With a one year old and a job in an outdoor industry, sometimes all I have time for is mascara. I’ve always thought my eyes were a go to feature, and if there isn’t time to do anything else, a swipe of mascara at least feels like some effort went into not looking like a slob. Shamefully, I didn’t always bother to remove it at the end of the day. It’s just a little and only on my eyelashes after all…wrong. I’ve reformed my ways. Raccoon eyes come naturally, I don’t need to scare the baby in the morning. Oh, and it’s not good for you…I also used to have eye makeup from college. Suffice it to say, it was way past its 6 month expiration.

Then Beautycounter launched a mascara to much fanfare. Turns out, it was one of the most requested product and they had finally found a formulation that met their strict standards and performed well. It got me thinking- what about the products I was using? What’s the big deal? I was in for quite a surprise.

Turns out, the product that most of us don’t give a second thought to, that we put almost in our eyes, can be, and probably is, riddled with ingredients that you absolutely don’t want near your eyes. Medical Daily spells out four- Parabens (known to mimic or disrupt estrogen), aluminium powder (a neurotoxin), propylene glycol (also used to de-ice airplanes) and retinyl acetate (which can mutate your genes). Allwomenstalk.com adds fragrance (which is a trade secret and could be anything), BHA and BHT (petroleum derived preservatives known to be carcinogens and disrupt hormones) and formaldehyde (yes, that formalehyde).

Beautycounter lists every ingredient. Nothing hidden behind “fragrance” and every ingredient tested for safety. Here’s the list, taken right from their website:

Isododecane, Water,Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Eicosene Copolymer,Microcrystalline Wax, Disteardimonium Hectorite,Beeswax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ceresin, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate,Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil*, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil*,Lecithin, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract,Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Gluconate, Iron Oxides (CI 77499). (I took out the Spanish and French translations)


Their website also goes into great detail on how they decide what goes in to the products. Not just mascara, everything.

Here are the ingredients in Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara (emphasis mine):

Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Ammonium Acrylates Copolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite,Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Triethanolamine,Acrylates Copolymer, Synthetic Wax, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Propylene Carbonate,Polyethylene, Oleic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Benzyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol,Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Sodium Laureth Sulfate,Trisodium EDTA, Simethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Iron Oxides. May Contain:Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines.

So what should you do? Buy quality over quantity. Switch to safer products. Join companies like Beautycounter that are working on a legislative level to improve cosmetic safety. Become an educated consumer. Share what you learn (but not your products!) with your friends and family. Keep doing what makes you feel beautiful, but in a way that’s healthy and sustainable.

If I can answer any questions, or help you #switchtosafer please let me know. Shoot me an email or leave me a comment on this post.