The other day, someone posted a question about Mavala Eye-Lite Double Lash ($16.99), an eyelash growth product. Our reader explained that eyelashes started to shed if Double Lash wasn't used continuously and asked us if there were any harsh products in it. The answer is that I don't know if any of them are responsible for eyelash loss, but there are enough nasty things in Mavala to warrant tossing it immediately.

The worst thing about this product is that it has 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol. This is a preservative that usually goes by the name of Bronopol. Since the 1980s, most cosmetic companies have phased it out (I must admit that this is the first time I've come across it) because when it decomposes, it can liberate nitrite and low levels of formaldehyde and these can produce significant levels of nitrosamines (due to the toxicity of these substances, the term 'significant' means levels as low as 10s of parts per billion). Bronopol is also an allergan.

There is also propylene glycol. High levels of consumption results in the destruction of red blood cells. Humans exposed to high levels of propylene glycol mist experienced sore throats and eyes, however, in one study of 50 humans known to be sensitive to allergic reactions they showed only mild irritation from contact with it. Parabens can also be irritant. It is also well known that hexamidine can cause contact allergies.

I am very curious about the inclusion of lactococcus ferment, a bacteria that is usually used as a 'starter' for fermented dairy products. However, it can also synthesize folate (vitamin B11) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) and a study on mice suggested that it can reduce hair loss. In addition, Mavala Double Lash contains riboflavin, which is essential for healthy hair. The other active here is the amino acid, proline. I suspect that this combination of actives might have a positive effect on eyelash growth. But at what cost?

Aqua, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Xanthan Gum, Lactococcus Ferment, Glycosaminoglycans, Proline, Riboflavin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hexamidine Diisethionate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Diol.