In Search of the Safest, Affordable, and Most Easily Obtained Mascara
by Janice Caceres
Easy to obtain.
For several years now, I have been desperately trying to find a truly safe mascara that I can just go BUY without having to order online. My current criteria are as follows:
While I do not mind ordering online sometimes, when I run out, I run out. Or, more likely, when I throw it out, I throw it out. Plus, I really like to look at products before I buy—reading the entire package, mulling it over, and so forth. I also like being able to take a product back if it has an adverse effect—most drugstores allow for this, although most natural food stores do not. And, if it is an online order, it is doubly difficult, even if the company does offer refunds.Cost.
Due to multiple sensitivities, I change my mascara once a month and do not wear it every day. As we are very tightly budgeted, I prefer to not spend over $10.00 for a tube I may only use 5 or 6 times.Absolutely no parabens.
While methylparaben is considered to be a relatively safe preservative, I (and others) are allergic to it, as well as other parabens. Parabens are also suspected of contributing to breast cancer. I am also sensitive to related ingredients used as preservatives, such as phenoxyethanol. Company policy.
I prefer, of course, a company that does not test on animals and that has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics (http://www.safecosmetics.org). Sometimes, it is difficult to get up-to-date information on this.
Here are some mascaras that I have looked into:Longcils.
Cake mascara has a longer life after opening than tubed mascara, due to its formulation and packaging. However, while the information on EWG (Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org) is good, on some items, such as Longcils, ingredients have been left out of their review. Longcils actual ingredient list is as follows:Cera Alba, TEA Stearate, Acacia Senegal, Agua, Gylceryl Abietate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Hydroxycitronellal, 2, 4 Tert Butylbenzyl Propionaldehyde, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde, 3 Methyl 4 3 Butene 2 One (2,6,6-Trimethyl-2-Cyclohexane-1-Yl), May Contain (+/-): CI 77499, CI 77007, CI 77288, CI 77491, CI 77492
With this information, EWG rates it at a 5. Not too bad, but it is also not easy to find and, if you do not like ordering online, it is extremely difficult. It also contains parabens.Honeybee Gardens.
Again, a bit difficult to find unless you order or it is carried by your local health food store—sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. The ingredients are as follows:Purified water, vegetable glycerin, beeswax, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, vegetable glyceryl stearate, lecithin, vegetable stearic acid, safflower oil, glycine soja (soybean) oil (and) aloe barbadensis leaf extract, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, silica, cellulose gum, tocopherol, xanthan gum, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, phenoxyethanol. May contain: mica, titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77480).
EWG rates it at a three. However, phenoxyethanol, while not overly hazardous, is very close to a paraben. I have a problem with it, as it irritates my eyes. Honeybee Gardens does not test on animals.L’Oreal
has a new mascara out that advertises “no parabens”. The product is in their Bare Naturale line and, indeed, there are no parabens. However, again, phenoxythanol is an ingredient and it contains triethanolamine, which allows mascara to be washed off easily, and which the EWG rates at a 7.
Overall, the product rates at a 5. Another “however”
: L’Oreal has NOT signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. In 2007, they received validation from The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) for a new irritancy test that has been deemed a safe alternative to animal testing, engineered on human epidermis. According to European Union rules, animal testing in cosmetics must stop once alternative options have been introduced. However, according to PETA sources, even though L’Oreal signed PETA’s Statement of Assurance in 1993, PETA removed them from the “Does Not” list to the “Does” list later.
In 2007, L’Oreal announced an end to all animal testing, although they claimed not to do so since 1989. Actually, they do not test the end products on animals, but they use ingredients which HAVE been tested on animals. So, since L’Oreal is iffy, L’Oreal would be out. Bare Escentuals
mascara contains parabens and phenoxyethanol. EccoBella
has parabens. Palladio
is supposed to be “all natural”, but its ingredient list is as follows:Aqua, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Sucrose Stearate, Beeswax (Cera Alba, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Stearyl Alcohol, Diglycol/CHDM/Isophthalates/SIP Copolymer, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Methylparaben, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Simethicone Propylparaben, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract. may contain: CI 77891 Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491 / 77492 / 77499 Iron Oxides, CI 77019 Mica, CI 77007 Ultramarines.
Natural mascaras such as Larenim
(around $14.99, in some stores and online) Miessence
(around $22-$23.00, in some stores and online), Dr. Hauschka
(very pricey, usually around $25.00, online), Gabriel Cosmetics
($14.00 online), RealPurity
(wax based, $13.99 online), Earth’s Beauty,
(3 gram travel size $7.95 ea., 9.4 gram full size, $12.95 ea, online—this one is my choice because of the availability of the small size), and Suncoat
(sugar based, $14.99 online, no nano particles) are wonderful products and, as I have found in my thus-far fruitless search for an easily obtainable and affordable mascara, if you are a die-hard mascara fan and wear it every day, these would be worth ordering online.
And, so, my search continues…in the meanwhile, I am going to try Earth’s Beauty. The low price and trial size eliminates some of the guilt during these difficult economic times.