Mascara is the one beauty product most of us couldn’t POSSIBLY live without. Even if you decide to go relatively make-up-free, a swipe of mascara on your lashes instantly elevates your look.

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But there has been a rumour flying around since forever that mascara is actually bad for your lashes and can even make them fall out. If you lose your lashes, what will you bat seductively at someone across the bar? Just your eyelids? Not nearly as sexy.

But is there any truth to this or is it just another beauty horror story formulated by the paranoid?

The good news?

Mascara in general is NOT bad for your lashes.

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But this is not a hard-and-fast rule and there are, of course, exceptions. There are some mascaras on the market which contain petroleum as a base and these are best avoided. They are often associated with allergic reactions and can even be responsible for slowing down the speed at which your eyelashes grow by damaging the hair follicles. Not cool. Invest in mascaras that are moisturising and claim to nourish the lashes if you want them to look as good without mascara as they do with it on.

Bacterial infections, which can be caused by pumping air into the mascara tube or sharing your make-up with your friends, can also cause your lashes to fall out.

One of the biggest reasons that mascara-coated lashes fall out is if we remove our make-up too vigorously. Use a make-up remover specifically for the eye area, soak a cottonwool ball in it and remove your mascara slowly and gently. Our lashes are more brittle when they are covered in product and more prone to break off. As with many things in life, easy does it.

Consider this myth officially busted.

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