Can Mascara Cause Headaches?

girl wearing mascara having a headache

Can mascara cause headaches? I wanted to bring this question to your attention because, as I’m sure you know, there are many cosmetic products on the market that can cause headaches. You may be wondering if certain mascaras are one of them. I know I did, so I decided to research it further.

Mascara is a popular beauty product worn by many women. It’s so popular that the average American woman spends $3,700 on mascara in her lifetime. Mascara is used to make your lashes longer and thicker.

But a lot of people have concerns about the effects of wearing certain makeup, including mascara. A lot of people are concerned with formaldehyde, propylene glycol and other ingredients. So we will be going over some of the main concerns with wearing mascara.

Can Wearing Mascara Give You Headaches?

Can wearing mascara give you headaches? Yes, but only if you are allergic to some of the ingredients. Ingredients such as PG (propylene glycol) and formaldehyde found in mascara can cause headaches if you are allergic to them.

Mascaras, like other beauty products, have some toxic chemicals in them. These chemicals are used as preservatives or to keep products a certain texture. Since mascara is very close to the eye, it definitely can irritate very easily.

Chemicals can actually pass through the skin and into our body. This means the toxic chemicals can travel to our blood stream and actually cause a physical reaction.

A headache is a common reaction to some toxic chemical ingredients in makeup and mascara among other reactions. Everyone can react differently to a chemical in a product, but a headache or migraine is very common.

Is Propylene Glycol Safe In Mascara?

PG (propylene glycol), is an active alcohol ingredient that comes from petroleum. It is used inside of mascaras to keep it a liquid texture and prevent it from going solid.

Mascara is not the only beauty product to use PG in their products, however it is considered toxic by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It is known to have a reaction with less than 2 percent concentrate; it’s clearly very toxic and strong.

It is said that Propylene Glycol can, in fact, cause headaches and other physical reactions. Whether you believe PG is safe in mascara or not, it can still cause reactions if applied.

Does Mascara Contain Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a colorless and flammable chemical that is quite toxic especially in large amounts. It is made naturally in our body but is also used as a preservative. Most of us know of this as what they use to preserve the bodies of the deceased.

Either way, it is considered a toxic chemical and it can cause physical reactions. Mascara does contain formaldehyde releasing chemicals, so yes, it contains formaldehyde. It is used in mascara as a preservative.

Can Formaldehyde Cause Headaches?

Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical and like all chemicals, it can cause a physical reaction in the body when exposed. Many people can be easily affected by formaldehyde in mascara, but it is also known to cause allergic reactions.

Formaldehyde, in any context, applied to the eye area is sure to cause a bodily reaction. Headaches, irritation, and burning are all reactions that can occur if exposed to formaldehyde. It is also said that those with asthma may be triggered if they are exposed to formaldehyde.

It can be hard to spot formaldehyde on the ingredients list, so always do your research. Formaldehyde isn’t just in mascara, but it’s also in eyelash glues, body washes, shampoos, conditioners and other hygiene products.

How Do I Know If I’m Allergic To My Mascara?

We’ve determined that mascara has toxic ingredients inside of it that can cause reactions. So how do you know if you’re having an allergic reaction? You may experience headaches, nausea, stinging, itching, redness or burning.

In most intense cases you could experience hives. It is hard to determine if you are having an allergic reaction, or if it’s an irritating ingredient inside of the mascara that’s causing it. If you experience any of these symptoms then you should get medical attention.

How Do I Treat Headaches Caused By Mascara?

You can treat these headaches like you would any other. You can take some sort of over the counter pain reliever. You can also use a cold or hot compress and find a quiet place to relax.

Getting some sleep or a hot bath might help relieve some of the pressure and give you a little relief. Massaging the area can help relieve pain and pressure.

Combine a few of these treatments until you find relief for your headaches. You should also discontinue use of the mascara that caused the headache.

How Do I Prevent Headaches Caused By Mascara?

When using mascara you should discard it and get a new one before the expiration date. This will prevent any bacteria from forming. It also prevents any chemical reactions to occur that may cause irritation.

The best thing that you can do to prevent headaches caused by mascara is to invest in an all natural mascara. There are a lot of brands out there who offer natural mascara without all of the harsh chemicals. You should also avoid perfume.

If a product has perfume in it then it is way more likely to cause a headache or even other reactions. Be sure to always read the ingredients and labels on products. Research ingredients that you may not know, because it could be something harmful.

What Is The Healthiest Mascara To Use?

There are many different types of natural mascaras out there to try out. So how do you know which one to choose? We will go over the top three choices out there for you. These mascaras have clean ingredients and are based on natural beauty.

ILIA Limitless Lash mascara is made with ingredients that nourish the lashes, such as shea butter and beeswax. This mascara gives a long and luscious look to your lashes, while also nourishing your lashes. The Limitless mascara is also formulated to wash off with just warm water!

The next natural and nontoxic mascara is RMS Beauty Volumizing Mascara. This mascara is made with nourishing and conditioning ingredients for your lashes. It is formulated with plant waxes, shea butter and natural oils. It is said to provide voluminous lashes and with nontoxic ingredients.

Burt’s Bees mascara is a 100 percent natural mascara choice. It is made with glycerin and jojoba oil to nourish the lashes. We love this mascara choice because it is all natural but also it is a more affordable drugstore mascara option!

There are many other natural and organic mascara brands out there to choose from. It is important to read the ingredients and find a mascara option that works for you. Try out some of these mascaras to start off with!

Headaches From Wearing Mascara: Final Thoughts

There are many mascaras on the market, but not all of them are safe. Wearing mascaras can give you headaches if you’re allergic to some of the ingredients found in mascara. The attention to this topic was sparked by a woman who posted on her Facebook status that she had a reaction to a mascara product.

She asked whether anyone else had had a similar experience. You may be thinking that you are the only one who has had a bad reaction to mascara. This is not the case. There are a lot of people out there who have had bad reactions to mascara. They have given the product another try only to have similar negative experiences.

If you have had a reaction to mascara, you may need to stop wearing mascara altogether, but if that isn’t an option, try liquid eyeliner. Other options include self-adhesive eyelashes and magnetic eyelashes. You can find mascara alternatives and other eyelash products online. Read our post entitled “What Can I Use As A Substitute For Mascara?” to learn more.

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By Daphnie Bachmann

Daphnie Bachmann is an esthetician and beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves beauty and skincare. She always has her eyes open for the next new beauty or skincare product to test out and review. She's inspired by the beauty world and is always willing to share her beauty secrets!