Mascara Ingredients

Mascara ingredients can sound a little scary, especially if you are looking for the best waterproof mascara. Have you ever thought to yourself "I wonder what mascara is made of?" Keep reading.

Modern mascaras can be divided in two groups: water resistant mascaras (often labeled waterproof) and non-water resistant mascaras.

Water resistant mascaras have a composition based on a volatile solvent isododecane, animal-derived waxes (beeswax), vegetable based waxes (carnauba wax, rice bran wax, candelila wax), mineral origin wax (ozokerite, paraffin), pigments (iron oxide, ultramarine) and filmifying polymers. These mascaras do not contain water-sensitive moieties, so offer excellent resistance to tears, sweat or rain.

As a result, these mascaras can only be removed with a specific make-up remover, able to dilute the dried mascara film.

Water resistant mascaras are similar to oil-based or solvent-based paints (yep you read that right). These mascaras should be carefully removed in order to limit eyelash breakage.

Non water-resistant mascaras are based on water, soft surfactants (like triethanolamine stearate), animal-derived waxes (beeswax), vegetable based waxes (carnauba wax, rice bran wax, candelilla wax), mineral origin waxes (ozokerite, paraffin), pigments (iron oxide, ultramarine), thickening polymers (gum arabic, hydrophobically modified cellulose) and preservatives.

Non water-resistant mascaras behave like water based paints. These mascaras can run under the effect of tears, but are easily removed with some soap and water.

Mascara that contains nylon fibres can give lashes a fuller and longer appearance because it clings to the lashes like mini extensions.


If you love to wear green mascara or purple mascara, you may find it interesting that egg whites are often used in colored mascara.

There you have it, the list on mascara ingredients.


For safety and health reasons, mascaras should be discarded three months after opening, especially if the color or smell changes. A mascara brush is made of plastic and should never be shared.


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