8 Tips for Eye-Makeup Hygiene

By , April 14th, 2020

Don’t let your makeup routine harm your eyes. Here are 8 easy tips that will help keep your eyes healthy and fabulous. 

Mascara, eyeshadow, and eyeliner can transform the way you look. But when you wear eye makeup regularly, it is easy to become careless about hygiene. Your eyes are a sensitive and delicate part of your body, and there are health risks associated with wearing cosmetics.  Luckily, by remembering a few easy tips when applying and removing eye makeup, you can drastically reduce the harmful impact of makeup on your eyes: 

The Results of Poor Eye Makeup Hygiene

Before we dive into eye makeup best practices, let’s take a look at why cosmetics hygiene is so important. Without careful application and removal, eye makeup can lead to an array of eye problems. Here are a few common effects of poor makeup habits: 

  • Infection: Makeup can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria that can be transferred to your eyes. Infection can lead to conditions such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis, and keratitis — all of which have very unpleasant side effects. 
  • A scratched cornea: If you aren’t careful when you’re applying makeup, you can easily scratch your cornea with your mascara or eyeliner. The scratch itself is painful, and it can also lead to infection.
  • Irritation: The chemicals in makeup can irritate your eyes. Different chemicals can lead to dry, itchy, and/or watery eyes as well as puffiness around your eyes. 
  • Allergic reactions: Chemicals that irritate the eyes might cause a full allergic reaction in some users. The reaction can manifest as severe irritation, redness, swelling, or even infection.

Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

Fortunately, you can wear makeup regularly without increasing the risk of infection or irritation. Here are 8 easy tips for keeping your eyes clean and healthy — all while looking great. They are: 

  1. Never share your makeup or makeup brushes. Sharing makeup is an easy way to spread eye infections such as conjuntivitis. 
  2. Keep track of expiration dates and throw products out when they expire. All products have an expiration date based on when you open them, and it’s easy for bacteria to accumulate in expired products. 
  3. Don’t apply eye makeup if you have an infection, and throw out any products you may have used before becoming infected. This prevents further irritation and repeat infections. 
  4. Remove all your makeup before bed. You can transfer bacteria to your eyes even while you sleep. Leftover mascara or eyeliner could cause an eye infection.  
  5. Don’t apply eye makeup while in a moving vehicle—this one is pretty self-explanatory. Always use applicators carefully. An accidental or sudden stop in a moving vehicle can lead to serious injury.  
  6. Don’t apply makeup inside your lash line: When you apply makeup along the inside of your eyelid, often called the “waterline,” you block the oil glands that secrete the oil that protects your cornea. You also risk introducing bacteria directly into your eye. 
  7. Read the label for ingredients: This is particularly important if you are allergic to, or sensitive to, certain chemicals. If you are particularly sensitive to compounds commonly found in cosmetics, you should research and invest in hypoallergenic makeup. Also, pay special attention to makeup that includes kohl— kohl often includes lead, and can have harmful effects. 
  8. Regularly wash your makeup brushes and applicators. This removes any bacteria that may have started growing on the brushes. 

If you are worried that your makeup practices may be harming eyes, or if you are suffering from irritation or an infection, schedule an appointment with the specialists at ICON Eyecare. We will help you develop the hygiene practices that work for you.

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