Sensitive Eyes? These 9 Mascaras Will Give You Full Lashes And No Irritation

Ask almost anyone what their can’t-live-without makeup item is and, nine times out of ten, the answer will be mascara. But what if you have sensitive eyes that water at the very thought of applying mascara to your lashes? Chances are you’ll avoid wearing it entirely rather than run the risk of irritated eyes and smudged mascara come lunchtime. However, there are plenty of mascaras that work brilliantly for sensitive eyes—you just need to know what to look out for.

"Some eyes are more vulnerable to sensitising ingredients, especially when the tear barrier is compromised which can cause dry eyes,” explains Nicola Alexander-Cross, Optometrist and Peep Club Co-Founder. "When this happens, the tears, which are our eyes first line of defence, are poor in quality or quantity and can leave the eye more vulnerable to allergies or irritation.” The biggest culprit for causing irritation has to be the ingredients found within mascara formulations, though. "Mascaras are notoriously difficult to formulate without sensitising ingredients—alcohol, fragrances, certain preservatives, and waxes. It’s the hardest makeup product to find if you do have sensitive eyes.”


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

So, what should we be looking out for in a mascara if we do have sensitivity? "The safest bet if you have sensitive eyes is to opt for a fragrance-free mascara,” says Alexander-Cross. "Tubing mascaras also work particularly well as they create a little tube around each lash, preventing the flaking that is the most common source of eye irritation. Plus, they come off with just warm water so you don’t need to use an eye makeup remover which can cause further sensitivity.”


(Image credit: @isabellecoheen)

Of course, even with this advice, sometimes we do end up picking up a formula that doesn’t work for us, So, if you are experiencing irritation caused by a mascara then Alexander-Cross recommends using an oil-based eye makeup remover to gently but thoroughly remove all traces of mascara reside from the lashes. "If it's a particularly bad reaction, you could also consider an eye bath after removal, or apply preservative-free eye drops or an eye spray. I always keep our Peep Club Instant Relief Eye Spray in the fridge to restore the tear barrier and protect the eye from further irritation.”

Shop the 9 best mascaras for sensitive eyes

1. ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara

2. Clinique High Impact High-Fi Full Volume Mascara

3. Victoria Beckham Beauty Future Lash Mascara

4. Pacifica Vegan Collagen Fluffy Lash Mascara

5. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Waterproof Mascara

6. Merit Beauty Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara

7. Perricone MD No Makeup Mascara with Biotin

8. Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara

9. Glossier Lash Slick Mascara

Mica Ricketts