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It’s assumed that anything labeled “vegan” or “environmentally-friendly” is good for you, but can this be applied to our beauty products too? If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the midst of a clean beauty resurgence, it’s this: though ingredients aren’t harmful to animals or nature, they can be quite the opposite to people.
“Natural doesn’t mean safe,” said Charlie Denton, founder of beauty and skincare brand Crop Natural. “If you want something that performs and is safe for you, ask people who know – do the research before you purchase. And stay informed.”
If you’re diving into a eco-friendly beauty routine, the rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t eat something, don’t put it on your face. For instance, a majority of manufacturers are still utilizing parabens or preservatives that can disrupt estrogen growth, and propylene glycol–an ingredient that causes skin irritation–in their mascara. With that being said, a feasible approach to transitioning your products is to start with just one.
“I think this is a major thing people should understand – and need to really look at: Women put on an average of 168 different chemicals on their bodies per day,” said Denton. “Think about that – all exposures add up. Exposing yourself daily to harsh synthetics or chemicals will have lasting impacts on the skin.” For that reason, Crop Natural’s first mascara, is made from castor oil, jojoba oil and Brazilian palm wax.
As of late, more organic and vegan makeup brands are looking to oils as an alternative to traditional mascara ingredients. Not only are they safe to put in your body, but they are beneficial to put on your body. Plus, there are a few oils that can be particularly beneficial to your lashes.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil, typically used in food…remember our rule of thumb? It’s naturally moisturizing and strengthening to hair, and functions best as a conditioner.
“Castor oil specifically repairs the lashes and is a great oil for elongating and stimulating growth and recovery within the lash follicles,” Denton said. Legend has it that Cleopatra actually used castor oil to brighten her eyes, so why not try it to luster up your lashes?
The Jojoba plant is a shrub that grows in the desert, most commonly found in the southwestern United States. If there’s anything we can rely on from lifeforms that flourish in the desert, it’s their hydrating qualities. Jojoba oil is actually a wax that comes from the plant. It can be found in many foods, and was first introduced to cosmetics in the 1970s. And there is a good reason we’re still using it almost five decades later: the ingredient is moisturizing, protects against breakage and is rich in vitamins that naturally nourish hair and promote thickness.
The most “radical” of all of the mascara oils, CBD oil is the most recent to be introduced to our lashes. Using CBD oil in your mascara won’t get you high. It does come from the cannabis plant, but it’s a different strain from THC, which is what you find in marijuana. A mascara made with CBD oil will give you high volume, as the oil brings a creamy texture and conditioning elements to a mascara.
A miraculous work of nature, argan oil comes from the argan nut, which is typically found in Morocco. It is rich in everything that is good for you and for hair: fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E. The oil’s hydrating and growth-stimulating properties make it every eyelash’s dream. Aptly called “liquid gold,” argan oil can actually help your lashes grow longer.
Ready to nourish your lashes with some healthy oils and add natural volume? Here are the products to try:
Crop Natural Mascara
A certified organic and all-natural mascara with Castor Oil and Jojoba Oil for a volumizing, yet understated look complete with the appearance of longer, fuller lashes.
$26 at Crop Natural
Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara
Made with oil from hemp-derived cannabis for a distinctive look that blends high volume with a conditioning element, completely vegan.
$24 at Milk Makeup
Seraphine Botanicals Argan + Silk Fortifying Mascara
A vegan mascara made with raw Argan Oil, along with Corn Silk and Licorice Root Extract for a nourishing touch, fuller look and shine finish to the lashes.
$24 at Seraphine Botanicals
Kjaer Weis Mascara
A CCPB Certified Organic mascara formulated with Castor Oil for antibacterial and antioxidant properties to restore the skin and lashes, plus Jojoba Oil to add a dose of moisture.
$38 at Kjaer Weis
Physicians Formula Killer Curls Voluptuous Mascara
Mascara fitted with a mix of Castor Oil, Collagen and Amino Acids to leave eyelashes with fuller volume and the perfect curl.
$10.95 at Physicians Formula
Clinique Lash Power Long-Wearing Formula
A mascara that ensures a 24-hour smudge-free wear, designed with Jojoba Oil to lengthen and nourish.
$19 at Clinique
Bare Minerals Lashtopia Volumizing Mascara
Formulated with lash-nourishing minerals and Castor Oil for a soft, conditioning finish and buildable volume.
$19 at bareMinerals
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
Clean mascara made with Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and Keratin for a conditioning finish, with the right amount of volume, length and a subtly natural curl.
$28 at Ilia
Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara
Made with 100% pure Argan Oil for a strong, lengthening appeal, plus a slight infusion of bamboo properties for added strength and iron mineral pigments for a dramatic hue.
$22 at Josie Maran
Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Mascara
A high-performance mascara complete with an intensive oil treatment of 100% Pure Argan Oil for thicker and healthier lashes.
$9.95 at Physicians Formula
Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara
A mascara formulated with Jojoba Oil for a creamy, hydrating formula that delivers a dose of mega-volume and all-day wear.
$25 at Lancome Paris