The 5 best hypoallergenic mascaras for sensitive eyes

Choosing non-irritating eye makeup, such as mascara, for sensitive or allergic eyes means avoiding certain ingredients, licensed ophthalmologist Dr Laura M. Periman explains to Bustle. When shopping for the best hypoallergenic mascaras for sensitive eyes, try to avoid products with preservatives that donate formaldehyde (these are the ones that release formaldehyde – a great antimicrobial that also tends to be quite irritating, Dr Periman says) such as hydroxymethylglycinate, DMDM ​​hydantoin, and quaternium-15. Parabens at very low levels are great, but if you’d rather avoid them, Dr Periman says milder alternatives are ethylhexylglycerin and phenoxyethanol. The expert says that mascara with nylon fibers, which can get lodged in the eyes, and waterproof mascara, which are more difficult to remove, should be avoided if you have sensitive eyes.

Graduated ophthalmologist Dr Donna Esposito tells Bustle that she loves tube mascaras for patients with sensitive eyes because they form tiny tubes around the lashes rather than coating them, and they can be easily washed off. (And like Dr. Esposito, Dr. Periman is also a fan of tube mascaras.)

Unfortunately, both experts say the term “hypoallergenic” is not helpful because it is unregulated. Neither is “tested by an ophthalmologist,” adds Dr Periman. However, if a brand reports results from the epiocular eye irritation test, a toxicity test created as an alternative to laboratory eye tests on rabbits, Dr Periman says that is a good sign, but cosmetics companies do not have to perform this test, nor do they need to report their findings if they do. Dr Periman is working on his own mascara for all users, including contact lens wearers and people with dry and / or sensitive eyes, so keep a eye out (pun intended) for that.

Below you’ll find the best mascaras for sensitive eyes, including two expert picks.


Doctor’s choice: best mascara tube

Blinc amplified tube mascara, which is available in black and dark brown, is a recommendation from Dr. Esposito, who finds that tube mascaras are generally better tolerated by his patients with sensitive eyes. Tube mascaras are also popular with people who find most traditional mascaras smudge or smear, because the tubes stay on all day, or if you have tears in your eyes or in the rain. This also makes tube mascaras perfect for people with oily lids or allergy-prone eyes, but that’s also why splashing water on your face alone won’t wash the tubes out of your skin. eyelashes. Instead, the removal requires light pressure with a cotton ball or your fingers (and yes, a little water, too).


Doctor’s Choice: Best Tube Mascara Under $ 10

Another user-friendly tube mascara suggested by Dr Esposito, L’Oréal ‘Double Extend Beauty Tubes lengthening mascara in 2 steps is both a primer and a mascara – a combo that gives you both length and volume. The primer / base coat nourishes lashes with ingredients like ceramides and panthenol, while the mascara itself adds color, definition and impact. Choose from two shades of black.


Writer’s Choice

I find most mascaras irritating. Within a few hours, my eyes are itchy and by midday my color will start to flow, no matter what mascara I use. Corn Jane Iredale Beyond Lash Volumizing Mascara works well for me. It gives my lashes a nice pop of color but doesn’t feel sticky or lumpy at all. The formula contains all kinds of super nourishing oils (including avocado, jojoba, sunflower, coconut and olive), as well as bamboo stem powder, basil root extract and rice bran wax to add volume without any heaviness. It also features an easy-to-wield hourglass-shaped wand that curls and amplifies my lashes, while giving me a nice touch of natural-looking color and definition.


A gentle mascara from a doctor recommended brand

Dr Periman says she’s discovered that Canadian brand ILIA Beauty makes makeup well tolerated by people with sensitive eyes (but adds that the formulations may change, so always read the label even when purchasing a product you have already used). ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara is made with a gentle blend of organic beeswax and carnauba wax, shea butter and keratin, while its classic black color comes from charcoal. The mascara has a double-sided brush; the shorter side is for curling and creating volume, and the longer side is for lifting up and parting.

While no company looks to make an irritant, and it’s always in their best interests to create non-irritant formulas, Dr Periman says Canadian beauty brands are his go-to place to shop if you’re a subject. eye sensitivities because Canadian cosmetic regulations are stricter than those in the United States.


One last mascara (and lash primer) to consider

Honest Beauty’s bestseller Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Base is a hybrid mascara / double-sided primer hat popular with users with sensitive eyes (and just about everyone, as evidenced by its over 8,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and multiple beauty prize it’s won). The mascara and primer are both made with jojoba esters to condition lashes, and are free of parabens and silicones (as well as the top offenders on Dr Periman’s list).


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When it comes to eye health, Dr Periman points out that eye makeup removal is a must every night and as important as the mascara you choose. Otherwise, you increase your chances of having dry and sensitive eyes. This is also one of the main reasons the doctor recommends avoiding water repellent mascara because it can be so difficult to remove completely.

If you are using a tube mascara, water and light pressure is sufficient, but if you prefer traditional formulations to tube mascaras, cult beauty, leave-in, French pharmacy Micellar Water Bioderma Sensibio H2O is a great way to remove makeup without irritating your eyes or skin.


Dr Laura M. Periman MD, Certified Ophthalmologist

Dr. Donna Esposito, MD, Certified Ophthalmologist

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