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The life cycle of mascara

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Emily Peterson

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of The life cycle of mascara

The Life Cycle of Mascara
There are currently two types of mascara being manufactured. One type is called emulsion, which has a lotion base. The second is called anhydrous which means it contains no water.
Once packaged the bottles are shipped by plane, truck, or railway to grocery stores, salons, and other locations such as large warehouses or online stores.Transportation requires the use of fossil fuels which has a negative effect on the environment.
Recycling Options
The recommended disposal time for mascara is 3 months after first use. But if properly stored it can last 3-6 months. When you are ready to dispose of your mascara its usually best to throw it in the trash since most curbside recycling programs dont accept that type of plastic. Some stores such as MAC, origin, and kiehls have recycling programs at their stores where you can bring in your empty containers and get free products. There is also a company called Terracycle that will take your old cosmetic products and turn them into new products.
Although every brand of mascara has a different composition, there are three main ingredients in all types; pigmentation, water, oils, and waxes.
Oils- The most common oils used in mascara today are castor oil, linseed oil, and eucalyptus oil.
Waxes- Waxes usually found in mascara are carnauba wax, paraffin wax, and beeswax.
Pigmentation- Today for pigmentation we use carbon black, instead of the soot or ash used in ancient mascara
Differences in the type of mascara depend on the type of mascara itself. Waterproof mascara for example contains substances that are not water soluble such as dodecane.
Fun fact!
Contrary to urban legend, mascara is not in fact made from bat poop. It contains "guanine" which is derived from the spanish word guano that means "dung." Guanine is used as a colorant and is actually made from fish scales not bat dung!
Emulsion- Water and thickeners are first combined, then waxes and emulsifiers (substances to keep liquids from separating) are heated together. Pigment is then added to each mixture seperatley, and finally both mixtures are combined in a homoginizer which creates a semi-solid substance ready for packaging.
Anhydrous- This method also results in a semi-solid substance but is a very different process. All waxes and oils are mixed, heated, and agitated together. the finished product is then packaged and sold.
Fun Fact!
The first mascara was used as far back as 4000 B.C. when it was used by early egyptians. Women used natural ingredients from plants and animals which they applied to their eyes to draw attention to themselves.
After solution cools and settles, it is moved to a filling machine and a measured amount is pumped into each plastic or glass bottle, which are usually capped by hand. Some samples are removed for inspection and the rest are prepared for distribution.
Most drugstore mascaras are usually packaged in plastic on a thin sheet of cardboard.
Fun Fact!
The mascara "wand" wasn't actually created untill the early 1960's. Older mascara took the form of a pressed cake and was applied with a wetted brush
Fun Fact!
Beauty products account for 1/3 of all landfill waste. Millions of plastic jars, tubes, and other containers are thrown out each year. Since most packaging is non-biodegradeable they will take hundreds of years to break down.
Fun Fact!
You can extend the use of your mascara by not pumping it, or adding 3-4 drops of saline solution to re moisten it.
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