What Really Happens To Your Eyelashes If You Stop Wearing Mascara

For many makeup lovers, mascara can be a make-or-break tool in their cosmetic bag. Without mascara, eyes can look smaller, tired, or simply just not as vibrant. While some choose to wear fake eyelashes rather than go through the trouble of applying mascara each day, they aren't quite as natural looking as your own lashes. However, they do come in handy if you'll be attending an event like a wedding where a good cry may occur or if it's a very hot and sweaty day. Still, not everyone wants to apply glue to their lash line.

Yet even those among us who adore the long, flowing lashes that we gain from the perfect mascara application can sometimes get sick of wearing it. Putting on mascara requires a certain amount of certainty. There is nothing worse than being in a rush and inadvertently dabbing your upper eyelid with tiny dots of waterproof mascara.

Wearing mascara on a regular basis can be a chore, but it's also one that many refuse to give up. There are some advantages to taking a break from it every once in a while, though.

There will be less bacteria on your eyelashes

Even without makeup on, eyelashes hold bacteria. In fact, they carry a type of mite called demodex, and it's completely normal, as per WebMD. The tiny transparent mites feed on oil and dead skin while clutching onto eyelashes. They don't cause any issues unless they gather in abundance, which can lead to infection if they block the oil pores, cause itchiness or leave waste matter behind. When you use mascara daily and apply it to your eyes and then place the wand back in the tube, you are repeatedly swapping bacteria between your lashes and the mascara itself. 

In addition, mascara has a short shelf life. Despite many of us holding onto our favorite brand for ages, mascara should ideally be tossed away after three months. Keeping it any longer than that can also lead to eye infections.

If you're not sure how long you've had your mascara, it's better to air on the side of caution and buy a new tube. A telltale sign that mascara is no longer usable is when the wand is dry or has a distinct foul odor.

Lashes may blossom naturally

Though it may not be often thought about, eyelashes, like the hair on your head, are simply strands of hair. Consequently, they can also experience damage if not taken care of adequately. While your hair can become brittle and break from harsh treatments like chemical processing, heat, and environmental irritants, eyelashes can also become damaged from things that are done to them. This can largely revolve around mascara so when you take a break from it, you'll notice a difference.

"If you were wearing enough mascara to be causing breakage, or sleeping in it, or not removing it gently enough, and causing breakage that way, you may notice that your lashes seem longer or fuller due to lack of breakage," dermatologist Dr. ​​Hadley King told Women's Health.

Mascara can often cause itching, particularly when you've been wearing it all day and it dries out and gets clumpy. That's when you might mindlessly rub your eyes which can also damage lashes. So go ahead and give your lashes in their natural state a few days of rest.