Posted on: December 10, 2023 Posted by: Comments: 0

Ask almost anyone what their can’t-live-without makeup item is and, nine times out of ten, the answer will be mascara. But what if you have sensitive eyes that water at the very thought of applying mascara to your lashes? Chances are you’ll avoid wearing it entirely rather than run the risk of irritated eyes and smudged mascara come lunchtime. However, there are plenty of mascaras that work brilliantly for sensitive eyes—you just need to know what to look out for.

“Some eyes are more vulnerable to sensitising ingredients, especially when the tear barrier is compromised which can cause dry eyes,” explains Nicola Alexander-Cross, Optometrist and Peep Club Co-Founder. “When this happens, the tears, which are our eyes first line of defence, are poor in quality or quantity and can leave the eye more vulnerable to allergies or irritation.” The biggest culprit for causing irritation has to be the ingredients found within mascara formulations, though. “Mascaras are notoriously difficult to formulate without sensitising ingredients—alcohol, fragrances, certain preservatives, and waxes. It’s the hardest makeup product to find if you do have sensitive eyes.”

So, what should we be looking out for in a mascara if we do have sensitivity? “The safest bet if you have sensitive eyes is to opt for a fragrance-free mascara,” says Alexander-Cross. “Tubing mascaras also work particularly well as they create a little tube around each lash, preventing the flaking that is the most common source of eye irritation. Plus, they come off with just warm water so you don’t need to use an eye makeup remover which can cause further sensitivity.”

Of course, even with this advice, sometimes we do end up picking up a formula that doesn’t work for us, So, if you are experiencing irritation caused by a mascara then Alexander-Cross recommends using an oil-based eye makeup remover to gently but thoroughly remove all traces of mascara reside from the lashes. “If it’s a particularly bad reaction, you could also consider an eye bath after removal, or apply preservative-free eye drops or an eye spray. I always keep our Peep Club Instant Relief Eye Spray in the fridge to restore the tear barrier and protect the eye from further irritation.”

Brimming with conditioning ingredients that are kind to your lashes and skin—think shea butter and strengthening keratin—it’s a 99% naturally derived formulation that will look after sensitive eyes. I find that so many mascaras flake on me, but this one stayed put all day. And, despite it not being a tubing mascara, it washes away easily with just warm water.

If your eyes are prone to irritation then Clinique should be high on your go-to list for mascaras as basically all of their formulas are ophthalmologist-tested and safe for both sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. This one is infused with tiny fibres to boost volume and thickness, and the results are impressive.

Mascaras for sensitive eyes can often feel a bit no-frills, but this one from Victoria Beckham Beauty is ultra-luxurious. From the heavyweight packaging to the jet-black pigment, it creates long, fluttery lashes with plant-derived polymers for a comfortable, flake-free finish. Even better? It’s a tubing mascara that effortless dissolves in water so there’s no harsh tugging or scrubbing required to remove it.

This is a super conditioning mascara formula that really looks after brittle or sensitised lashes. Along with vegan collagen to hydrate lashes and plant-based fibres to boost volume, it boasts a wonderfully glossy black pigment that makes eyelashes look as healthy as they feel. Layer up if you want extra length or volume.

This French pharmacy brand are masters at creating efficacious skincare for sensitive skin so it’s great news that they’ve turned their prowess to mascara. It creates fluffy lashes that stay put through rain and tears, and the addition of moisturising panthenol means that your lashes never feel stiff or uncomfortable. the waterproof formulation means this really doesn’t budge, but the brand do recommend you use a bi-phase eye makeup remover at the end of the day. 

Merit can really do no wrong when it comes to creating hardworking makeup products, and this mascara’s tubing technology is second to none—it wraps every lash with no smudging or flaking at all. Sensitive eyes will really benefit from the gentle formula which is enriched with fatty acids and olive oil to deeply condition. For a great everyday mascara look that rinses clean with warm water, you can’t do much better than this.

A great option for sensitive eyes, this is actually a 2-in-1 lash treatment and mascara that strengthens lashes with neuropeptides and biotin for thicker, fuller eyelashes. The mascara itself is impressively lifting and lengthening, too—so you can enjoy as subtle or as dramatic an effect as you like, depending on how many layers you apply.

This mascara went viral for good reason—it imparts unbelievable amounts of length on even the shortest of lashes. And sensitive eyes can still enjoy its dramatic results with the ophthalmologist-tested waterproof formulation. It won’t flake, smudge or irritate eyes and it boasts the same lash-lifting finish.

Fragrance-free and tested on sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, Glossier’s Lash Slick makes a great mascara option if you’re looking for a basic (in a good way) mascara. It’s featherlight so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything at all and the tubing formula means it washes away easily at the end of the day with no fuss or irritation. Up Next: According to Dior’s Beauty Pro, This Is How to Do Makeup For Almond Eyes.

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