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Don’t Use Mascara as Lipstick: What To Do Instead

by Sandy Taylor

Can you wear mascara as lipstick? That’s a question that I get a lot from my readers. This may seem to be a good idea for those one off occasions where you’re going for the darker lip look but don’t really want to spend money on yet another lipstick. So the question is: can you really use mascara as lipstick?

Although it’s physically possible to wear mascara as lipstick (just apply it and spread on your lips). I highly would not recommend you doing this. The reason is that applying mascara on the lips could put you at risk of health issues if you accidentally eat some of it. Also, you’ll be losing out on a lot of benefits that comes with a lipstick.

Mascara should be used on your lashes and they are designed for that purpose. In this article, let’s go over some of the dangers of using mascara as lipsticks and the safe alternatives that you can try. 

Common Harmful Mascara Ingredients


Parabens are often used to prevent bacteria from growing in makeup. They are harmful because they can mimic or disrupt estrogen in the body. According to an article on Breastcancer.org, high exposure to parabens may lead to the development of cancer. They have been found in breast tissue and breast cancer. 

Some people might argue that parabens are already being used to preserve food, so what’s the big issue? 

Here’s the thing: Just because the manufacturers are using a certain ingredient to preserve their products, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are safe for you. You may be surprised that cosmetic products that make it to the shelves do not require FDA approval. That’s something to keep in mind the next time you pick up a bottle of mascara. 

Aluminum Powder 

Aluminum powder is a colorant added into many mascaras.  It is a neurotoxin and extended exposure to aluminum powder could lead to serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease

Although the FDA has labelled aluminium as a safe coloring agent, they have only labelled it safe for the eye area and external use. This is because it’s actually not physically possible for your body absorb this substance when it’s on the skin. 

However, when ingested aluminum powder remains a threat to your health. If you see lip gloss with aluminium on it, put it back down, don’t buy it and walk away.  

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol is regularly used as a hydrating ingredient in mascaras. It’s also commonly used as a food addictive and the FDA has labelled it as safe. So what’s the big concern?

This ingredient is controversial because it’s an ingredient you would find in anti-freeze and there are some concerns about it’s usage. 

People with allergies should be particularly concerned with using products containing this ingredient. People with kidney or liver damage are not able to clear this ingredient from their blood efficiently, therefore there is risk of toxicity when using high doses. 

As you probably don’t know how much mascara you are putting on your lips and how much propylene glycol is in your mascara, it’s better to stay away and not use it as a lip stick. 

Retinyl Acetate 

Rentinyl Acetate provides particular concern when swallowed. According to EWG, large amounts could result in vitamin A toxicity. 

This could lead to different health problems such as liver damage, brittle nails, hair loss, and osteoporosis.

It’s important to mention that this ingredient can also be found in lipsticks as well. That’s why it’s always important to read the label before making a purchase. 

Safe Emergency Lipstick Substitute

Now that you understand why using mascara as lipstick is not the way to go. Let’s talk about what you should do.

Sadly, there is no “easy hack”. Each type of makeup is created for a specific purpose and using one type of makeup on another part of your body is not necessarily the best idea. Emergency substitutes like mixing different types of makeup together may work for a short time but health risks due to long term exposure is definitely not worth the risk. 

Instead, you should have better planning for the type of look that you want to achieve and stock up on natural and organic lipsticks that will match the color you want. 

I hope that you found this article helpful. If you like this article, please sure to share it!  Got beauty questions? Contact me using my contact form. If you want more great beauty, makeup and skincare tips, Be sure to join my email list. Thanks for visiting my blog and stay beautiful! 

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