Mascara that doesn’t contain carnauba wax (copernicia cerifera free) for women who are allergic

carnauba-wax-free-mascara (1)Are you worried about carnauba wax in mascara? Maybe you’ve got an allergy to it? Or your mascara has started making your eyes irritated?

I switched mascaras about a year after my little one was born.

At first, whenever I wore it I’d get a slightly irritated feeling… which I wrote off as me just getting the mascara on my eyelid in the wrong place. It couldn’t be an allergy – I’m not allergic to anything. But, I stopped wearing it as much as I was.

A month or two later I put it on again to record a video tutorial on my kid-free-Friday… and my eyes went crazy.

Inflamed, sore, weeping…

Ok. I thought. I’ll just take the mascara off and I’ll be fine.

Tried that.

Still inflamed and sore and itchy.

Maybe if I rinse my eyes out with an eye wash and took antihistamines?

Tried that.

No difference.

Maybe time would help?

Waited the whole weekend…

Still terrible.

Made a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday… went to my little one’s swimming lesson (scared all the kids :p) then went to the doc.

Diagnosis: carnauba wax allergy

Prescription: steroid drops (and no more mascara with carnauba wax… well, ok, he said no more mascara, but that’s tough…)

Oh and he also gave me a lovely warning that if I tried that mascara again my eyes would likely become ulcerated. Yeah, no thank you.

Note: this blog post probably contains affiliate links, which means we may receive small commissions from purchases made through links in this post (at NO extra cost to you). You can read our full disclosure for more information.

The Problem With Carnauba Wax Allergy

Obviously mascaras with carnauba wax are out if you’re allergic.

Unfortunately, carnauba is incredibly popular in cosmetics and particularly mascara and eye liner. It’s also considered to be hypoallergenic and ‘safe’. So, you’ll find carnauba wax even in those mascaras for sensitive eyes.

Is Carnauba Wax Allergy Really an Allergy?

I personally think that my reaction was an allergic response.

However, I came across some information that talked about the issue with carnauba wax is it clogs your eye’s oil glands which can lead to dry eye disease – irritated, scratchy eyes.

Either way, I don’t want carnauba wax anywhere near my eyeballs ever again.

Why Cosmetic Companies Use Carnauba Wax in Mascara

I was surprised to find so many cosmetics companies use carnauba wax. This is because:

  • it’s shiny
  • it works as an emollient
  • it’s hypoallergenic
  • it helps thicken mascara without caking

My doctor would also add: it’s cheap. :/

Does this mean you have to give up on mascara?

I did, for a few months.

But, then life happened and I had a wedding to go to.

I probably could’ve had my eyelashes tinted now that I think about it…

Instead I went searching for a mascara that didn’t contain carnauba wax.

How to Know if Carnauba Wax is in Your Mascara Ingredients

You’re going to have to start reading labels. Yuck. Staring at tiny text and long scientific names of weird chemicals you put on your eyelashes isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time…

Here’s how to spot carnauba wax… because it likes to go by a few different names on mascara ingredients lists:

  • Copernicia cerifera
  • Carnauba wax
  • Carnauba
  • Cire de carnauba
  • Copernicia cerifera cera
  • Cera carnauba

on your mascara ingredients list.

The key words you’re looking for are copernicia and carnauba. The more helpful cosmetic brands will show more than one of these names to describe the ingredient.

What if You Can’t Find the Ingredients List of Your Mascara?

It’s so frustrating – you desperately need to know what’s in your mascara (or risk ulcerating your eyeballs) and you can’t find an ingredients list anywhere.

Here are some tips to help you find out what’s in your mascara:

  • check online stores – many mascaras on sites like Amazon list their ingredients either in the sales listing or include a photo of the ingredients list.
  • check the cosmetic brand’s website – most brands should list the ingredients on their site.
  • go to a cosmetic store or department store and ask for help at the counter – the sales assistants should know their brands well and be able to find the information you need.
  • ask the brand directly – in my research there were a handful of brands that acted like their ingredients list was a top secret plan for world domination that couldn’t fall in to enemy hands… sorry, but saying ‘our ingredients are all hypoallergenic and natural’ doesn’t cut it when you have an allergy to one of those ‘hypoallergenic’ ingredients. I prefer to avoid buying from these companies… but if you’re considering a mascara or eyeliner from one of these brands playing coy, reach out and ask them.

What Mascara Brands Don’t Contain Carnauba Wax?

It’s 2018.

I’m a millennial.

If I need to know something, Google’s got my back.

Except in this case.

A list of mascaras that don’t contain carnauba wax? Zilch. Nada.

Just ADS for mascaras that definitely DID contain carnauba wax. Boo.

Google, you let me down!

Next stop: Amazon. Surely if Carnauba wax is a ‘cheap’ ingredient, I can stroll on down to the luxury beauty section and buy without fear? Nope. A surprising number of luxury brands include Carnauba wax.

So, I’m writing that list for you now. I’m going to link directly to a particular product for each entry – chances are that brand may be a ‘safe’ brand but please do check the ingredients list for yourself before you buy. Case in point: I bought Urban Decay Cannonball from my local Mecca (it doesn’t contain carnauba wax) but some of their other mascaras do.

Also, formulas can change over time and, hey, I’m only human and could’ve missed something!

Xtreme Lashes Volumizing Mascara

Ingredients list in images.

Katherine Cosmetics Everyday Mascara

Ingredients list here

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara

Ingredients list here.

Bella Mari Natural Mascara

When you’ve read as many mascara ingredients lists as I have, you get used to them being super long. Not this one – this brand has only a handful of ingredients which makes me really like it 🙂 I might try it next!

Ingredients list here.

Cleure Luxury Hypoallergenic Mascara

Ingredients list here.

Eyeko Yoga Waterproof Mascara

Ingredients list here.

Kanebo 38C

No image – but check it out here. Ingredients list is shown as a photo from the packaging.

NARS Audacious Black Moon

Ingredients list was found here.

Neutrogena Weightless Wax-Free Mascara


Maybelline New York Snapscara 

Happy Hunting!

To be honest, I’m shocked that I only found 10 mascara brands that didn’t contain carnauba wax. If you have any doubt about whether a mascara contains carnauba wax don’t buy it. It’s in practically every mascara and it’s just not worth taking the risk.

I hope you find a good match for you in this list! And if you find any that I haven’t included, drop me the link below and I’ll check them out.