that you’re driven to products of lower quality. However, it’s important to remember that when it comes to make-up, quality is critical. You should also note how many affordable but industry-approved brands there are out there as alternatives to the “big names”. So, though the overall answer is “no, mascara is not damaging, but how you use the mascara is”, low-quality products which haven’t gone through the correct testing protocol can actually be damaging in their own right and they may contain chemicals which are bad for both your lashes and your eyes. If they are FDA-approved, it’s smooth sailing for you. Check which testing board is in operation in your country to be sure.
Mascara is not the enemy
Mascara, when of industry-approved quality, used and removed properly, will not damage your eyelashes. However, if you regularly forget to remove it, ignore expiry dates and pass the unwashed brush around your friend circle, you could end up damaging your eyelashes.