Oil Free Mascara: A Rundown of Its Biggest Benefits & Cons

If you’re tired of dealing with clumpy, smudged mascara, oil free mascara might be the answer to your beauty woes. With a unique formula that omits oil-based ingredients, oil-free mascara still manages to provide stunning lashes like regular mascara and in certain situations, is a better choice than traditional or water-proof mascara.

In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages of oil-free mascara and when it’s best (and not so great) to use it.

How is oil free mascara different from regular mascara?

Oil-free mascara sets itself apart from traditional formulas by eliminating oils as an ingredient. First and foremost, it’s less likely to cause eye irritation for people with sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers. Oil-free mascara tends to have a drier formula, which can help prevent smudging and smearing throughout the day.

Lastly, makeup enthusiasts appreciate that oil-free mascaras are often easier to remove than regular formulas because they don’t require heavy-duty makeup removers. You can use straight micellar water and get the job done.

Benefits of using oil free mascara

With its unique formulation, oil-free mascara offers several key benefits, making it a popular choice among beauty enthusiasts.

  • Safe for sensitive eyes: As mentioned above, oil-free mascara is a safe choice for sensitive eyes or those who wear contact lenses. 
  • Safe for use on eyelash extensions: If you’re wondering can you put mascara on eyelash extensions, the answer is yes! Remember to be gentle and avoid pulling on your lash extensions.
  • Lightweight formula: Another notable advantage is the lightweight consistency of oil-free formulas for comfortable wear.
  • Smoother application: Oil-free mascara allows for smoother application and reduces the risk of clumping as you build volume on your lashes.
  • Easy removal: It’s easier to remove than other types and doesn’t tug or stick to your lashes while you’re trying to wipe it off.

Types of oil free mascara

There are three main types of oil-free mascara available: water-based, wax-based, and silicone-based.

Water-based mascara

Water-based mascaras are popular oil-free mascaras that rely primarily on water as their main ingredient. This makes them an excellent choice for sensitive eyes, as they tend to be much gentler and apply smoothly on the lashes. Water-based mascaras also prevent clumping or weighing your lashes down. Also, you can remove water-based mascara easily with a cotton ball and some micellar water.

Wax-based mascara

Wax-based mascara is a popular oil-free mascara that contains waxes like beeswax or carnauba wax instead of oils. This type of mascara helps create a voluminous and thick lash look without clumping. It’s ideal for those with straight or thin lashes since it provides volume. 

Silicone-based mascara

Silicone-based mascara is another oil-free mascara that provides longer-lasting wear without smudging or flaking. It contains silicone derivatives like dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane instead of oils, which can help improve lash adherence and prevent clumping. Silicone also allows for a very smooth consistency making application a breeze.

What to consider when choosing oil-free mascara

When choosing oil-free mascara, look for a formula that suits your individual needs and matches your personal preferences. Don’t know what those are yet? Keep reading. ;)

Volume, length, and color

Consider the volume, length, and color preference you have before selecting an oil-free mascara. Some people like a more natural look with minimal volume and length, if that’s you then a water-based oil-free formula might do the trick. If you want a more dramatic effect with bold thick lashes, then opt for a wax-based mascara as these help build more volume.

When it comes to color options, you can usually find most shades available, including black, brown, and even fun colors like blue or purple.

Mascara formula

It’s worth noting that different oil-free formulas can achieve different results regarding volume and length. For example, water-based mascaras tend to be lighter and more natural than wax-based or silicone-based mascaras.

Allergens to be on the lookout for

Some common allergens in cosmetics that could cause irritation or allergic reactions include fragrances, preservatives, and certain dyes.

If you have sensitivities, it’s best to patch-test a small amount of the mascara before applying it to your eyes to ensure you don’t react. The inside of your elbow is a good area for this.

Oil free Mascara

Brush type

When choosing an oil-free mascara, the brush type is an essential factor to consider. For example, a curved spoolie with shorter bristles adds volume and curl, while a straight brush with longer bristles lengthens. 

Eye shape & lash type

A volumizing formula may be too heavy if you have small or close-set eyes. If you have short or sparse lashes, a thickening formula may weigh them down and make them look clumpy. 

When to use oil free mascara

Oil-free mascara is a great option for sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers. It’s also an excellent choice during the hot and humid months when sweat can cause regular mascara to smudge.

When not to use oil free mascara

It’s worth noting that oil-free formulas aren’t necessarily better than traditional mascaras. Here’s a few examples of when an oil-free mascara may not be the best choice:

  • Dry arid climates: If you have naturally dry lashes or live in an arid climate, using an oil-free formula could cause your lashes to break. If you must use oil-free mascara consider applying a nourishing eyelash serum to counteract the drying effects and prevent breakage.
  • You love dramatic volume and length: An oil-free formula might not be the best option if you have to have super thick dramatic lashes. While an amazing product for many reasons, oil-free mascara, even wax-based formulas, usually can’t deliver the same level of volume as traditional mascara.
Oil free Mascara

How to apply oil free mascara

To apply oil-free mascara: 

  1. Start by curling your bare lashes. You can use a heated eyelash curler or a traditional manual eyelash curler.
  2. Hold the mascara brush at the base of your lashes starting at the center of your lash line and gently move it back and forth.
  3. Pay attention to how much product is on the brush to avoid clumps or flakes.
  4. Work your way out toward the edges of the eye and then come back and do the top lashes closest to your nose.
  5. Use a lighter hand for lower lashes and only apply a small amount of product.
  6. For extra thick lashes repeat steps 1-5.

How to remove oil free mascara

Removing oil-free mascara is a breeze if you follow the proper steps.

  1. First, pick a makeup remover that’s safe for use around your eyes. Micellar water works wonders on oil-free mascara.
  2. Soak a cotton call or pad with your remover of choice.
  3. Hold the pad in place for 30 seconds to allow the formula to dissolve mascara residue. 
  4. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing since this can cause lash damage or eye irritation.
  5. Wipe the mascara from your eyes in a downward stroke to avoid getting the product in your eyes.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 as needed until all the mascara has been removed.

Tips for avoiding eye irritation or lash damage

To avoid eye irritation or damage to your lashes when using oil-free mascara.

  • Make sure your hands and eyelids are clean before applying mascara.
  • Never share your mascara with others, as that can spread bacteria and eye infections.
  • Curl your lashes before applying mascara to minimize lash breakage or damage.
  • Consider the brush type and shape when choosing an oil-free mascara. 
  • Use a quality serum daily to restore moisture to your lashes.

Oil free mascara FAQ

Have questions about oil-free mascara? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Check out our FAQ section below to discover everything about this popular beauty product.

1. What is oil free mascara and how is it different from regular mascara?

Oil-free mascara is a type of mascara that doesn’t contain any oil-based ingredients in its formula. Unlike regular mascara, they’re designed to stay longer without flaking. 

2. Is oil-free mascara suitable for sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers?

Yes, oil-free mascara suits those with sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers. Oil-based mascaras can cause irritation and even infection for those who wear contacts, have allergies, or skin sensitivities.

3. How do I know if oil-free mascara is right for me?

If you’re prone to allergies, oil-free mascara may be a good option. It also won’t smudge easily, even if you live in humid climates.

4. How do I apply oil-free mascara?

To apply oil-free mascara, start by curling your lashes with an eyelash curler. Then, wiggle the mascara brush at the base of your lashes before sweeping upward toward the tips.

5. Does oil-free mascara last as long as regular mascara?

Some oil-free mascaras can last just as long, if not longer than traditional mascaras, without compromising effectiveness in volumizing and lengthening lashes.

6. What is the best way to remove oil-free mascara?

Use an oil-free makeup remover that won’t irritate your eyes. Before wiping away your mascara, give it time to break down. Hold a cotton pad soaked with makeup remover over each eye for 10-20 seconds. Then, gently swipe away from your lashes without rubbing them too hard.

7. What are the benefits of using oil-free mascara?

Oil-free mascaras use water-based formulas or substitutes like silicone, which can help prevent clumping and flaking. It’s also great for contact lens wearers since it doesn’t leave a residue on your lenses. And it’s a safe option for those who wear lash extensions and still want a little pop of color or extra texture.

8. Are there any potential downsides to using oil-free mascara?

One common complaint about oil-free mascara is that it can be challenging to build volume and length. Some people also find the formula too dry and flaky, leading to clumping throughout the day.

9. Is oil-free mascara more expensive than regular mascara?

Oil-free mascara can vary in price, but no it’s not more expensive. The cost of both mascaras is often driven by factors such as brand reputation and product quality. 

10. How does oil-free mascara compare to waterproof mascara?

While oil-free mascara is designed for sensitive eyes, waterproof mascara is meant to withstand water exposure and sweat. Oil-free mascara is also easier to remove than waterproof mascara.

Takeaways on oil free mascara

Oil-free mascara is an excellent option for those sensitive to specific ingredients or looking for a cleaner beauty product. Overall, oil-free mascara has more pros than cons. The biggest drawback is it may not be suitable for special occasions like weddings or funerals where waterproof mascara will help keep tear-streaked eyes looking their best.