Does make-up make your eyes water?

Sensitive skin can make wearing mascara and eyeliner a bit of a nightmare. It can leave you with a bad case of panda eyes instead of the lush, full-lashed and bright-eyed look you were aiming for.

If, like me, your life has been plagued with always looking much younger than you are, a bit of lippy and mascara can work wonders, making you look older, more sophisticated and more confident. That’s the idea anyway, but when you’ve used up all your tissues dabbing your streaming eyes at best, you’r back to square one, no makeup. And at worst, you look a mess!

I have used Origins makeup before and that’s OK but most of it contains something which creates a beautiful red eyed, pink eyelid effect that sends you rushing for the cleanser to remove it.

If you have food allergies or intolerances you’re probably used to checking food labels, but you should be just as vigilant with your skin care and make-up products. Everything you put on your skin is absorbed and could be doing damage or causing a rash, watery eyes or sensitivity.

There are some really nasty ingredients which are allowed in our skincare and cosmetics, so make sure you buy only reputable products that you know are using safe, natural ingredients that don’t irritate or harm the skin. It’s not simple though. Many companies are realising that consumers care about the ingredients in their skincare and cosmetic products and sadly, products sold as hypoallergenic, suitable for sensitive skin and natural aren’t always quite what they seem. Dove sensitive skin soap for instance contains a lot of ingredients that are known to irritate sensitive skin and gives me a really nasty rash.

How do you know which products are really natural?

FreeFrom SkinCare Awards 2013
Luckily for you, there is one place that everyone with sensitive skin should go to research which products might be suitable for them. The FreeFrom Skincare Awards seek to discover, test and share amazing, kind, gentle and excellent cosmetics and beauty products. It’s where I first discovered the NATorigin range having been lucky enough to receive some samples to test. I’m loving their hand and nail cream which is both moisurising and pleasant smelling without being too greasy.

Do beware – NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream does contain sweet almond oil, more proof for me that I’m not allergic to almonds, despite the blood tests which indicate that I am, but not suitable for anyone with an almond allergy so do always check skincare products for almond oil.

In a recent article for the Daily Mail, Jenny Stocks reviewed a number of cosmetic and skin care products that don’t contain harsh chemicals; she awarded NATOrigin lengthening mascara a whopping 10/10. Read “Fear you’re being harmed by chemicals in cosmetics? There IS an alternative” for the full article.

NATorigin lengthening mascara (6g)

NATOrigin natural lengthening mascara

This is the stuff that the Daily Mail featured in the article above. Their expert said, “This is pretty much plant-based — there’s beeswax and propolis extract (a moisturising resin collected by honey bees), plus shea butter and jojoba seed oil, which will be conditioning.”

and Jenny said, “I was desperate to try this as I have dry, sensitive eyes. The large brush gave even coverage. I’ve found a new favourite.”

It was the only product Jenny tested that she awarded a 10/10. Top marks NATorigin.


Aqua (Water), Sorbitol, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Ford Oil Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum Extract, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Tribehenin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Hull Powder, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Hydroxide, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Propolis Extract, Asparagopsis Armata Extract, Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol.

May contain ±: CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77499 (Black Iron Oxides), CI 19140:1 (Yellow 5 Aluminium Lake), CI 77491 (Red Iron Oxides), CI77492 (Yellow Iron Oxides)

I haven’t used this mascara before but I am just about to test it too so watch this space. NATorigin also make lipstick, eyeliner pencils, eye make-up remover and a firming anti-wrinkle cream. Check out their website at:

So, what are your natural beauty and skincare secrets and favourite products?

For instance, I love pure shea butter, when I can find it. It’s such a treat compared with the vats of gloopy stuff I normally use. I do want to stress though, don’t knock the prescription emollients for eczeamatous, dry and psoriatic skin – they do have a place. They are cheap to make, come in large containers and keep my skin in good condition. I could never afford to buy the same amount of natural organic shea butter, but at least it’s there for me when I feel like a treat, am going out, or to take on holiday.

Anyone else our there use NATorigin mascara?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. I fell upon this blog while trying to figure out my own make up allergy remedies. I am always somehow irritated by make up! Lately I have been trying to narrow down the problem and even replaced my moisturizers thinking that is the culprit. Although I can NEVER wear any plum eye shadows. So sad if you ask me..

    • Hi Meredith, have you tried mineral eye shadows? I’m ok with those but not tried plum! Must be something about that particular colour. NATorigin good but still irritates me a little

  2. I’ve tried most everything and still get the watery eyes. Currently using mineral makeup that the rest of my face is happy with, but still not my eyes. Very frustrating to try and find the ingredient causing it.

    • At the moment I can’t wear any, must be the hay fever making me eyes just permanently leak. I find my right eye is always worse than my left but invariably any eye make-up is mostly gone by the end of the day. NAT origin is better than others, sometimes I can get away with it, but even that sometimes just makes my eyes water a little. Wonder what it is? Even eye liner does it a bit. No make-up for me at the moment. Skin too bad and hay fever putting paid to that. Who needs make-up anyway?

  3. I’m having “leaky eye” problems + hayfever right now myself. :/ I’m the reverse of you; seems I leak out of my left more than my right.

    It’s odd, though; sometimes, the make-up I use will be fine, so I’ll get excited and think I’ve found something brilliant! And then for whatever reason my body rejects it. 🙁 *sigh* So tempted just to throw out everything and start over.

    People never believed me when I said that the main reason I didn’t wear makeup when I was younger was because I “didn’t like the way it felt”. Now at least I can tell them it’s because my skin is being obnoxious with its sensitivity!

    • Hi Liz, my right is actually leaking a bit as I type… why? Who knows. So mascara really isn’t a good look when it spends more time streaked in the wrong places and makes the leaking ten times worse. NAT origin mascara is OK for me though and I do sometimes go wild and apply some eye liner but I’ve got so used to wearing makeup, I don’t think I really need to. I do brave it for a special night out or in though! Sometimes.

  4. Hi Ruth

    I have used Nat Origin mascara for some time now and it’s a brilliant product. However, I recently started to get itchy under my eyes. When researching something else, I came across an article on Potassium Sorbate. It said that in sensitive people, overuse can cause eye irritation. Unfortunately, it’s used as a preservative in natural cosmetics, including Nat Origin. I wonder if this is the source of our irritation? If anyone finds a mascara without it in, please let me know. Thanks!

  5. valerie says:

    I’ve just started on my journey to find out what it is that makes my eyes water. If I don’t put anything on my face, my eyes don’t water. If I put sunscreen or makeup on my face, my eyes do water. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! Thanks.

    • The annoying thing it is that it could be anything. Have you tried Odelique natural sun screen? I’ve blogged about some natural sun screens and my fave at the moment is green people. It doesn’t irritate my skin. Makeup is a tricky one. Try NAT Origin.

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