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Understanding How Mascara Becomes Waterproof

Waterproof mascara is a must-have in your makeup collection. Whether you go swimming or are planning on sweating it out at the gym, it’s good to know that your makeup won’t get ruined.

But before you grab a waterproof mascara, it’s essential to understand what makes it so. This will help you choose the best one for your needs.


Several types of polymers can make mascara waterproof. Some are hydrophobic (meaning they repel water), and others are hydrophilic (meaning they attract moisture).

The most common polymers in waterproof mascaras are dimethicone copolyol and silicone rubber. They both are made from large molecules, which makes them less prone to being absorbed by the skin.

They also leave a slippery surface where they are applied, so water rolls off the lashes and doesn’t stick to them. The polymers are typically used in combination with waxes to help create the waterproof formula.

Other ingredients that can be found in a waterproof mascara include lanolin oil, mineral oil, paraffin oil, petrolatum oil, castor oil, and carnauba wax. These are usually added to help thicken the mascara and provide more moisture. Using a makeup remover can be challenging for some of these ingredients. They may also be greasy or cause skin irritation. How to remove waterproof mascara is easy. Using both commercial and natural products, waterproof mascara can be taken off easily and quickly. Use waterproof mascara only on special occasions, as it can dry and cause brittle lashes. You can mitigate some of these adverse effects by using regular mascara first and then waterproof mascara on top.


Waterproof mascara is essential whether you’re going to a pool party, sweating it out in the gym, or just enjoying a hot summer on the beach. But you don’t have to splurge on an expensive formula or use harsh chemicals to get the job done.

The best waterproof mascaras are made with silicone and wax-based ingredients, which resist smudging without leaving residue behind. They’re also infused with an oil-and-water-soluble mix of components to make them stackable.

If you want to make your regular non-waterproof mascara more waterproof, try adding a layer of hairspray over it before applying. This will create a seal on your lashes and help them stay dry all day.

Dimethicone Copolyol

Dimethicone Copolyols are a series of silicone polymers forming base fluids in many personal care formulations. These inert polymers are optically clear, odorless, and non-flammable.

These polymers take viscosities range from 5 CST to 1 million CST and are used in creams, lotions, and cosmetic formulations. They are also used in hair care products as lightweight, non-comedogenic, and easy-spreading lubricants.

Dimethicone Copolyols function primarily as surfactants, emulsifying agents, and wetting agents. These properties are based on their ability to lower the surface tension of water (which is the critical component of foaming, emulsifying, and wetting).


Waterproof mascaras can resist water and smudge, but you should still be diligent about replacing them every three months to prevent bacteria buildup that could cause eye infections and skin irritation.

Some waterproof mascaras contain a lot of wax, which can dry out your lashes over time and cause them to fall out or break more easily. However, resins are also used to help hold the mascara to your lashes and provide a bit of texture.

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