What is mascara made out of? : Guide To Mascara Ingredients

Mascara is one of those things that we all know what it does, but many people don’t know what the ingredients go into making it. 

If you have ever used mascara, you have probably wondered what it’s made of. Many assume it’s made of animal glue, but it contains synthetic ingredients that make it easier to apply. However, chronic blepharitis and loss of eyelashes as sequelae are caused by mascara’s consistent use. [1]

In this article, we’ll talk about what mascara is made of.

What is Mascara?

Mascara is a product which can make our eyes more attractive. It is made up of two main things: liquid and powder. So, it is a type of liquid eyeliner applied to the lashes.

Ingredients for mascara

The ingredient list of mascara includes some chemicals, and they are sodium Laureth sulfate, FD&C Blue 1 (food dye), FD&C Yellow 5 (food dye), FD&C Yellow 6 (food dye), C8-C12 fatty alcohols, and polyethylene glycol. You can read the whole list by clicking on the link below.

How is Mascara Made?

Nowadays, mascara is used to add length and volume to eyelashes and create beautiful and attractive eyes. The procedure of making mascara is straightforward. It consists of mixing a liquid or a gel with a powder.

The first step involves mixing a liquid with a powder. It includes adding water and some alcohol to a certain amount of powder. Then, it is mixed thoroughly, resulting in a thick paste.

What is Mascara Made Of?

Mascara ingredients can vary from brand to brand, but in most cases, they contain three things:

Oils or waxes,

 Pigmentation and


Oils and Waxes

Most current mascara production formulations are oil-based compositions with natural or synthetic waxes. These components contribute to the product’s vicious character, enabling it to adhere to the brush wand and stick to the eyelashes, ideally without clumping.

These ingredients will also allow your product to keep its moisture, striking the perfect balance between making the product very sticky and also making it runny.

The best-known oils are coconut, olive, sesame, and corn oil. Some people use sunflower, safflower, or grape seed oil, though they are more expensive and usually used in small amounts. But don’t rule out using less expensive oils that are less likely to cause problems.

When it comes to texture and bonding, castor oil is one of the best solutions. However, perfumes can also mask castor oil odor, and waxes can be used in compositions to make them waterproof.

Because people’s eyelashes constantly come into contact with moisture from the eyes, manufacturers of even non-waterproof treatments may rely on heavy base chemicals like paraffin, carnauba wax, palm wax, or beeswax to hold the makeup in place throughout the day.


Many modern eye-makeup products are now made with natural ingredients such as cocoa powder, walnut shells, beetroot juice, carrot juice, and even green tea.

These ingredients are often sourced from the ground up, so the final products aren’t permanently colored with synthetic dyes.

Most brown mascaras contain natural ingredients that impart a warm, earthy hue to lashes, including ingredients such as iron oxide and cinnabar. Synthetic mascaras, in contrast, may contain coloring agents derived from petroleum and coal tar.

Some mascaras include chemicals that can dry the eye or cause irritation. The best way to choose the right mascara is to use your sense of taste, smell, and touch to get the most natural result possible.

Chemical Preservatives

Mascara is a type of makeup that applies to your eyelashes to make them look fuller and thicker. It can contain many ingredients, but its primary purpose is to preserve a consistent appearance, which means the product must stay relatively stable for an extended period.

People who wear mascara typically want it to feel and look the same every time they put it on. This is why most mascaras are mixed with water to form a lotion base emulsified with other mascara ingredients. However, many natural mascaras can perform a similar job and be more expensive than their preservative counterparts.

A suspension is a mixture of solid particles, liquid particles, or both suspended in a liquid or semi-liquid matrix. In the case of lotion, the particles are typical of a specific size so that they can be easily separated by a mechanical device known as a homogenizer.

The high speed of the blender can cause the ingredients to be broken up into tiny, yet still visible, droplets. The waxes and oils are suspended in the lotion, so they stay around for the life of the mascara.

The Goods and Bads Ingredients of Mascara 

The Goods

In recent years, mascara has advanced considerably. Not only are customers better informed about the benefits of clean mascara, but brands are also keener to offer it. They are beginning to make more better-for-you mascaras without harmful components. The list of non-hazardous ingredients in mascara is provided below.

Natural Oils

Natural oils added in natural mascara to hydrate lashes include cocoa butter, shea butter, sesame seed oil, eucalyptus oil, and sesame oil. Additionally formulated with nourishing Castor Oil, Red Clover, and Mung Bean, our Honest Serum-Infused Lash Tint helps to strengthen lashes for a healthy-looking appearance.

Natural Waxes

Natural waxes are not only great for your skin and hair, but they also can provide excellent results for your mascara application. Beeswax, carnauba wax, and jojoba esters can be found in your local drugstore.

Natural Preservatives

While you may not be able to apply your mascara for more than three months at a time, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for more than three months. Preservatives can help keep your mascara fresh and work as intended. Look for natural preservatives like sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate in food-grade form.

Iron Oxides

If you want a dark, rich color, check for iron oxide in natural mascaras, which are made from natural minerals, and add pigment to give you the color you want.

The Bads

Mascara formulas all contain oils, waxes, and sometimes preservatives, some of which are natural or synthetic. As with all cosmetics, not every formula is perfectly safe; many are downright hazardous. To ensure you’re using a mascara safe for your skin, it’s essential to know what to look out for. The following mascara ingredients can be harmful to your health if misused.


So, what are parabens? Parabens are often used to keep bacteria at bay and make mascara last longer. The problem is that parabens can mess with your body’s hormones and cause cancer.

Since you’ll only use your mascara for three months, you don’t need these harmful puppies in your product!


Diazolidinyl Urea and Formalin are ingredients commonly used in mascara that can irritate the eyes.

Synthetic Colorants

Mascara wouldn’t be mascara without the dark pigment it gives our lashes, but how the formula gets that desirable pigment is essential. Many mascaras use synthetic dyes or even tar from coal to give mascara its color and darken lashes.

There are many ways to go about coloring your hair. Some of these ways include bleaching and dying your hair, while others can involve more natural methods such as adding dye to natural roots or even painting the color from root to tip. These methods can also come with side effects and risks, not to mention the price tag.

Toxic Conditioners

Also called vitamin A acetate, retinyl acetate is a known reproductive toxicant classified by the FDA. While it provides moisture and holds products in place, there are better ways to do this, like keeping the product in a place with eyelash glue.

Another common ingredient in mascara is propylene glycol. It is also toxic and a known allergen to boot.

Miscellaneous Preservatives

Cosmetics companies use an array of preservatives to ensure that their products last longer and are not contaminated with bacteria or mold growths. These can include dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, imidazolidinyl urea, and thimerosal, all carcinogenic.

While some of these preservatives do help make their mascara last longer, it’s always best to steer clear of any mascara that contains harmful ingredients.


Is mascara made from bat poop?

No. Most of the world’s mascara is made from horsehair. Horsehair is an expensive material and not readily available. As such, they tend to use synthetic materials to replace the hair. It was cheaper for them to make it out of synthetic hair than from actual horsehair.

What are parabens?

Parabens are preservatives used in personal care products such as cosmetics, hair conditioners, moisturizers, body wash, and shampoo. They have been used for more than 100 years because they prevent bacteria growth and increase the shelf life of many commercial goods.

What Is Collagen Mascara?

Collagen is the body’s protein produced naturally in the hair follicles and helps hold hair strands together, give them shape, and add volume. This natural substance is a critical ingredient in collagen mascaras that moisturizes the skin without drying it out. It’s usually made from animal tissues like calf or pig’s collagen and sometimes has added peptides or growth factors to help improve hair health and strength.

What Is Semi-Permanent Mascara?

It is also called a ‘volumizing’ or molding mascara because it can make your lashes look thicker and longer. It is commonly used by women who want a cat eye look but are not comfortable wearing false eyelashes.

What Is Natural Mascara?

Natural mascara does not contain synthetic ingredients or fillers. It is also free of preservatives, perfumes, and dye. It is safe and natural, which means it can be used daily and does not clog the pores. It can also be applied with a brush or finger. Some brands also have a vegan option.

What are waterproof mascara ingredients?

The most common mascara ingredients are water, oils and waxes, pigments for color, and vitamins. Most mascaras are colored with dyes, pigments that absorb light, creating colors that match the wearer’s skin tone. Some of the most popular mascaras on the market today contain synthetic or natural pigments that can stain your eyes.

What is in mascara that makes it resist water?

Water-resistant mascaras have polymers or waxes that prevent the liquid from running down the hair shaft, clumping, or curling. The oils that condition the hair are also less likely to run through the makeup.

Is mascara vegan?

Some of the mascara products are vegan. However, most of them have beeswax, which is a non-vegan ingredient.


The ingredients in mascara are designed to make your lashes appear more prominent and longer. They do this by separating the hairs of your lashes to make them look thicker and more noticeable. However, if you are not careful, you may be putting these toxic chemicals on your eyes and endangering your health.

We hope now you know what mascara is made out of.

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