Eye Care Tips for Makeup Wearers

January 7th, 2020

Although most eye makeup products don’t use harmful toxins anymore, it’s important to practice some caution in your daily cosmetic habits.

For many, makeup is a part of everyday life. Although most cosmetic products are now free of harmful chemicals like arsenic and lead, bad habits and poor hygiene can still impact your eye health. As such, it’s a good idea to be cautious when applying makeup so you can avoid any potential problems. 

Is Makeup Bad for Your Eyes?

Makeup isn’t inherently bad for you, but if you aren’t careful with how you apply and remove it, you could potentially damage your eyes without realizing it. Because eyes have a balance of tears that rest on the surface, expired cosmetics or makeup that has been left on for too long can cause dryness and lead to irritation or infection. 

Along with the risk of catching an infection, eye makeup can lead to a corneal abrasion. An accidental poke in the eye from a mascara wand or eyeliner pencil could scratch the cornea, causing pain and discomfort.

The Risks From Different Eye Makeups

  • Mascara: When using mascara, it’s important to always check the expiration date to make sure you’re not using an outdated product. According to recent research, more than half of makeup wearers don’t check to see how long they should leave their mascara on for, and nearly a fifth admitted they didn’t even know that expiry information existed. 
  • Eyeliner: When wearing eyeliner, it’s crucial to make sure you don’t apply it to your eyelid waterline. Located around the eyelids, your waterline is home to over 20 glands that are responsible for administering tears. If you put eyeliner on top of it, you run the risk of drying these glands out, or worse, permanently damaging them. 
  • Eye Shadow: The biggest risk posed by eyeshadow is that it can flake off and cause irritation and redness. To mitigate any potential risks, its advisable to apply eye shadow primer or base to keep your makeup from flaking. 
  • Fake Eyelashes: Natural eyelashes can help protect your eyes from airflow and excess moisture, but fake eyelashes don’t offer the same benefits. In fact, they can actually be harmful and increase your chances of eye injury, infection, and allergic reaction. 

Best Practices for Makeup Application

Although makeup can pose some risks, you don’t need to stop wearing it all together. Just proceed with a responsible level of caution in your daily makeup habits. The following tips can help you minimize any safety concerns: 

  • Be sure to use clean brushes when applying your makeup. Dirty or old brushes can increase your risk of bacterial infection. 
  • Avoid your eyelid waterline whenever possible. 
  • Don’t  share your makeup applicators. Makeup items are already prone to collecting bacteria — don’t compoud the risk by sharing products and spreading germs! 
  • Be sure to only purchase color contacts from a trusted vendor. Color contact lenses need to be fitted to match the unique size and shape of your eyes.

Talk to an Eye Doctor

If you’re worried that you may have an eye infection, or if you just want more advice on how to improve your eye health, you can schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at ICON Eye Care. Our dedicated team of eye care professionals will gladly talk with you about your cosmetic regimen while performing a comprehensive eye exam. 

Set up an appointment with our office today.