FREE USA Standard Ship w/ order $40+ (HI/AK excl.)

What's In Your Mascara Wand?

To my mother’s disapproval, I started wearing makeup when I was 12 years old. First it was lip gloss. Then it quickly became mascara. Then eyeliner. Then eye shadow. It was so much fun and like most girls, ingredients were the last thing on my mind. More on this later.

For over 20 years, by favorite mascara has been Maybelline Great Lash. You know the one in the unmistakable pink container? To this very day, it’s the most popular mascara sold on the market. It’s inexpensive, completely accessible and it works GREAT!

A couple years ago, during my quest to clean out my “dirty” cosmetics and replace them with natural and healthier options for myself and my patients . . . I did some investigating on For those of you that don’t know about, it’s a great place to learn about the ingredients in your cosmetics, household products and food.

As an optometrist, I am in the business of not just helping my patients see clearly, but I am also in the business of keeping their eyes healthy. Healthy eyes are beautiful eyes. They are white, allergy-free, inflammation-free and lubricated naturally by your own tears. Using eye makeup with bad ingredients can cause irritation, inflammation and may even cause dry eye disease. Who wants that?

Here I’m about to break down some of the harmful ingredients of Maybelline Great Lash. I use to help me do this. They rank ingredients on a scale of 0-10, from low to high hazard based on available studies. See below:

I’m not saying that Maybelline Great Lash is the root of all evil. I’m just saying that ingredients, when it comes to the delicate tissues of the eye . . . they really DO matter, AND you should really start checking the products you currently use.  Here’s a few ingredients in Maybelline Great Lash and why I don’t let my dry eye patients use it anymore. Sorry, Maybelline!


PHENOXYETHANOL Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Occupational hazards, Use restrictions, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Allergies/immunotoxicity


PEG/ PPG-17/ 18 DIMETHICONE Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Contamination concerns (ETHYLENE OXIDE, 1,4-DIOXANE)


STEARETH-20 Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions, Ecotoxicology, Contamination concerns (ETHYLENE OXIDE, 1,4-DIOXANE)



Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Use restrictions, Data gaps


So Dr. Gill, if I can’t use my current mascara because it’s not healthy  . . . what’s a girl to do? A great resource and go-to place for natural and non-toxic makeup is Currently I buy all my makeup there. An added bonus . . . I also subscribe to their monthly subscription box which introduces me to new natural and non-toxic products for just $15 a month.

And about that mascara. As a woman & an optometrist, I am currently obsessed with Lily Lolo’s black mascara (also available at It’s so good, it’s even passed the high-maintenance test with my most discerning mascara addicted patients. After all, mascara is 99% of your selfie.

PS: Going to VEW2016? Please stop by booth #23101 to say hello and get 3 awesome We Love Eyes show specials!!!