Mascara is an essential part of our make-up routine, and there are thousands on the market.
They can volumise, lengthen, curl and even add extra lashes to give us that perfect flutter.
However, many cosmetics, including mascara, are said to include parabens.
Most of us are aware that parabens are not so good for us, with companies advertising their products as ‘paraben-free’, but what actually are parabens and what is the problem with them?
Parabens are a group of related chemicals used to preserve cosmetics and prevent bacteria and mould.
This sounds good and dandy—of course we want our favourite lip gloss to last as long as possible and the idea of smearing bacteria over our lips is not too appealing.
Whilst some experts say that effects of using cosmetics containing parabens are negligible, what cannot be disputed is the harmful cumulative effects of consuming parabens, which have been said to overload our bodies and contribute to health problems.
Unfortunately, detecting whether your favourite mascara contains parabens is not always simple as it is usually not very clearly labelled in the ingredients.
Check to see if your products contain methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben or ethylparaben in the ingredients list.
To make choosing a paraben-free mascara easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best certified paraben-free mascaras on the market so you can ensure you get that doll-eyed look without any worry that you are harming your body.
If you want to know where to find the best paraben-free mascaras, keep reading!
Best Paraben-Free Mascara in the UK
1. Poppy Austin Argan Oil Mascara
Poppy Austin is a US cosmetics company that prides itself on producing skincare, haircare and makeup products that are sustainably and ethically sourced.
This paraben-free mascara contains argan oil, which is rich in vitamin E and works to strengthen hair – ideal for rejuvenating your lashes. This masacara is also free from colourants, fragrances and additives.
The oils are 100% organic cold pressed, and ingredients are completely organic and natural. The company totally opposes animal testing and all of their products are vegan.
Furthermore, they donate a small percentage of profits towards women’s co-operatives in Morocco, so not only can you rest assured that their products are harm-free and guilt-free, but purchases also go towards a good cause!
The addition of argan oil to this mascara is definitely a unique selling point as it will lengthen, volumise and moisturise your lashes for a dramatic flutter, and make lashes look full and silky even after the product is taken off.
- Long-lasting, up to 24 hours coverage
- PH balanced, so suitable for sensitive eyes
- Water resistant
- Also works on short lashes
- Recyclable packaging
- Some find the formula sticky and thick, and hard to apply
- Only comes in black
- Brand claims it is smudge-free, but some people found it may smudge after a few hours
2. Gaya Cosmetics Vegan Mascara
This Italian company uses all vegan ingredients and follows an eco-friendly approach – Gaya means ‘Mother Earth’ in Greek after all!
They strive to use natural ingredients in their products, and their mascara is paraben-free.
The mascara also comes in a cool blue colour if you want to change things up.
To complete your full eye makeup look they also have other products in their range you might want to check out including eyeshadow, gel liquid liner and eyebrow powder.
- Good for sensitive eyes
- Buildable coverage
- Easy to apply and remove
- Smudge-proof formula
- Some find it better at lengthening that volumising
- Relatively expensive
- Not water resistant
3. Green People Volumising Mascara
Green People is a UK-based company specialising in cruelty-free and natural products that are kind to the skin.
The founder started the company while on a mission to find gentle products for her daughter with eczema, and as a result Green People have created a range of products perfect for sensitive skin including skincare, body care, haircare and makeup products.
Their mascara is made from natural pigments and comes in two colours: black and brown. 98% of the ingredients are natural, and include vitamin E and sunflower oil to nourish the lashes.
Their mascara is also a winning product from the Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2018.
To make it easier for you, Green People have a cleanser that pairs with the mascara so you can ensure your whole routine is paraben-free.
- Buildable coverage
- More natural finish
- Unique precision brush to ensure all lashes are covered
- Not as long-lasting as other mascaras
- Can smudge
- Some people have experienced some irritation
4. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra-Lengthening Mascara
This cosmetics brand does what it says on the tin, and aims to provide pure, healthy and sustainable products, whilst also being cruelty-free. Amazing!
All of their cosmetics are pigmented from natural dyes from fruit, tea and plants.
These dyes even have beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients for the skin.
Their popular mascara is no exception, and comes in four shades dyed by black tea, cocoa and berries. There is something for everyone.
The formula also contains oat and wheat proteins to nourish and strengthen your lashes.
- No clumps and flakes
- Dramatic ‘false lash’ effect
- Does have some fragrance and may not be suitable for very sensitive eyes.
- Can smudge after a few hours
5. Dizao Organics 95% Organic Moisturizing Black Mascara
Dizao Cosmetics was founded with the aim of providing natural alternatives to chemical-laden products on the market.
Their products are free from parabens, silicone, synthetic perfume and artificial colourants, so you can touch up your face and rest assured no harm is done.
This brand is unique in that all of their products contain carnauba wax, a natural ingredient from the Brazilian palm tree, which is renowned for its hypoallergenic properties, natural shine and emollient properties.
Their mascara also contains rice bran to protect and nourish your lashes, and organic coffee extract to give them a deep intense black colour.
- Gentle for sensitive eyes and skin
- Natural look for everyday wear
- Long product life
- Has a subtle vanilla/coffee scent which may not appeal to everyone
- May take a while to dry on application
- Prone to smudging
6. Odylique Mascara
Odylique is a family run business, with all products handmade in Suffolk, UK.
The brand was founded to provide cosmetics for allergy-prone and sensitive skin, and is created from the expertise of the founder, Margaret, in herbal medicine and aromatherapy, so you know you are in good hands.
All products are made of only active ingredients and essential oils, and there are absolutely no synthetic chemicals included that could harm the skin and our bodies.
The brand is also completely cruelty-free as they do not test on animals, and they also ensure their products are packaged responsibly—perfect for those who want completely guilt-free and kind to the skin products.
Their mascara comes in black and brown for those who want a more natural look.
- Conditions lashes with natural herbs and oils
- Natural look that is buildable
- No clumps
- Can smudge after a few hours
- Not as long-lasting as other products
- Full volume brush can make application tricky
7. Kjaer Weis Mascara
If you want something a bit more fancy, then this brand and their luscious mascara is for you.
Kjaer Weis is a New York based brand, leading the way in luxury and sustainable makeup.
They provide high quality cosmetics that are made of certified natural products, are all cruelty-free, and all their packaging is eco-friendly—you can recycle all their packaging or simply order a refill for your favourite products.
Their mascara is no exception to their luxury offering: it also comes in a gorgeous and glamorous silver packaging.
In its formula is jojoba seed oil to moisture, and castor seed oil to give your lashes that lush and full effect.
- Gentle formula that is great for sensitive eyes
- Gives a natural look
- Does not clump
- Long lasting and does not smudge
- Relatively expensive, but it is luxury
- Lasts only 3 months
- Not for those who want a more dramatic effect
There are several high quality, natural and sustainable mascaras on the market that can give you either a natural boost to enhance your lashes, or even a more dramatic effect.
There is no excuse to change up what is your current makeup bag for a more gentle alternative.
One of our favourites is the Fruit Pigmented Ultra-Lengthening mascara by 100% Pure because it effectively lengthens and separates the lashes, includes a natural lash serum and is also completely vegan and natural!
We also think it is super cool that their pigments are all natural.
Let us know if you tried any of these and how you got on!
For some more paraben-free makeup recommendation, see these articles: