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Is Mascara Made of Bat Poop? The Truth Behind This Beauty Myth

Mascara is one of the most popular and essential makeup products for many people. It can enhance your eyes, make your lashes look longer and fuller, and give you a more awake and glamorous appearance. But have you ever wondered what mascara is actually made of? You may have heard a rumor that mascara contains bat poop, also known as guano. Is this true, or just a gross urban legend? In this blog post, we will explore the origin, ingredients, and benefits of mascara, and debunk the myth that it is made of bat poop.

What is Mascara and How Did It Originate?

Mascara is a cosmetic product that is applied to the eyelashes to darken, thicken, lengthen, and define them. The word “mascara” comes from the Spanish word “máscara”, which means “mask” or “stain”. Mascara has a long and fascinating history, dating back to ancient times.

The earliest form of mascara was used by the ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC. They used a substance called kohl, which was made of soot, antimony, burnt almonds, and other ingredients, to darken their eyelashes, eyebrows, and eyelids. They believed that kohl could protect their eyes from evil spirits and infections, as well as enhance their beauty.

Mascara was also used by other ancient civilizations, such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Persians. They used various natural materials, such as ashes, charcoal, honey, rose water, and crocodile dung, to create their own versions of mascara. Mascara was not only a cosmetic product, but also a symbol of status, wealth, and power.

Mascara became more modernized in the 19th century, when chemists and inventors experimented with different formulas and applicators. In 1872, a French perfumer named Eugène Rimmel created a cake mascara that was made of petroleum jelly and black coal dust. His product was so popular that the word “rimmel” is still used as a synonym for mascara in some languages, such as French, Portuguese, and Arabic.

In 1913, an American chemist named T. L. Williams created a liquid mascara that was made of petroleum jelly and carbon black. He named it “Maybelline”, after his sister Mabel, who inspired him to create the product. Maybelline is now one of the most famous and successful mascara brands in the world.

In 1957, a French makeup artist named Helena Rubinstein introduced a mascara that came in a tube with a wand applicator. This was a revolutionary invention that made mascara easier and more convenient to use. Since then, mascara has evolved into various types, such as waterproof, volumizing, lengthening, curling, and colored mascaras, to suit different preferences and needs.

What is Mascara Made of Today?

Mascara is made of a combination of ingredients that can vary depending on the brand, type, and formula of the product. However, most mascaras have some common components, such as:

  • Pigments: These are the substances that give mascara its color and opacity. The most common pigments used in mascara are carbon black and iron oxides, which are safe and effective for darkening the lashes. Some mascaras may also use other pigments, such as ultramarines, chromium oxides, and mica, to create different shades and effects.
  • Waxes: These are the substances that give mascara its consistency and texture. They help mascara adhere to the lashes, prevent smudging and flaking, and enhance the volume and length of the lashes. The most common waxes used in mascara are beeswax, carnauba wax, candelilla wax, and paraffin wax, which are derived from natural sources. Some mascaras may also use synthetic waxes, such as polyethylene and microcrystalline wax, to improve the performance and stability of the product.
  • Oils: These are the substances that give mascara its smoothness and fluidity. They help mascara glide on the lashes, moisturize and condition the lashes, and prevent clumping and drying. The most common oils used in mascara are mineral oil, lanolin oil, castor oil, and sesame oil, which are derived from natural sources. Some mascaras may also use synthetic oils, such as silicone oil and isododecane, to enhance the waterproof and long-lasting properties of the product.
  • Polymers: These are the substances that give mascara its film-forming and curling abilities. They help mascara coat and shape the lashes, create a flexible and durable layer, and resist water and oil. The most common polymers used in mascara are acrylates and vinyl, which are derived from synthetic sources. Some mascaras may also use natural polymers, such as cellulose and starch, to create a more eco-friendly and biodegradable product.
  • Preservatives: These are the substances that give mascara its shelf life and safety. They help mascara prevent microbial growth, contamination, and spoilage, and protect the eyes from infections and irritations. The most common preservatives used in mascara are parabens, phenoxyethanol, and sodium dehydroacetate, which are derived from synthetic sources. Some mascaras may also use natural preservatives, such as grapefruit seed extract and vitamin E, to create a more gentle and organic product.

Is There Bat Poop in Mascara?

No, there is no bat poop in mascara. This is a myth that has been circulating for a long time, but it has no basis in reality. The confusion may have arisen from the similarity between two words: guano and guanine.

Guano is the term for the excrement of bats and seabirds, which is used as a fertilizer and a source of nitrogen. Guanine is a term for a crystalline substance that is found in the scales of fish, the wings of butterflies, and the DNA of animals and plants. Guanine is used as a colorant and a shimmery agent in some cosmetics, such as mascara, eyeshadow, nail polish, and lipstick.

The word guanine comes from the Spanish word guano, which means dung. However, this does not mean that guanine is derived from guano, or that guano is used in cosmetics. Guanine is extracted from fish scales, which are a by-product of the fishing industry, and processed into a safe and pure form. Guanine is approved by the FDA and the EU as a cosmetic ingredient, and it does not pose any health or environmental risks.

Therefore, you can rest assured that there is no bat poop in your mascara, or any other cosmetic product. Mascara is made of carefully selected and tested ingredients that are designed to enhance your beauty and protect your eyes.


  • How often should I replace my mascara? You should replace your mascara every three to six months, or sooner if it becomes dry, clumpy, or smelly. Mascara is prone to bacterial growth and contamination, which can cause eye infections and irritations. To prevent this, you should also avoid sharing your mascara with others, pumping your mascara wand, and adding water or saliva to your mascara.
  • How can I remove my mascara safely and effectively? You should use a gentle and oil-based makeup remover that can dissolve and lift off the mascara from your lashes. You should also use a soft and clean cotton pad or cloth to wipe off the mascara gently, without rubbing or pulling your lashes. You should avoid using soap, water, or tissue paper, as they can dry out, irritate, or damage your eyes and lashes.
  • How can I choose the best mascara for me? You should choose a mascara that suits your lash type, desired effect, and personal preference. For example, if you have thin and sparse lashes, you may want to use a volumizing mascara that can add thickness and fullness to your lashes. If you have short and straight lashes, you may want to use a lengthening and curling mascara that can extend and lift your lashes. If you have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses, you may want to use a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free mascara that can minimize the risk of allergies and reactions. You should also consider the color, formula, and applicator of the mascara, and experiment with different options until you find your favorite one.
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