When you travel, you hardly get time for the touch-ups. Your travel plans include swimming, diving, beach activities, and many other water activities. To avoid looking like a panda, you use waterproof face makeup and waterproof eye makeup. You think that will save your face and eyes from getting ruined. But are you sure waterproof eye makeup that includes waterproof mascara, waterproof kajal, and waterproof eyeliner is safe for your eyes?

Mascaras are usually used to enhance eyelashes. It helps the eyelashes to become thicker, darker, and high-defined. Mascara comes in various forms; liquid, cream, and cake. The basic formula, however, remains the same.

History Of Mascaras

Around 4000 BC, Kohl was used for the darkening of eyelashes and eyelids. Kohl was made by grinding stibnite and was used to mask the eyes. It was believed to ward off evil spirits and protect the soul. It was used by both, men and women.

Victorian women used to make mascaras at home by heating a mixture of ashes or lampblack and elderberry juice and applying that mixture on the eyelashes. The concept of mascaras was not clear until the 19th century.

Eugene Rimmel, a chemist developed a cosmetic using petroleum jelly which was newly invented back then. Roughly, at the same time, in 1915 Thomas Lyle Williams created a similar product for his sister Maybel. In 1917, he started from the product that later became the company, Maybelline.

What Is A Waterproof Mascara?

Waterproof mascara is a form of mascara that doesn’t get washed off with water easily. Basic ingredients in mascara are carbon black or iron oxide which is used as pigments to darken the lashes, a polymer that coats the lashes, oils, or waxes to thicken the mascara. A few oils used are lanolin oil, mineral oil, paraffin oil, petrolatum oil, castor oil, carnauba wax, and candelilla wax.

Apart from these basic ingredients, there is a chemical that is additionally present in waterproof mascaras. Dimethicone copolyol is a type of silicon that gives the product a soft and smooth finish. It is water-repellant and is often used in shampoos and conditioners that help maintain a shiny finish. For the same reason, it is used in mascaras. Water does not react with it and helps the mascara to not smudge.

Is Waterproof Mascara Good For Your Eye Lashes?

No, it’s not! It also depends on the usage, but if you are using it on a daily basis, then you should read what waterproof mascara can do to your eyelashes. Here are a few side effects:

  • Dimethicone that is used to make the mascara waterproof can be drying for the lashes. Since it is water-resistant, the chemical itself is dry. This can make your eyelashes dry too and eventually can be a reason for them to fall out.
  • It works like a long-lasting lip colour or lip stain. It surely will last for a longer time but eventually will leave your lips dry. Waterproof mascara works the same way. It will dry your lashes.
  • Waterproof mascaras are designed to stay longer than regular mascaras. Removing them can be a pain. And too much rubbing can be harmful.

Always remember if you are using waterproof makeup, you should use an oil-based cleanser. The water-based cleanser will make it harder for you to remove the makeup. Eventually, you will have to rub your eyes more.

  • Removing a waterproof mascara can involve a lot of rubbing. Your eyes are very sensitive and a lot of rubbing can break tiny blood vessels resulting in dark circles. Continuous rubbing of the eyes can also lead to thinning of the cornea which is weakened.
  • There is a chance that your mascaras contain “Teflon”. Yes, I am talking about the Teflon used in non-stick pans. The cosmetic industry will say that a minimum amount of it won’t harm you. But do you really want to believe it? Personally I…

  • Never, ever pump your mascara in and out. No, don’t do that! When you do that air flushes in with thousands of bacteria that multiply because they have the tendency to do so. When you apply the mascara to your eyes, you apply the bacteria as well. The next thing you know, you might be prone to infection and inflammation. Can you imagine having an eye infection?


  • If you have thin eyelashes, waterproof mascaras are not for you. Thin eyelashes already have less water content as compared to thick ones. This means they will dry faster. Don’t risk it!
  • If you are using mascara on a daily basis, stop that practice right away. When you apply mascara you prevent your eyelashes to reach moisture. Doing that on a daily basis is not at all advisable.
  • If you use contact lenses, you might want to rethink about using a mascara. When you apply mascara on your lashes, it forms a layer around the lashes and makes them seem dry. Then if you unconsciously rub it slightly, you will notice particles falling off. That is the dry mascara on your lashes. These particles can easily enter your eyes and then you know the pain of washing the lenses and putting them back on.

  • Removing a waterproof mascara can be a pain but make sure you remove it before going to bed.

Tips For You To Remove Waterproof Mascara

There are two ways by which you can remove your waterproof mascara.

  • By commercial products
  • By natural products

Commercial Products

  • Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, use hypoallergic products, they are less harmful.
  • Use an oil-based makeup cleanser to remove waterproof makeup.
  • Use a cotton ball or a cotton pad and pour a good amount of cleanser. Close your eyelids and rest the cotton pad/ball on the eyelids.

Note: Gently press the cotton pad on the eyelids and let it get soaked in.

  • After a few seconds gently swipe the cotton pad/balls downwards toward the tip of the lashes. If needed you can repeat the procedure till the entire product is removed.

Natural Products

There are a few natural products that will also let you remove your stubborn mascara very easily. Here is the list for you:

  • Olive Oil:- Put a few drops of olive oil and rub it on your eyes. Massage your eyes a little. DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES. Wipe the oil with a cotton ball or cotton pad.
  • Coconut Oil:- Take a good amount of coconut oil on a cotton pad and place it on your eyelids for 10-20 seconds. Wipe it gently.
  • Almond Oil:- Use either of the method mentioned above for this oil. It has a thin consistency and can help you in any way you use it.

After you are done wiping the product off, use a Q-tip to remove the mascara from the base, and then wash your face with lukewarm water. Apply moisturiser afterward and done!

So this was all about mascaras and what harm they can do. You can use them once in a while and don’t forget to remove them before going to bed. But regular usage is not nice for your eyes.

Let me know in the comments section if you have a different opinion about the product or if you have faced issues because of it. I’m all ears!


  1. So true! Waterproof mascaras make lashes brittle and fall. Instead of mascaras, we can use a good lash serum like Lustrous Lashes to grow our lashes naturally.


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