Waterproof mascara is a life saver – but what makes it waterproof?

How Does Waterproof Mascara Work?

What Makes Mascara Waterproof?

Waterproof mascara is a must have for many women all over the world. Nothing is more desirable than long-lasting makeup, and waterproof mascara is exactly that, mascara that just won’t budge.

But what makes mascara waterproof, and when is it better to stick with your standard mascara? We’ve got all your questions covered when it comes to mascara and all its non-budging versions.

What Is In Waterproof Mascara?

The main chemical used in waterproof mascara to make it so water resistant is dimethicone copolyol. Dimethicone is a type of silicone used in many cosmetics. We can almost guarantee you have a fair few products containing it.

Silicones typically give products a soft and smooth finish. This explains why so many primers and hair serums contain dimethicone.

Dimethicone copolyol is water repellent and is often found in shampoos and conditioners to maintain a shiny finish without being washed away by the water. It’s also now commonly used in waterproof mascaras to work in a similar way. Water doesn’t react with it, allowing the mascara to stay without smudging.

Is Dimethicone Copolyol Safe?

It’s always a little scary putting something so close to your delicate eye area, especially when it has such an artificial chemical name! Generally speaking however, dimethicone copolyol is completely safe. Such a tried and tested product has been in all our cosmetics for years.

However, if you have eyelid dermatitis, dimethicone can aggravate it and cause flare ups so it is best to stick with traditional mascaras.

There are also questions about how good silicone is for us, as it is a type of plastic. Unfortunately there is no definite answers either way as to the long term effects of silicones, especially around the eye area.

What are the advantages of using waterproof mascara?

There are many advantages to using waterproof mascara. They aren’t just the obvious ones of being able to swim (or cry!) without black streaks down the cheeks, which is definitely not a good look.

Waterproof mascara works well if you live in a humid environment, or during the summer. It prevents mascara from flaking off as the hours go by. Sweat runs right off waterproof mascara without interrupting it.

If you exercise regularly, waterproof mascara is a great addition to your makeup bag. The durable formulation can take you from the start off a workout right to the sweaty end, without any flaking or melting.

Waterproof mascara is perfect for both glasses and contact lenses wearers. The long-lasting formulation won’t deposit onto the glasses, and changing your contact lenses won’t be a problem with waterproof mascara. They can also withstand eye drops with no hassle.

When Should I Use Traditional Non-waterproof Mascara?

By this point, we have probably sold you on waterproof mascara. Debating why non-waterproof formulations even still exist? There are some advantages to the traditional formulation.

One of the main problems with waterproof mascara is that it can be incredibly difficult to remove. You will find nearly all of your eye makeup removers struggling against the most durable mascaras. Water-based makeup removers will become completely redundant, and you will need an additional oil-based formula suitable for the eye area to even give your remover a chance. It’s always important to be gentle around the eye area as tugging can cause premature ageing and lashes to fall out.

Traditional mascara is also better if you have delicate or thin lashes as waterproof formulations can be much too heavy for fragile types causing them to break or fall out.

Waterproof mascara can be an absolute life-changer, especially if you’re an active lady living in a hot climate. However, it isn’t completely essential for everyday use and sometimes it is kinder to be a bit more gentle on your delicate lashes with a traditional non-waterproof mascara.

Take a step back, look at your day ahead, and decide which formulation will be best for you.