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What Is Hypoallergenic Mascara?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 21, 2024
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Hypoallergenic mascara is a type of mascara that is marketed as being less likely to trigger reactions in users who have sensitive eyes. It should be noted than the United States, the term “hypoallergenic” is not regulated and any cosmetic manufacturer can use it to describe any product, regardless of the product's ingredients or whether or not the product has been subjected to rigorous testing. In other countries, the term may be more strictly regulated, so individuals who are concerned about choosing mascara for sensitive eyes should research the laws in their jurisdiction. If a person does choose to purchase hypoallergenic mascara, he or she should still review the ingredients to ensure that the mascara is safe to use. In all cases, a mascara user should ensure that any mascara he or she uses, including hypoallergenic mascara, is not contaminated and that open mascara is thrown out after three months, even if there is still product left in the tube.

Many people are susceptible to advertising claims for various cosmetics. Individuals who have sensitive skin and eyes may be particularly concerned about using cosmetics that contain irritating ingredients. Those who wear contact lenses may also be concerned about wearing mascara that can irritate their eyes and that may flake off and get trapped under contact lenses. It is to these people that hypoallergenic mascara is typically marketed. Due to the fact that the term does not have an official meaning in some countries, it is up to individual users to determine whether a mascara is suitable for use.

Those who have eye problems, or wear contact lenses, may wish to speak to their eye doctor for mascara recommendations, as the eye doctor may be privy to considerable feedback on mascaras from his or her other patients. Another option is to carefully read ingredient labels and eschew mascaras that contain nylon fibers which many experts believe can cause significant problems for contact lens wearers. If the cosmetic manufacturer claims that testing proves that its products are hypoallergenic, the consumer may wish to contact the manufacturer and ask for details about these studies. If possible, those with sensitive eyes may wish to try a sample of a particular mascara before buying a full tube in order to evaluate whether the product is suitable for his or her needs.

Even if someone with sensitive eyes finds a hypoallergenic mascara that does not trigger allergies, it is important to take care of the mascara so that it does not become contaminated with bacteria and other irritants. This means making sure the mascara tube is tightly closed when not in use, and not rinsing a mascara brush under the tap. Mascara should never be shared with other people and should be thrown away immediately if symptoms of an eye infection emerge.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

By ZipLine — On Jan 18, 2015

Hypoallergenic mascara doesn't cause any irritation and itching like non-hypoallergenic ones. But the biggest downside is that it smudges very easily. It doesn't stay on as well as regular mascara does. After several hours, it starts to flake and run.

By SarahGen — On Jan 17, 2015

@bluedolphin-- I know what you mean. I too have reacted negatively to mascara despite the product being marketed as "hypoallergenic."

I think the best thing to do is not to rely on the label and to check the ingredients list. The mascara should have as few ingredients as possible and the main ingredients should be all natural. I've recently found a hypoallergenic mascara that works great. It has very few ingredients and the main ingredient is beeswax. I've not had problems with it at all.

By bluedolphin — On Jan 17, 2015

Now I understand why so many of the "hypoallergenic" mascaras I have tried have actually caused issues for me. It's because the term isn't regulated. I guess manufacturers put it on the label whenever they want. That's unethical in my opinion. Some people have serious allergies to regular mascara. I also get itching, burning and redness from regular mascara. It's unfair to take advantage of customers who are just looking for a product that they can use safely.

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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