Eyes wide open: physician-endorsed mascara full of chemicals

Don't believe everything you read on the label...

Credit: Physicians Formula Talc-Free Mineral Mascara

When seeking a fab mascara that makes lashes longer without harming health or the environment, don’t trust everything you read on the label


We’ve all been there. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, mouth wide open (yeah, you know you do it), wielding a wand of mascara, ready to apply it to your lashes, only to accidentally spear yourself in the eyeball instead.


As if the sting of poking yourself in the eye wasn’t bad enough, did you ever stop to consider what, exactly, is in that strange black goop that we all dare to place near our eyes each day?


I certainly did. I’m working on “greening” my makeup, and my Great Lash mascara was next on the “retiree” list. While trolling the London Drugs, I found just one seemingly “eco” mascara: Physicians Formula Talc-Free Mineral Mascara.


I asked the cosmetics counter staffer about the product and she extolled its talc-free virtues (perfect for contact lens wearers) and how it’s better than other off-the-shelf mascaras, since it’s made from minerals. Plus, dermatologists give it the thumbs up, according to the packaging.


I bit, paid the $13, and have been enjoying the mascara—until today. Why? Well, I’ve run out, for one, and when I decided to write this blog, I started digging deeper into the mascara’s ingredients list. Turns out that my “doctor approved” mascara doesn’t pass muster with Mother Nature.


According to the U.S. Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, this mascara is full of toxins like parabens. And it also contains Retinyl Palmitate. Its use, also noted on the database, “is restricted in Canada cosmetics.”


So, once again, I’m on the hunt again for a greener mascara.


Janet Gyenes

As the editor of BC Home and Alberta Home magazines, Janet Gyenes is always searching for the latest trends in home decor. And as assistant editor of Granville magazine, she’s always seeking and sharing tips and information for living more sustainably.