Upgrade Your Toxic Mascara: Why We Choose Non-toxic

If you could only use one make-up product for the rest of your life, what would it be? Many women would respond with a resounding, “Mascara!” It’s a product that can instantly wake up your face, making you look younger and ready for the day all at the same time. The average woman spends $3,770 on mascara in her lifetime. That’s a lot of mascara! Do you have toxic mascara? Most are laden with chemicals you don’t want in your body or on your eyes. Are you shopping for toxin-free or cleaner mascara?

There’s only a short window of time before those little microbes start to grow in your mascara and you have to replace your tube. It should be replaced every 3 months, so you are likely shopping for it a lot. Even with all that mascara shopping you might not shop around. Your mascara devotion might keep you from upgrading that toxic mascara even if you are reducing other toxins in your bathroom cabinet and your home.

We have all been burned by flaky mascara, chunky mascara, or mascara that leaves raccoon circles under the eyes. Nobody looks more awake with black circles under their eyes, they look more like a crazed woman who hasn’t slept in 5 days. That might be me, but I don’t want to look like it! Mascara caution might keep the crunchiest of us from swapping out a toxic mascara.

Make the Swap From Toxic Mascara

With mascara being applied right next to our eyes, it’s one of the products you should want to upgrade first for a cleaner option. Your eyes are a sensitive organ and a place that allows easy access for toxins.   There is no regulation on what’s in our cosmetics so it’s up to the consumer to do their work in finding a product that won’t harm their health. Even if it says natural that can mean diddly squat- anyone can say that. There is no regulation on what is considered “natural,” and there are lots of natural things we don’t want on our bodies.

Watch out for parabens, phthalates, fragrance and vitamin A. Vitamin A? That sounds harmless! Vitamin A, also known as retinal acetate, has been ranked as a high concern chemical by the Environmental Working Group because it can cause cellular mutations. I’ll pass on the mascara with a side of cellular mutations. Thanks! But how do you get to the bottom of all the chemicals and fast changing formulations?

Do Your Research

There are some places you can go to start your research. The Environmental Working Group has a database Skin Deep that is easy to use as an online guide and app that rates thousands of cosmetic products on safety and transparency of ingredients. Around here we also love the Think Dirty App. So easy to use and also grades products for safety while letting you know any chemicals of concern.

These tools aren’t perfect because there are always new products that aren’t listed but they let you send suggested products in. They also rely on the companies to report on what is in the product and the companies may see this as a reason to leave some ingredients off the label. EWG does do testing of their own, but they are not always able to keep up with the new products and formulations. Both the Skin Deep and Think Dirty apps give you a place to get started to make your own choices with the information.

To help you get started in your research, we asked Pathway To Wellness Team what was in their make-up bags. We’ve even included links to help you find more info!

What Pathway To Wellness Team Does

Heather Bladel, Office Manager, Pathway To Wellness Rockford, Rockford IL– I love Jane Iredale’s PureLash Mineral Mascara. The entire make-up line is great! My daughter, who is a licensed esthetician, uses this brand on her clients! She loves that she can provide a natural, vegan alternative to them. It is even one of the safest brands available for cancer patients!

Brianna Simoens, Operations Manager, Wellness Way Enterprises, Green Bay, WI I’m always looking for clean products for my family and I’ll set a good example with my make-up bag too. I’ve used products from Au Naturale, BeautyCounter, Mineral Fusion. For mascara, I currently use Honest Beauty because it comes with primer too. I try to go with non-waterproof mascara. That way it comes off easy with just soap or coconut oil! Then no chemical eye makeup removers are needed.

Danny Stoyanova, Client Training and Development, Wellness Way Enterprises, Green Bay, WI I just started using Pacifica Dream Big Mascara when I grabbed it at Whole Foods when I was traveling! I love it! So nice when something works out when you grab it in a pinch. Honest Beauty is a good one too.

Krista Schabel, Nurse, Pathway To Wellness- Green Bay, Green Bay, WI I absolutely LOVE my Endlessly Beautiful Mascara! I’ve been using it for a couple years now and have no reason to try anything else. It is never flaky or clumpy or smeary. It’s pretty much waterproof but is easily removed with Norwex face clothes or a little natural makeup remover. It’s also nice and thick but doesn’t make your eyelashes look like spider legs. And it’s very reasonably priced on Amazon…$19.99.

Briauna Utrie, Media Intern, Wellness Way Enterprises, Green Bay, WI I use L’bri products including their mascara. It doesn’t have all the nasty ingredients like coal tar and parabens. The first ingredient is aloe which is so nourishing for skin and my eyelashes. I just love that it’s a natural product made here in Wisconsin.

Safer Products and Safer Consumers

Did you see a product you want to try or have one you want to share? Let us know in the comments! Remember product formulations change and not all products by a brand are created equal so always check your favorites a few times a year!

The only way we can change the industry, so we can have safer products, is to be diligent consumers. Cosmetic companies aren’t going to care unless you care. When it comes to mascara, a staple in our make-up bags, we care enough to wear it even if we are just running to the grocery store. We should also care enough to make sure it’s safe.