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    Clean Beauty: 11 Best Non-Toxic Mascaras for Healthy Lashes

    Do you remember the first time you ever applied mascara? The first attempt at bringing a prickly little brush, dipped in black paste, that close to your eye is an experience you likely found intimidating. Our eyes, delicate and precious, naturally invoke an instinct to protect them - thank you, involuntary blink!

    Given the sensitivity of our eyes, it becomes essential to consider the composition of the cosmetics we use, especially something as intimate as mascara. So when it comes to what makes up that pigmented paste - it's only natural that we go for clean beauty products that are made from the best ingredients - Ingredients that don't contain harmful chemicals like PFAS that lead to tear film instability, dry eye, and even ocular surface disease.

    Our fascination with accentuating our eyes isn't a new fad. As a species, we've been using eye makeup since as far back as 6000 BCE, starting with the Egyptians. But unlike their burnt almonds and ash, modern formulations of conventional makeup have devolved to use ingredients that don't belong anywhere close to our eyes and face.

    Let's explore the brands pioneering in clean non-toxic mascara. It's time to get back to what's natural.

    fluttery lashes wearing mascara

    Image by Aleks on Unsplash

    Clean vs Natural Mascara: What is the Difference?

    In the world of eye cosmetics, terms like 'clean mascara' and 'natural mascara' are often used interchangeably, but they signify different qualities. Understanding these differences is key to making informed choices about the products we use.

    Clean Mascara

    This term generally refers to products free from potentially harmful chemicals commonly found in conventional mascaras. These toxic chemicals can include a range of substances that are linked to various health concerns.

    Clean mascaras prioritize safety, using ingredients that are less likely to cause harm to the eyes and usually, this also translates to being better for the environment.

    Natural Mascara

    Natural mascaras, are typically made from ingredients found in nature. These mascaras often feature enriching elements like shea butter for moisture, olive oil for smooth application, carnauba wax for structure, and sunflower seed oil for nourishment.

    The emphasis here is on using components that are minimally processed and closer to their original, natural state. However, it's important to note that 'natural' doesn't automatically mean safer or better, as some natural substances can be irritants or allergens for certain individuals.

    So what are the best clean and natural mascaras?

    best clean mascaras

    Here Is the Full List of Clean and Natural Mascara Brands

    ILIA | Shop here*

    RMS |Shop here*

    Kjaer Weis | Shop here*

    W3ll People | Shop here*

    Juice Beauty | Shop here*

    UND GRETEL | Shop here*

    Ere Perez | Shop here*

    100% Pure | Shop here*

    SWEED | Shop here*

    AIME | Shop here*

    Living Libations | Shop here*

    The Best Natural Mascaras

    Each of these brands has been carefully selected for their commitment to non-toxic, safe ingredients, ensuring you can enhance your beauty routine without compromise. Whether you're looking for volume, length, or a gentle formula for sensitive eyes, there's something for everyone.

    ILIA Limitless Lash * (Favorite Natural Mascara - Our Top Pick)

    Lengthening and Defining Mascara

    Location: USA

    Pricing: $28


    Naturally Derived Formula: ILIA limitless lash mascara boasts a 99% naturally derived formula, ensuring a gentle yet effective application and giving us a reason to count it as the best natural mascara on the list.

    Nourishing Ingredients: The mascara is enriched with organic shea butter and fortifying arginine (keratin), providing nourishment and conditioning to your lashes.

    Long-Lasting Wear: Experience smudge-free, long-lasting wear throughout your day. Its durable formula guarantees your lashes stay defined from morning to night.

    Award-Winning Product: Recognized for its exceptional quality and performance, this leaping bunny certified mascara has earned accolades from Oprah Daily Editor's Choice, Organic Spa Beauty Awards, and Allure's Readers' Choice Awards just to name a few.

    Eco-Friendly Packaging: Committed to sustainability, the mascara comes in eco-friendly packaging. Its mono-material tube reduces carbon emissions by 46% and waste by up to 20%.

    Ophthalmologist-Tested: This mascara is specially formulated to be safe and comfortable for those with sensitive eyes and even contact lens wearers, ensuring no irritation or discomfort.


    • May need multiple applications for a more dramatic effect but this is possible as it's a buildable mascara.

    • While it is at a higher price point, this reflects its premium quality ingredients and the care taken in its formulation.

    Shop ILIA here*

    ilia limitless lash gives as much volume as perfectly needed

    RMS Straight-Up Volumizing Peptide Mascara*

    Strengthening and Volumizing Mascara

    Location: USA

    Pricing: $28


    • Tripeptide Technology: Harnessing the power of tripeptide technology, this mascara boosts the appearance of lash volume and length while encouraging stronger, healthier lashes over time.

    • Richly Pigmented: Provides intense, deep color to make your lashes stand out, perfect for both everyday looks and more dramatic evening styles.

    • Volumizing Brush: The specially designed brush effortlessly coats each lash from root to tip, delivering substantial volume without clumping.

    • Nourishing Ingredients: Formulated with organic shea butter and beeswax, these ingredients condition and protect the lashes, ensuring they remain healthy and supple.

    • Eco-Conscious Packaging: The inner bottle is made of 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material, with an aluminum overshell comprising 10% recycled aluminum. The outer carton is crafted from 80% post-consumer recycled paper, is forestry-certified, and is produced using wind power.

    • Everyday Wearability: Its lightweight formula is ideal for achieving a 'no-makeup' look, providing a subtle enhancement that's perfect for everyday wear.


    • For optimal results, the application technique may need some practice to master the volumizing effect fully. However, this allows for versatility in achieving both natural and bold looks.

    Shop RMS here*

    beauty product rms mascara

    Kjaer Wies Lengthening Mascara*

    Natural and Lengthening Mascara

    Location: Stores located in the US, manufactured in Italy

    Pricing: $30


    • Organic Formula: Composed of certified organic ingredients, gentle on the eyes and effective for lengthening.

    • Lengthening and Conditioning: Specifically formulated to elongate and condition lashes, enriched with nourishing elements like Jojoba Seed Oil and Castor Seed Oil.

    • Buildable Application: Allows for easy layering from a natural daytime look to a more defined evening style.

    • Eco-Friendly Refillable Design: Emphasizes sustainability with a sleek, refillable design to minimize waste.

    • Certified Natural: CCPB Certified Natural, crafted to be as pure as possible, free from artificial ingredients.


    • Requires some building to get to a volumizing mascara.

    • Some customers have reported the scent of the essential oils in the mascara to be displeasing.

    Shop Kjaer Wies here*

    try your new mascara by Kajer wies

    W3ll People Expressionist Mascara*

    Volumizing and Nourishing Mascara

    Location: USA

    Pricing: $29


    • Plant-Based Formula: A testament to the power of nature, featuring Vitamin E for moisture, Sunflower Seed Oil for hydration, and Cellulose Plant Fiber as a natural thickening agent.

    • Precision Brush: Comes with a unique brush designed for precise application, ensuring each lash is coated for a clump-free, defined look.

    • EWG Verified: This mascara meets the rigorous standards for health set by the Environmental Working Group, ensuring it is free from harmful chemicals.

    • Cruelty-Free and Vegan: Committed to ethical beauty, this product is cruelty-free and 100% vegan.

    • Certified Fair Trade: W3ll People's dedication to ethical sourcing is evident as this mascara is certified fair trade, ensuring responsible and sustainable practices.


    • Some find that the use of castor oil in the formula makes their eyes burn.

    Shop W3ll People here*

    clean mascara well people

    Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra Natural Mascara*

    Defining and Plant-Derived Mascara

    Location: USA

    Pricing: $25


    • Plant-Derived Phyto-Pigments: Made with richly pigmented plant-derived phyto-pigments, this mascara provides deep, intense color for a striking look.

    • Defining and Nourishing: Designed to define and separate lashes for a clean, polished look, while nourishing them with natural ingredients like rose, argan oil, and purple carrot for pigmentation.

    • Vitamin E and B5: Enriched with vitamins E and B5, which help to condition and strengthen lashes, promoting their health and resilience.

    • Organic Ingredients: Formulated with certified organic ingredients, ensuring a gentle and safe application, ideal for sensitive eyes.

    • Cruelty-Free and Vegan: Committed to ethical beauty standards, this mascara is cruelty-free and vegan.


    • This mascara is a bit wetter than others so make sure you give yourself a little extra drying time.

    Shop Juice Beauty here*

    Juice Beauty uses natural products and organic ingredients

    UND GRETEL Wint Mascara *

    Volumizing and Long-Lasting Mascara

    Location: Germany

    Pricing: €34.50/ $28


    • Natural Volumizing Formula: Crafted with organic and natural ingredients, this mascara provides significant volume while being gentle on the lashes.

    • Long-Lasting Wear: Designed for durability, it offers long-lasting wear, ensuring your lashes stay beautifully defined all day.

    • Smudge-Proof: The formula is engineered to resist smudging, maintaining a clean, polished look throughout the day.


    • Mulitple applications necessary for a fuller look.

    Shop UND GRETEL here*

    vegan and cruelty free mascara wont

    Ere Perez Avocado Waterproof Mascara*

    a nice glossy finish and the minimal list of ingredients is squeaky clean.

    Non Toxic Waterproof Mascara

    Location: Australia

    Pricing: $25


    • Avocado Oil Enriched: Infused with avocado oil, this mascara nourishes and strengthens lashes, providing natural benefits alongside cosmetic enhancement.

    • Truly Waterproof Mascara: Designed to be a truly waterproof mascara, it's perfect for active lifestyles or emotional moments, ensuring your lashes look great in all conditions.

    • Volumizing and Lengthening: The mascara not only volumizes but also lengthens lashes, offering a full and defined look.

    • Gentle on Eyes: Its natural formulation makes it gentle on the eyes, suitable even for those with sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers.

    • Ethical and Sustainable Practices: Ere Perez is committed to ethical production and sustainability, ensuring a product that aligns with conscious beauty standards.


    • Achieving the full waterproof effect may require a specific application technique, but once mastered, it offers unparalleled durability and beauty.

    Shop Ere Perez here*

    non toxic mascara Ere Perez

    100% Pure Natural Mascara*

    Lengthening and Fruit-Pigmented Mascara

    Location: USA

    Pricing: $35


    • Fruit Pigmented: Colored with natural fruit pigments from black tea, berries, and cocoa offering a unique, natural color that's gentle on the eyes.

    • Lengthening Effect: Specifically designed to lengthen lashes, giving them a natural yet noticeable boost.

    • Nourishing Formula: Enriched with vitamin E and other nourishing ingredients, this mascara not only beautifies but also conditions the lashes.

    • Natural and Gentle: Free from artificial colors, synthetic chemicals, and other harsh ingredients, making it suitable for sensitive eyes and those who prefer natural makeup.

    • Cruelty-Free and Vegan: Committed to ethical standards, this clean mascara is both cruelty-free and vegan, reflecting the brand's dedication to animal welfare and clean beauty.


    • The blueberry hue offers a subtle color enhancement. While it may not be as intense as synthetic dyes, it provides a gentle, natural alternative for those looking to experiment with colored mascaras.

    • The formula is a bit wetter than some and can run.

    Shop 100% Pure here*

    clean mascaras like 100 % pure dont use synthetic fragrance


    Lifting and Lengthening Mascara

    Location: Sweden

    Pricing: €22.50/ $26


    • Lifting and Lengthening: This clean mascara, developed with the insights of surgeons and dermatologists, takes your lashes beyond imagination with remarkable length and volume.

    • Tube Technology: Utilizes advanced tube technology to coat each lash individually, providing extended wear, and making it resistant to smudging and flaking.

    • Deep Black Pigment: Its rich, deep black pigment ensures a striking and bold lash look, ideal for both day and evening wear.

    • Easy to Apply: The mascara's formula and brush are tailored for smooth, effortless application, allowing precision in achieving your desired look.

    • Cruelty-Free and Vegan: Adhering to ethical beauty standards, SWEED ensures this product is cruelty-free and vegan.


    • Those with sensitive skin and eyes may experience a reaction to this product.

    Shop SWEED here*

    clean mascara sweed


    Nurturing and Enhancing Tubing Mascara

    Location: France

    Pricing: $29


    • Innovative Tubing Technology: Utilizes advanced tubing technology to create a smooth, even coat around each lash. This technology ensures long-lasting wear, and resistance to smudging and flaking, and is particularly suited for sensitive eyes.

    • Subtle and Natural Finish: Perfect for those seeking a mascara that enhances lash appearance with a natural, subtle look.

    • Lash Growth Boost: Infused with ingredients known to support and boost lash growth, this mascara not only enhances the appearance of your lashes but also contributes to their health and length over time.

    • Easy Removal: Despite its durability, this mascara is easily removed with warm water, eliminating the need for harsh makeup removers and reducing potential irritation.


    • The brown-black shade is perfect for light eyes but it may not be dark enough for those who are used to the iconic black shade.

    Shop AIME here*

    Living Libations - Raven Maven Mascara *

    Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara

    Location: Canada

    Pricing: $60


    • Triple Wax Blend for Lash Enhancement: Combines carnauba wax for lengthening, beeswax for curling, and bayberry fruit wax for volume, creating a versatile lash effect.

    • Nourishing Natural Ingredients: Enriched with Cacao butter, Frankincense, and coniferous resins for conditioning, Kaolin Clay for thickness, peptides for lash health, and iron oxides for a rich natural color.

    • Easy Application: The smooth formula and precision brush allow for easy application, ensuring each lash is coated for a subtle and elegant finish.

    • Safe for Sensitive Eyes: Formulated with gentle ingredients, this ophthalmologist-approved mascara is suitable for those with sensitive eyes or who wear contact lenses.

    • Eco-Friendly and Cruelty-Free: Living Libations is committed to sustainability and ethical practices, ensuring this product is eco-friendly and cruelty-free.


    • This mascara sits at the higher end of the market, reflecting its use of the absolute cleanest and best quality ingredients, as well as the generous amount of product housed in an elegant glass bottle.

    Shop Living Libations here*

    What Mascaras Are Non Toxic?

    Identifying non-toxic mascaras involves reading ingredients carefully and looking for certifications that guarantee the absence of harmful chemicals.

    best clean mascaras

    Image by yunona uritsky on Unsplash

    Harmful Ingredients to Avoid and Why:

    Parabens (Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben): Often used as preservatives, parabens can mimic estrogen and have been linked to hormonal imbalances, potential fertility issues, and increased cancer risk.

    Phthalates: Commonly used to improve mascara texture, phthalates are known for their potential to disrupt hormone function, which can affect reproductive health.

    Fragrances: Many mascaras contain artificial fragrances which can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, especially around the sensitive eye area.

    Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: Used for their antimicrobial properties, these substances can cause allergic reactions and are classified as human carcinogens.

    Propylene Glycol: This can lead to skin irritation and potentially cause dermatitis and hives.

    Carbon Black (Ci 77266, Black 2): A pigment used for deep dark coloring in mascaras, linked to increased risk of cancer and adverse effects on organs.

    Aluminum Powder: Used as a colorant, aluminum powder is a neurotoxin and has been linked to brain and nerve damage.

    What Natural Mascaras Should Consist Of:

    Natural mascaras should be formulated with ingredients that are safe, non-irritating, and nourishing to the lashes. Here's what you can expect to see listed on your natural mascara:

    Natural Waxes (like Carnauba and Beeswax): For texture and hold, without clogging pores or causing lash damage.

    Natural Oils (Almond Oil, Argan Oil): For nourishment, conditioning, and smooth application.

    Mineral-Based Pigments: Safer alternatives for coloring, avoiding the risks associated with conventional dyes. Some are even pigmented with fruit!

    Plant-Derived Ingredients: Such as extracts and butters, for gentle, non-irritating lash enhancement.

    Certifications to Look For:

    • EWG Verified: This certification means the product avoids ingredients known to pose health risks, according to the strict standards of the Environmental Working Group.

    • Made Safe: Specifically relevant to non-toxic products, Made Safe certification ensures that products are free from known harmful chemicals, including behavioral toxins, carcinogens, developmental toxins, neurotoxins, and more. This certification is particularly relevant for products like mascara, which are used near sensitive areas like the eyes.

    • Organic Certifications: Such as USDA Organic or ECOCERT, are also important as they indicate that ingredients are sourced from organic farming, minimizing exposure to synthetic pesticides and chemicals.

    • Cruelty-Free and Vegan: These certifications like leaping bunny , while not directly related to chemical content, indicate ethical production practices, including no animal testing and the absence of animal-derived ingredients.

    What Mascara is Free of Chemicals?

    In the realm of cosmetics, the term "chemical-free" can be misleading since all substances, including water, are technically chemicals. The focus, therefore, should be on avoiding mascaras with potentially harmful chemicals.

    Modern mascaras often utilize a variety of ingredients for color, texture, and stability. Many of these ingredients, such as carbon black for deep pigmentation, film-forming agents, and preservatives, can be derived from sources like coal tar, plastic, and petroleum. These substances, while effective for achieving desired cosmetic effects, can raise concerns regarding skin and eye safety.

    Make sure to look for mascaras that specifically state they are free from known harmful ingredients, and always double ƒuncheck the list of ingredients.

    What Mascara Does Not Have PFAS?

    PFAS are synthetic chemicals used for their durability and water resistance, but they pose potential health risks. Opt for brands that explicitly state their products are PFAS-free. Our list here, in addition to the Environmental Working, Group's (EWG) database can be a helpful resource in identifying such products.

    Why Should You Switch to Non-Toxic Mascaras?

    Your journey to a non-toxic lifestyle may have started with a few small steps. And this is the perfect pace for a sustainable change. Maybe you've already transitioned to products like clean lipsticksnon-toxic perfumes and deodorants, recognizing how important it is to avoid harmful chemicals in the products that come into close contact with your body.

    The switch to non-toxic mascaras is a great next step and an impactful one. Your eyes and the environment will thank you!


    Is there a healthy mascara?

    Yes, healthy mascaras are those that avoid potentially harmful ingredients and prioritize safe, nurturing components. They often come with certifications like EWG Verified or Made Safe to assure their safety standards.

    Is organic mascara better for your eyelashes?

    Organic mascaras, made from ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, offer a gentler alternative for your eyelashes. These ingredients, certified for their organic origin, are less likely to contain residues of harmful chemicals, making them a healthier choice for both your eyelashes and overall well-being. The organic certification ensures that the product adheres to strict standards regarding ingredient sourcing and production, providing an added layer of assurance about its safety and quality.

    Is natural mascara better?

    Natural mascara can be a better choice for those looking for products with minimal processing and synthetic additives. However, 'natural' doesn't always guarantee safety, so it's essential to check the ingredient list and certifications.

    Are there harmful chemicals in mascara?

    Conventional mascaras can contain chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and PFAS, which have been linked to various health concerns. Choosing certified non-toxic mascaras helps avoid these harmful chemicals.

    What is a safe mascara alternative?

    The list above offers a variety of safe alternatives to traditional mascara, each carefully selected for its adherence to safety and health standards. Look for non-toxic ingredients and certifications like EWG Verified, Made Safe, and USDA Organic.

    Also, look for mascaras that have been ophthalmologist-tested to indicate the formulas are safe for sensitive eyes.

    Are there any safe waterproof mascaras?

    While a truly waterproof mascara usually requires synthetic ingredients that are not natural and are often harmful, there are safe water-resistant options. Ere Perez, for example, offers a natural waterproof mascara, providing durability without harsh chemicals.

    *The links are so-called 'affiliate links.' This means that we receive a small commission if you purchase something through them, which helps us further develop the blog and create even more useful and valuable content for you!

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