a woman applies mascara to her eyelashes

Waterproof Mascara: The Dangers of Prolonged Use

Whether you're attending a wedding where you might get teary-eyed or going to a pool party where you might take a dip, waterproof mascara can seem like a smart way to keep your eye makeup intact and prevent those smudged raccoon eyes. However, prolonged waterproof mascara use can have some less than ideal results for your eyelashes. Here's some info about the dangers of continuous waterproof mascara use and how you can use the product without damaging your natural lashes.

The Dangers In Waterproof Mascaras

Normal mascaras are designed to gently sit on your lashes and be easily removed with an oil-based makeup remover. However, waterproof options are designed to stay on the lashes even when exposed to liquid. This is why waterproof mascaras can harm your lashes. Companies compete to make the best waterproof options on the market, which means that they try to make the most resilient products that won't run and can stand up to even the most humid or damp conditions.

Because of their resiliency, waterproof mascaras can often be difficult to remove, which means that you have to really scrub and tug at your lashes to get every last drop off the hair follicles. Over time, this can begin to damage your lashes, causing them to weaken and fall off at the root. Furthermore, some users report eye irritation from the harsh chemicals used in waterproof formulas.

How To Use Responsibly

We all want our mascara to last and not smudge. Unfortunately, daily waterproof mascara is simply not an option if you want to keep your natural lashes healthy. Waterproof mascaras should be reserved for things like the aforementioned weddings or pool parties. During your day-to-day life, however, you should stick to non-waterproof formulas, which are easier to remove and don't force you to tug or pull at your eyelashes.

On those special occasions that you do wear waterproof formulas, be extra gentle when you remove the product at the end of the day. Use a remover that is mostly oil. Instead of removing by tugging, gradually add more and more oil until no more black color washes off. Waterproof mascara can cause damage to lashes, but if you make a point to only use it on special occasions and be extra gentle when you wash off your eye makeup, you'll find that you can use waterproof mascara sparingly without causing any lasting damage to your natural lashes.

Last Updated: August 20, 2015