Is There Actually Bat Poop in Mascara?!

So, last night, my co-worker mentioned that her teacher used to tell them that mascara was made from cow stomach.

It honestly wouldn’t surprise me (you’d be shocked to see what ingredients are found in products we use every day), but I decided to do a little more research.

While I didn’t find anything about cow stomach, I did find other people claiming that guano is commonly used. In other words, they say that there is tons of bat poop in mascara.

You'll never believe what type of products are used as makeup ingredients. Would you believe me if I told you that there was bat poop in mascara? I guess you'll have to keep reading to find out...

Let’s Talk About Bats For A Minute…

  • Bats are actually flying mammals that can maneuver better than birds due to their highly articulated wings. They are commonly mistaken for rodents.
  • Most cultures associate them with death, witchcraft, vampires, and darkness
  • Bats make up 20% of the mammal species; there are over 1200 species of bat around the world.
  • There are three different species of bats that feed on blood. However, most feed on insects and/or fruit.
  • The “see” in the dark using “echolocation.” Basically, they make high-frequency calls while flying, listen to the echoes returned, and can see a sonic map of their surroundings.

Guano

Ace Ventura Guano Animated Gif

The word, “guano” is the official word for bat poop (it can also refer to seabird poop), and it is used as a very effective fertilizer around the world. Rich in bioremediation microbes and nitrogen, it contributes to strong plant growth, soil building and the cleansing of toxins in the soil.

In the ancient Inca civilization, it was used as a form of currency, since its ownership was such a privilege. Additionally, it has been used in various wars, including the US Civil War, as the nitrogen is able to be extracted to make explosives.

However, this miracle fertilizer comes with a price to pay. 

Harvesting guano from bat caves can significantly impact the bat colonies. If harvested while the bats are roosting, they will typically abandon the caves, including leaving their young behind. Additionally, it can contain dangerous pathogens, leading to histoplasmosis. 

There is also a common misconception that you can get rabies from bat poop, but the CDC website debunks that myth, stating that you must be bitten to contract rabies.

Ew! So Is There Really Bat Poop In Mascara?

So, the good news is that the whole bat poop in mascara thing is really just a massive urban legend. 

While I can’t actually confirm that mascara has never contained bat droppings, I do believe that it’s just a misconception of the word “guanine.” Guanine is a chemical that was added to various types of cosmetics and nail polish back in the day to give them a shimmery, iridescent look.

TIP: Learn how to get free makeup from Sephora by using this one trick!

Even though guanine does occur naturally in bat poop, it comes from thousands of other sources like fish scales.

sooooo… There isn’t any Bat Guano in makeup?

The FDA requires that guanine can only be derived from fish scales when used in beauty products.

If you’re still unnerved about fish scales being used in cosmetics,┬ádon’t worry… most cosmetic companies aren’t willing to pay the high price for guanine these days.

In conclusion, mascara is typically made of wax, oils, pigments, and preservatives. So, sleep easy my friend… there is no bat poop in mascara.

Now you know…


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You'll never believe what type of products are used as makeup ingredients. Would you believe me if I told you that there was bat poop in mascara? I guess you'll have to keep reading to find out...

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