For thousands of years, cosmetics have played a substantial role in beautifying both women and men. Makeup trends continue to change over the years, but the desire to enhance the eyes has remained consistent. If used correctly and carefully, eye makeup can make your eyes shine and sparkle, without having to worry about the necessity of a trip to your optometrist for an eye infection.

There are a variety of eye problems associated with eye makeup though, which include:
  • Scratched cornea – you can accidentally damage your cornea while applying mascara or eyeliner. If damage occurs, it can lead to a painful corneal abrasion, which can become infected.
  • Conjunctivitis – pink eye can occur when you are using old or improperly stored products that have accumulated bacteria.
  • Allergic reactions – you may be allergic to some of the chemicals or ingredients present in the products you use, causing swelling, redness, or irritation.
  • Dry eye – if you put eyeliner on your upper or lower waterline, the line of skin between the eyelashes and the eye, you are at risk of developing dry eye. There are glands in your waterline that help lubricate the eye. If these glands are blocked, it can adversely affect your tear film.
These problems are all complicated with the use of contact lenses. There is always a possibility of makeup debris ruining the integrity of your contact lens or sliding under the surface and irritating your cornea. To lower the risk of severe eye infection, only wear contact lenses purchased from your optometrist. Avoid purchasing contact lenses from beauty supply stores or mysterious online websites.

Here is a list of tips that will help you avoid makeup related eye problems:
  • Avoid applying eye makeup or mascara in the car – this is one of the most common situations where people will accidentally scratch their cornea.
  • Avoid using mascaras that contain fibers to thicken or lengthen lashes. Fibers may fall into the eye, irritating the cornea.
  • Never share eye makeup to avoid spreading bacteria.
  • Place eyeliner underneath the base of your lashes to avoid irritating the glands present on your waterline.
  • Replace your makeup every three to four months to avoid using expired products and decrease the risk of infection.
  • If you do get an eye infection, throw away all contaminated makeup.
  • If you suffer from dry eye, try and use cream based, rather than powder based eye makeup. Any powdered makeup can inevitably end up in the eyes.
  • Properly remove eye makeup with non-irritating makeup wipes, remover, or lid wipes.
  • Do not sleep in your eye makeup overnight.
  • Do not reuse false lashes.
With these tips, you can continue to look and feel your best without suffering the ugly consequences of careless makeup application or poor make up hygiene. If you notice eye pain, redness, or discomfort, click here or call The Eye Institute at 215.276.6111 to schedule an appointment.