To break it down further: it's a bit complex. When a mascara is labeled "waterproof," it essentially means that its formula doesn't dissolve in water. However, this doesn't mean it's entirely immune to water's effects.
Additionally, it's important to understand that "waterproof" and "water-resistant" mascaras are not the same. Waterproof mascara is created to endure more water exposure compared to water-resistant mascara.
Water-resistant mascara can handle a bit of moisture but not much beyond that. It might hold up against light rain but may not be suitable for swimming.
To add to the confusion, being labeled as waterproof or water-resistant doesn't mean it's resistant to oils. These types of mascaras may not withstand oily skin or the effects of some facial products, such as sunscreen or moisturizer.
The ingredients that make waterproof mascara waterproof
Traditional mascara (non-waterproof) is an oil-based paint that applies smoothly and may need makeup remover to come off. However, when oil and water mix, they don't simply coexist peacefully – they can form a gray or black sludge.
This sludge can accumulate in the corners of your eyes or cling to the skin beneath your brows. Even though non-waterproof mascara may not be completely washed away by water, its oily formula becomes less stable. This can result in your eyelashes sticking together and mascara residue accumulating under your eyes.
Waterproof mascara formulas, on the other hand, use a different formulation that's lighter on oil or even oil-free, with silicone-based ingredients. One common ingredient that imparts waterproof properties is dimethicone copolyol, although the exact waterproof formula is usually a closely guarded secret.
However, waterproof mascara can still flake and smudge when exposed to oils, leading to those frustrating smudges. Additionally, the silicone-based formula can be problematic because, while it resists water, it also resists coming off your eyelashes. This can sometimes contribute to issues like dermatitis, which is an irritating inflammation around your eyes.
Waterproof formulas can also leave residue around your lashes and in your eyes, potentially leading to clogged pores and ducts. If you've ever experienced small, flesh-colored bumps near your eyes or irritated styes, leftover residue from waterproof mascara could be the culprit.
Why does all waterproof mascara smudge?
How many of us have put on a "waterproof" mascara with confidence, only to discover later that it smudged or clumped our lashes? You're not imagining things; it's the mascara losing its battle, even though it proudly wears the waterproof label. So, why does this happen?
Waterproof and water-resistant is great for keeping away pure water. But the stuff that makes mascara run often isn't pure water. It's usually a liquid or a cream that has some oil in it, such as:
- Your tears
- Your sweat
- Oily or combination skin
- Face creams and lotions, especially oil-based ones
- Sunscreen (even the ones labeled oil-free are just referring to the oil that causes acne)
- Facial oils and serums
Even if you forgo all skin care and makeup products, you might see waterproof mascara smudging or running. You could go through your day without crying or having your eyes water, yet your waterproof mascara still wouldn't be safe from smudging!
Unless you have magical power to stop your pores' production of sweat and oil, your mascara will always be at risk of smudging, even if it's labeled 'waterproof'.
The Alternatives to Waterproof Mascara That Actually Can't Smudge
Let's chat about a beauty innovation: tubing mascara.
Waterproof mascara has been in the beauty game since 1938 and has seen its fair share of updates. However, it mainly relies on water-repellent ingredients, and while it's technically waterproof, it doesn't always live up to expectations when it meets water and usually very difficult to remove. Now, here's where Blinc steps in. They pioneered tubing mascara technology that isn't just a theory on paper – it actually performs in real life.
Tubing mascara uses totally different ingredients than conventional mascara or waterproof mascara. It forms tiny tubes around each of your lashes. A real tubing mascara (like Blinc Tubing Mascara) is oil free, which gets rid of the water + oil smudging problem.
When it's time to remove your tubing mascara, it slides off in one clean piece, and all you need is water. This eliminates the problem of duct-clogging, pore-plugging residue from waterproof mascaras. Also, since you don't need makeup remover, tubing mascaras eliminate rubbing your eyes with harsh chemicals and irritation.
What mascara is REALLY waterproof?
Let's discuss tubing mascara again. Remember, it won't have the "waterproof" or "water-resistant" label on it because you remove it with water.
So, how does it manage to stay on all day yet come off with just water? The trick here is to generously soak your eyes with water and apply a gentle pressure when removing it.
This combination loosens the mascara tubes enough for them to effortlessly slide off. To get the job done, washing your face with plenty of warm water and using a washcloth or cotton pad will work like a charm. It's important to note that water alone like water-based activities, sweating or tearing won't be enough to remove real tubing mascara.
Ready for your mascara to stay put all day long?
You're not in search of a mascara that defies water completely. What you truly need is a mascara that can endure anything the day brings your way, whether it's ocean or pool water, watery eyes, tears, sweat, or your usual skincare products.
It's not so much about waterproof mascara; it's about a mascara that's resistant to the challenges life throws at you.
If you're on the hunt for a mascara that's genuinely pool-proof, beach-proof, sweat-proof, and tear-proof, look no further. Explore Blinc's 4 best tubing mascaras and discover the one that can handle it all depending on your lash type and desired looks for different occasions. We also have Clean, Vegan, and Gluten-Free options.
We have a QUIZ to help consumers decide.
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