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Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes: A Guide to Lash Out Without Irritation

If you have sensitive eyes, you know how hard it can be to find a mascara that doesn’t make them itch, water, or burn. You may have tried many brands and formulas, only to end up with redness, flaking, or clumping. But don’t give up on your lash goals just yet. There are some mascaras that are specially designed for sensitive eyes, with gentle ingredients, nourishing formulas, and non-irritating wands. In this blog post, we will introduce you to some of the best mascaras for sensitive eyes and explain why they work so well. Whether you’re looking for length, volume, curl, or drama, we have a mascara for you. Read on to discover our top picks and tips for applying them.

What Causes Eye Sensitivity?

Eye sensitivity can have many causes, such as allergies, dryness, infections, or contact lenses. Some common signs of eye sensitivity are:

  • Redness
  • Watery eyes
  • Itching or burning
  • Swelling or puffiness
  • Blurry vision

Some of the factors that can trigger or worsen eye sensitivity are:

  • Environmental irritants, such as dust, pollen, smoke, or pollution
  • Makeup ingredients, such as fragrances, parabens, sulfates, or synthetic dyes
  • Makeup tools, such as brushes, applicators, or curlers
  • Makeup removal, such as rubbing, tugging, or using harsh cleansers

How to Choose a Mascara for Sensitive Eyes?

When shopping for a mascara for sensitive eyes, there are some things you should look for and avoid. Here are some guidelines to help you find the best mascara for your needs:

  • Look for mascaras that are ophthalmologist-tested, dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, or safe for contact lens wearers. These terms indicate that the mascara has been tested for safety and suitability for sensitive eyes.
  • Look for mascaras that are made with natural, organic, or vegan ingredients. These ingredients are usually gentler and more nourishing for the lashes and the skin around the eyes. Some examples are shea butter, jojoba oil, argan oil, or cannabis seed oil.
  • Look for mascaras that have a simple and clean formula, with minimal or no additives. Avoid mascaras that contain fragrances, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or synthetic dyes. These ingredients can cause irritation, inflammation, or allergic reactions.
  • Look for mascaras that have a smooth and creamy texture, with no clumps or flakes. Clumpy or flaky mascaras can get into the eyes and cause discomfort or infections. They can also make the lashes look unnatural or messy.
  • Look for mascaras that have a flexible and comfortable wand, with soft and dense bristles. The wand should be easy to use and glide over the lashes, without poking, scratching, or pulling. The bristles should be able to coat every lash evenly, without leaving gaps or clumps.

What are the Best Mascaras for Sensitive Eyes?

Now that you know what to look for in a mascara for sensitive eyes, let’s take a look at some of the best options available on the market. We have selected six mascaras that meet the criteria above, and that have received positive reviews from customers and experts. Here they are, in no particular order:

Rose Inc. Ultra-Black Lash Lifting & Lengthening Serum Mascara

This mascara is a 2-in-1 lash treatment and mascara that creates the appearance of more lifted, thicker lashes. It nourishes and conditions the lashes with squalane, peptides, argan oil, and goji berry oil extracts. It has a rich, glossy, and deep-black color, and a curved, dual-bristle brush that delivers a clean, defined, and natural curl. It is vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.

Tower 28 Beauty MakeWaves Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara

This mascara is a 93% natural mascara that gives lashes bold definition, volume, and length. It is infused with Aquaflex technology, which helps keep lashes humidity-proof and lifted, while leaving them touchably soft. It also contains sunflower, carnauba, and candelilla waxes, which deliver weightless volume and a fanned-out effect. It is vegan, cruelty-free, and ophthalmologist-tested.

Perricone MD No Makeup Mascara

This mascara is a 2-in-1 lash treatment and mascara that imparts the appearance of more lifted, thicker lashes. It is formulated with biotin, avocado oil, and neuropeptides, which help to nourish, condition, and strengthen the lashes. It has a gel serum texture and a pure, intense-black color. It also has a dual-faced, root-to-tip brush and fine-tooth comb, which ensure precise application and separation.

Ami Colé Lash-Amplifying Mascara

This mascara is an award-winning mascara that delivers high-impact definition and length without clumping or flaking. It is made with 87% naturally derived ingredients, such as shea butter and jojoba oil, which help to moisturize and nourish the lashes. It has a full, tapered wand that hugs and grips every lash for even application and a deep-black shade.

Clinique High Impact Mascara

This mascara is a classic mascara that provides instant drama for the lashes. It defines, volumizes, and lengthens each lash, for a lusher, plusher, and bolder look. It has a pure, warm-black color and a smooth and creamy formula. It is also ophthalmologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and safe for contact lens wearers.

Milk Makeup RISE Lifting + Lengthening Mini Mascara

This mascara is a mini version of the brand’s RISE mascara, which is a 93% natural lengthening mascara. It is enriched with eyelash conditioning ingredients, such as hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and agave extract, which help to hydrate, curl, and define the lashes. It has a tapered, tree-shaped brush that coats every lash from root to tip with a jet-black shade.

How to Apply Mascara for Sensitive Eyes?

Applying mascara for sensitive eyes can be tricky, but not impossible. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results, without compromising your comfort or health:

  • Before applying mascara, make sure your eyes and lashes are clean and dry. Use a gentle eye makeup remover or cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, or residue. Avoid rubbing or tugging your eyes, as this can cause irritation or damage.
  • Curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, if desired. This can help to open up your eyes and enhance the effect of the mascara. Make sure the curler is clean and sanitized, and use it gently and carefully. Do not curl your lashes after applying mascara, as this can cause them to break or stick together.
  • Apply the mascara from the base of your lashes to the tips, using a zigzag motion. This can help to coat every lash evenly and prevent clumping. Start with a thin layer, and build up the intensity as needed. Avoid applying too much mascara, as this can weigh down your lashes and make them look unnatural or messy.
  • Use a lash comb or a clean spoolie brush to separate and define your lashes, if needed. This can help to remove any excess mascara or clumps, and give your lashes a more polished and refined look. Be gentle and precise, and avoid poking or scratching your eyes.
  • To remove the mascara, use a gentle eye makeup remover or cleanser that is suitable for your skin type and sensitivity level. Soak a cotton pad or a reusable cloth with the product, and gently press it over your eyes for a few seconds. Then, gently wipe away the mascara, without rubbing or tugging. Rinse your eyes with water, and pat them dry with a soft towel.


Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about mascaras for sensitive eyes:

Q: How often should I replace my mascara?

A: Mascara is one of the makeup products that expires the fastest, due to its liquid consistency and frequent exposure to air and bacteria. As a general rule, you should replace your mascara every three to six months, or sooner if you notice any changes in the smell, texture, or color of the product. You should also replace your mascara if you have had an eye infection, such as conjunctivitis, to avoid re-infection.

Q: Can I use waterproof mascara if I have sensitive eyes?

A: Waterproof mascara can be tempting to use, especially if you have watery eyes or if you need your mascara to last through sweat, tears, or rain. However, waterproof mascara can be harsh and drying for your lashes and the skin around your eyes, and it can be difficult to remove without rubbing or irritating your eyes. If you really need to use a waterproof mascara, look for one that is gentle, nourishing, and easy to remove, such as the Milk Makeup KUSH Waterproof Mascara.

Q: How can I prevent my mascara from smudging or flaking?

A: Smudging or flaking mascara can ruin your makeup look and irritate your eyes. To prevent this from happening, here are some tips you can try:

  • Use a primer or a base coat before applying mascara. This can help to create a smooth and even surface for the mascara to adhere to and prevent it from transferring or crumbling.
  • Use a setting spray or a powder after applying mascara. This can help to seal and lock in the mascara, and create a barrier against moisture, oil, or friction.
  • Avoid touching, rubbing, or blinking your eyes too much. This can cause the mascara to smear or fall off and get into your eyes.
  • Choose a mascara that is suitable for your lash type and desired effect. For example, if you have straight or downward-pointing lashes, use a curling or lifting mascara. If you have sparse or thin lashes, use a volumizing or thickening mascara. If you have long or thick lashes, use a lengthening or defining mascara.


Finding a mascara for sensitive eyes can be challenging, but not impossible. With the right ingredients, formula, and wand, you can achieve beautiful and healthy lashes, without compromising your comfort or health. We hope this blog post has helped you to learn more about mascaras for sensitive eyes, and to discover some of the best options available on the market. Remember to always test a new mascara on a small patch of skin before using it on your eyes, and to follow the tips and tricks we shared for applying and removing it. Happy lashing!

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