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HOW SAFE IS YOUR MASCARA? 8 Unsafe Ingredients to Avoid in Mascara

Mascara is one of the number one beauty products used by women.

Many of us don’t think twice before we put on our favorite mascara, and sadly, there aren’t many options made without toxic chemicals and plastic.

8 Unsafe Ingredients to Avoid:

PARABENS – Unfortunately, they not only keep bacteria from growing in our mascara, they also mimic the hormone estrogen and are known as endocrine disruptors. Parabens have also been linked to breast and skin cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues in pregnancy. Parabens are known irritants that cause rashes, swelling and redness.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL – While the FDA considers propylene glycol “safe,” it has been linked to skin and respiratory issues. It’s a strong skin irritant, and can inhibit skin cell growth and damage cell membranes, causing rashes, dry skin, and surface damage. EWG rates it as a moderate health risk for skin and lung irritation and has concerns regarding cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, irritation and enhanced skin absorption, and organ system toxicity. Propylene glycol also enhances absorption. That means that the other harmful chemicals in your products are more likely to penetrate the surface layer of the skin and go deeper, into the bloodstream.

RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE) – Many people think that because it is a vitamin, Retinyl acetate is safe to use. But the EWG classifies retinyl acetate as a high risk ingredient in cosmetics. It is known to cause biochemical or cellular changes and is linked to positive cancer mutations in studies. Canada has banned the use of retinyl acetate is the use of cosmetics.

ALUMINUM POWDER – It is also a known neurotoxin and interferes with essential functions of our cells and bodily processes. Long term exposure to aluminum powder can impair the body’s ability to excrete heavy metals like mercury.

COAL TAR DYES – contain heavy metals and are used as colorants in mascara. Look for FD & C Blue no. 1 on the label. Also, you may find them listed as a five digit number that is preceded by a Cl. (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.) They may also be labeled as Aminphenol, Diaminodenzene or Phenylenediamine. These dyes are considered carconogenic, and the heavy metals can be toxic to the brain.

FRAGRANCE – Fragrances are trade secrets, and ingredients do not have to be revealed. Fragrances, sometimes listed as parfums, are mainly used to cover up the smell of other chemicals in the product.

FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING PRESERVATIVES – rated very hazardous by the EWG. It is categorized as carcinogenic and It is also associated with contact dermatitis. It is often is labeled under different names… just to name a few: DMDM, imidazolindyl urea, methenamine, diazuli dinyl urea, and quaternium-15.

BHT AND BHA – preservatives in mascara and are considered endocrine disruptors. Studies have linked BHA with cancer. They are both harmful to fish and other wildlife.

At Beloved By All Boutique we have a curated selection of clean beauty products that work! Come visit our studio by appointment in Yorkville, Toronto, or shop online:

Check out this quick tutorial on how to use one of our favourite clean mascaras by Birch Babe:


Comment below with any recommendations, questions or next blog post suggestions.

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