Long and green lashes

Photo: istockphoto.com/Catalin Plesa

Go ahead – lengthen, extend, and thicken; make your lashes full, strong and soft; give them definition, and pump up the volume! Just make sure your mascara is all natural.

We asked Erin Schrode, one of the founders of Teens for Safe Cosmetics, to check out the mascaras on the market and let us know which green brands worked.

Rite of passage
The scene is a seventh grade Spanish class and I am that girl rummaging through her pencil case for Maybelline Full & Soft Mascara in Brownish Black. This little navy blue tube, not to be confused with the ever-popular pink and green cased GreatLash, was my six dollar and twenty-nine cent secret to gorgeous lashes right from the beginning. Applying toxins to our bodies several times a day has become a rite of puberty.

Harmful ingredients
But the ingredients in my favourite mascara have links to cancer, birth defects and reproductive harm:

  • Parabens alter hormone levels, increase cancer risk, impair fertility, and inhibit fetal and infant development. They can also cause skin irritation, rash or allergic reactions, and have been found in breast tumours.
  • Phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and cause permanent defects in male reproductive systems.
  • Triclosan is not only a probable carcinogen, but an endocrine disrupter that bioaccumulates to dangerous levels.
  • Coal Tars and cosmetic-grade Talc are proven carcinogens with clear links to ovarian and lung cancer.
  • Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen that can trigger asthma, irritate the eyes and respiratory tracts, and damage DNA.
  • Petrolatum, coal tar, and about 1000 other potentially toxic ingredients, have already been banned by the European Union.
  • Other ingredients that are dangerous or worse include triethanolamine, diazolidinyl urea, and propylene glycol.
  • Finding alternatives
    I couldn't let go of my mascara and began my quest for the greenest, most fabulous mascara on the market. I won't lie – it was hard. I managed to try all of the green brands and chose the best.

    Wide choices
    Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics mascaras are perfect for evenings, events, or even a photo shoot! With three types and eleven shades, all hypoallergenic, there is mascara for everyone. LongestLash, PureLash, and PureLash Lengthening, all contain minerals and proteins that condition, thicken, curl, and elongate to leave water-resistant lashes that won't smear or smudge.

    Tried and trued
    Dr. Hauschka mascaras give the natural look that everyone craves. Ideal for everyday use, the incredible brush enhances lashes, leaving them soft and lush, yet easy to wash off. Mascara Intermezzo and Volume Mascara boast six shades, from golden green to aubergine, and includes natural extracts to strengthen, protect, and promote lash growth.

    Define and lift
    For maximum volume and expressiveness, Logona Mascara's brush reaches each lash to ensure separation and even distribution, and the pure formula protects against breakage and splitting.

    Flexible help
    Miessence Organic Mascara is part of the first fully certified organic range of products. Jojoba oil, shea butter, and beeswax leave healthy supple lashes, while mineral pigments give an intense color.

    Add some sparkle
    With an advanced shaping brush, Lavera Volume Mascara brightens even the most tired looking eyes and hydrates lashes for flake-free beauty.

    Other brands

  • Zuzu Luxe creates full, yet weightless, lashes that never run or clump.
  • Real Purity
  • Sante Kosmetics
  • Suncoat Naturals
  • Earth's Beauty Natural Mineral
  • Beauty Wise Mineral.
  • Every woman has a right to know what she is putting on her body. We shouldn't have to choose beauty over health. And now, we don't when it comes to long lashes.

    Erin Schrode will be at the Teen for Safe Cosmetic's next event: Turning Green, Live the Life, in New York City on April 4 and in San Francisco on April 26.