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What Would Be the Best Mascara For My Eyes?

What is the best mascara especially if you have dry eyes, blepharitis and or prone to stye or chalazion? I'm going to divide this very complicated question into four parts.


PART ONE. What actually goes into a mascara? You're gonna find a lot of waxes esters, and even silicones on the ingredient list. The softer esters and waxes provide lash volume, while the harder waxes create lash length. Sometimes in a mascara formula, you'll even see bulking agents like nylon and rayon. If they are used in high concentrations in the formula, then the formula supports a fiber type lash mascara.


Because waterproof mascara is definitely more difficult to remove, I always encourage my patients to get a mascara that's water based. So you might have to put up with a little bit of smudging. To reduce smudging, just simply apply your first coat, allow those soft esters and waxes to fully dry. This usually takes approximately one minute. After the first coat is fully dried, go ahead and apply the next coat.


shown here:  We Love Eyes Lashfull Thinking™ Pressed Serum Mascara with Widelash™

  Safety is always number one. A mascara needs a robust preservative system and it needs to be in the right balance. Not too over concentrated, but concentrated enough so that if things like bacteria and mold get inside the mascara tube, the preservative system
 will not allow those things to grow. I did not know this until I started formulating mascara . . . but what makes a preservative system is not just the preservative ingredients themselves, but also the actual components.

So the wand becomes part of the preservative system. The spoolie becomes part of the preservative system. The mascara tube becomes part of the preservative system. So add together all the ingredients plus the components – and that's what creates a stable preservative system. So you cannot alter any part of the wand, spoolie, or mascara tube nor alter or dilute any of the ingredients – or you will render the mascara completely void instantly. Which gets me to my next part.

PART THREE. Often on the packaging, you'll see a little logo. It has a container with a lid that's opened. It will have a number and that number is referred to as the PAO: Product After Opening date. This date isn't just a made up date. It's actually a number that's generated when you do proper stability testing. My philosophy is if you see a mascara that has a 1 month product after opening date or a 1 month recommendation - RUN! To me, that's not a very stable formula. 

You want to try to get a mascara with a number closer to 6 months. That to me is a very reasonable, stable, safe formula over time. In terms of stability, you definitely have two end points. The product after opening date, meaning if you only used your mascara once but 6 months have gone by - the mascara is caput. Another end point is when you notice the esters and waxes in your mascara start to get clumpy. Ironically in a good mascara formulation, this clumping usually happens before the product after opening date. Nothing wrong with the formula itself, just time for a new one. 

If you want to get back into mascara, my only ask is to reset your expectations. You are not going to be able to wear mascara every single day and that's okay. It's not a failure. I
n the morning before you apply your eye makeup, always ask yourself: "how do my eyes feel?"


That's going to determine what happens next. Are you going to have an eyeliner day? Are you going to have a mascara day? If the answer is "yes", put it on! On the other hand, if the answer is "maybe" or "no" – it's okay. Tomorrow is a different day, xo.

Love + Healthy Eyes,
Dr Tanya Gill, OD