Hi, my name is Janell, and I’m a sensitive-eyed shorty. Every day around 4 p.m., my eyes start to water for a number of reasons: staring at my screen for hours, not wearing my glasses enough, and, honestly, not wearing a mascara designed for sensitive eyes.
Sure, “gentle” formulas may seem like a bunch of fake news, but according to Stephen Alain Ko, cosmetics formulator and skincare expert, these special mascara are often formulated based on real clinical tests, “where the mascara is applied to subjects who are then monitored for eye irritation.” Basically, they’ve got some research behind them.
So if you’re dealing with itchy, watery, or stinging eyes on the regular, trying switching to one of these five gentle mascaras that maybe, just maybe will change your life. Or, at the very least, help you look like you’re not crying at your desk every afternoon.
When shopping for a new mascara, always “look for claims that state the formula is ophthalmologist-tested or safe for sensitive eyes,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. This thickening and lengthening option is derm tested, paraben free, fragrance free, and itchy-eyes approved.
This mascara is an OG favorite in the beauty world, and for good reason: Unlike traditional formulas, which can flake or fall into your eyes, this one creates tiny, waterproof “tubes” around your lashes to keep your sensitive eyes happy.
This natural mascara may not be 100 percent organic, but it is 100 percent volumizing. The non-drying formula features gentler plant waxes and raw minerals that lengthen without irritating or smudging.
“Gentle mascaras often use minerals instead of synthetic dyes [which can irritate eyes], along with using soothing oils and plant extracts,” says cosmetic chemist Tawhanna Wood. Sound like an impossible combo to find? It’s not: This mascara is both hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist tested, says Wood.
This mascara is right up my alley—it was designed for anyone with sensitive eyes and/or contact lenses (*raises hands*). If you’re having an extra-sensitive eye day, try my application hack: Swipe the mascara on mid-lash to ends to avoid the root and your skin.