Test: These substances are found in mascaras

28. nov 2017

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has examined the ingredient lists on 55 mascaras. In the test 23 of the mascaras are good choices if you want to avoid substances on the ingredient list, that are allergenic or suspected to be endocrine disrupting.

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Test: These chemicals are used in mascaras
Photo: Anne Beck Christensen

Mascara: Many choices without unwanted substances

Mascara on the Danish market can both be with and without problematic chemicals. That is the conclusion on a test from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals who has examined the ingredient lists on 55 mascaras.

The ingredient list of the mascara is checked for content of substances that are allergenic or suspected to be endocrine disrupting.

The test shows, that there are many good choices on the market. But you can also bump into mascara with problematic chemicals.

See the tested products with assessments in the tab below this text.

Unwanted chemicals: Mascara may contribute to the cocktail effect

Endocrine disrupting and allergenic substances in mascara do generally not in themselves constitute a problem. The amount in a single product is very small.

However, mascara can contribute to your combined exposure to unwanted chemicals that you encounter from many sources every day.

The cocktail effect is the combined effect when you add up your exposure to many different substances from many different products. Even though the single product is safe, your combined exposure can be too high. This regards for example endocrine disrupting effects.

Consequently buying cosmetics without problematic chemicals is one of the good ways for you to minimize your exposure.

Many brands such as Clinique, M.A.C., Chanel, Helena Rubinstein, Lancôme and L´Oreal was shown to have mascaras, both with and without problematic chemicals. In these cases the consumers can stick to their favorite brand and find a better choice within the same brand that does not contain problematic chemicals.

Read about all tests of chemicals in consumer products from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

What we found in the mascaras

The mascaras in the test were distributed as follows:

  • 23 received the best assessment
  • 16 received the middle assessment (for example with perfume content)
  • 16 received the lowest assessment (for example with suspected endocrine disrupting substances)

In the test we found the following problematic substances in the mascaras:

  • Parabens, which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting
  • BHT, which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting
  • Cyclopentasiloxane, which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting and problematic to the environment
  • PTFE, a fluorinated substance which is problematic to the environment
  • Chloroxylenol, which is an allergenic substance
  • Imidazolidinyl urea, which is an allergenic substance
  • Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, which is an allergenic substance
See the 55 tested mascaras with assessments

These products receive the best assessment

 

  • Nilens Jord Black volume mascara no. 798
  • Tromborg Volumizing black mascara
  • Clinique High impact curling mascara 01 black
  • Mirenesse Secret weapon 24h mascara
  • Jane Iredale PureLash lengthening mascara jet black
  • Clarins Wonder perfect mascara 01
  • Helena Rubinstein Lash queen mascara feline blacks waterproof
  • Origins GinZing Brightening mascara
  • Elf 3-in-1 mascara very black
  • Gosh Lash sculpting fibre mascara
  • Chanel Dimensions de Chanel mascara 10 noir
  • L´Oreal False lash wings waterproof black
  • Benefit Bad gal lash mascara
  • Benecos Natural mascara vegan volume magic black
  • Cien Volume mascara black
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes reloaded 001 black
  • M.A.C Upward lash mascara volume upwardblack
  • The Body Shop Super volume mascara black
  • bareMinerals Lash domination intense black
  • Urban Decay Perversion mascara
  • Isadora Hypoallergenic mascara 01 black
  • Make up for ever Smoky stretch
  • Sephora Cinescope 01 black


These products receive a middle assessment:

 

  • Maybelline The colossal volum express mascara (contains disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • W7 Absolute lashes blackest black (contains disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Lancôme Grandiose mascara 01 (contains perfume and plant extracts which can be allergenic and disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Too Faced Better than sex mascara sort (contains disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Yves Saint Laurent Baby doll fetish black (contains perfume which can be allergenic and disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Max Factor Velvet volume black (contains the fragrance benzyl alcohol which can be allergenic)
  • Sandstone Mascara intense black (contains disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Youngblood Outrageous lashes mineral lengthening mascara (contains disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Nude by nature Allure defining mascara 01 black (contains the fragrance benzyl alcohol which can be allergenic)
  • Dr. Hauschka Defining mascara black (contains the fragrances citronellol, geraniol and linalool and a plant extract which can be allergenic)
  • Lavera Volume mascara black (contains six fragrances which can be allergenic, limonene and benzyl benzoate can also be problematic to the environment)
  • Essence Get big lashes volume boost mascara (contains tetrasodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Sisley So intense mascara 1 deep black (contains tetrasodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Yves Rocher Mascara 360 volume 01 noir (contains the fragrance benzyl alcohol which can be allergenic and tetrasodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Logona Mascara volume 01 deep black (contains the fragrances limonene and linalool which can be allergenic, limone can also be problematic to the environment)
  • Smashbox X-rated mascara rich black (contains disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)

These products receive the lowest assessment
 

  • Nilens Jord Volume mascara no. 788 black (contains iodopropynyl butylcarbamate which is an allergenic preservative that can also be problematic to the environment)
  • Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara black (contains propylparaben, methylparaben and ethylparaben which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting, trisodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment, the fragrance benzyl alcohol can be allergenic)
  • Clinique Lash power mascara 01 black onyx (contains propylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and ethylparaben which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting, disodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • Lancôme Definicils high definition 01 black (contains BHT, methylparaben and propylparaben which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, imidazolidinyl urea is an allergenic preservative)
  • Dior Diorshow iconic overcurl mascara 090 (BHT is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, decyloxazolidinone and tetrasodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • Chanel Le volume de Chanel mascara 10 noir (BHT is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, tetrasodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • L´Oreal Telescopic mascara black (contains methylparaben, propylparaben and BHT which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting)
  • M.A.C Extended play gigablack lash (contains the fluorinated substance PTFE, fluorinated substances are problematic to the environment and suspected to have unwanted effects on health, chloroxylenol can be allergenic, disodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment,
  • Benefit They´re real mascara (BHT is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, tetrasodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • Estee Lauder Sumptuous knockout mascara 01 black (contains chloroxylenol which can be allergenic, disodium EDTA which can be problematic to the environment)
  • Origins Fringe Benefits Mascara (contains chloroxylenol and a plant extract which can be allergenic, disodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • NYX Doll eye mascara volume black (contains BHT which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, disodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • Helena Rubinstein Lash queen mascara wonder blacks (contains BHT which can be problematic to the environment, disodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)
  • Elizabeth Arden Lasting impression mascara lasting black 01 (contains cyclopentasiloxane which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting and is problematic to the environment)
  • Dark Blond Extreme length mascara black (contains cyclopentasiloxane which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting and is problematic to the environment)
  • Revlon Ultimate all-in-one blackened brown (contains methylparaben and ethylparaben which is suspected to be endocrine disrupting, trisodium EDTA can be problematic to the environment)

See the mascara test in Danish with product pictures and assessments

How we tested mascaras

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has bought 55 mascaras on the Danish market. Both cheaper and more expensive brands have been chosen for the test. We strived to make a selection which widely covered the market.

The test is a labelling check. We have examined the ingredient lists and matched the substances with a number of lists of problematic substances. The lists are for example EU’s endocrine disruptor priority list and EU’s list of harmonized classifications.

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals’ test methods

See the mascara test in Danish with product pictures and assessments

What the companies say

Dark Blond Cosmetics

The company says that its next mascaras will be without cyclopentasiloxane.

Estée Lauder Cosmetics A/S:

“We can assure our consumers that we do not use ingredients or substances which constitute any danger in the use of our products and the safety in use of our products are of high priority in our entire organization.

All the ingredients, we use in our products, is of the highest quality and approved for use in skin care products and cosmetics of the EU and the Danish authorities.”

L’Oréal:

“We would like to emphasize that consumer safety is our most important objective and assure the consumers that their health and the environment is not in any danger. When it comes to preservatives in our products, they can be necessary to protect the product against bacteria and fungus and to secure that the product can be used for several months. We use only safe products and legal preservatives and do not compromise our consumers’ safety. L’Oréal has a team of more than hundred toxicologists, doctors and experts, who are responsible of verifying that all launched products, are safe.”

See the mascara test in Danish with product pictures and assessments