Most people know not to put dangerous chemicals or irritants near their eyes. The obvious ones are things like bleach and cleaning products. However, a less obvious eye irritant you might not have suspected is: makeup. It’s true – there are chemicals in makeup that could potentially cause damage to your eyes. So, it’s important to understand the connection between eye health and makeup use. Take a look at our tips for using makeup so you can keep your eyes healthy and free of infection.
Eye Infections & How to Avoid Them
Eye infections are a result of bacteria, chemicals, and irritants, many of which are found in makeup. Some of the most common eye infections are:
Makeup and other beauty products can cause these infections. That’s because some makeup contains irritants or chemicals that are too toxic for the eyes. Bacteria in the makeup itself can also lead to eye infections. This bacteria comes from cross-contamination in the bathroom, where many people store their makeup. You might also experience a stye or keratitis from using old makeup or not properly removing eye makeup.
One of the best ways to avoid infections in the eyes is to throw away old or expired makeup. Yes, even makeup has an expiry date, and you should abide by it for the sake of your eye health. Over time, makeup picks up bacteria from our skin, our home, and whatever it comes into contact with. The continued use of a makeup product allows more bacteria to grow, putting our eyes at risk of infection and damage.
Reduce your risk by following these guidelines about when to toss your makeup:
- It’s expired
- It’s over 3 months old
- It’s dry and clumpy (i.e. mascara)
- After an eye infection or irritation
Getting rid of makeup that’s expired or old can lower your chances of getting an eye infection.
Makeup & Contact Lenses
Contact lenses themselves can be hazardous to the eyes when they’re not clean or stored correctly. This is because bacteria can form and cause eye issues. When you add toxic makeup, expired makeup, or makeup that’s not washed off properly, you really increase the chances of damaging your eyes.
If you wear contacts or are considering getting contacts, reduce the risk of eye damage by:
- Removing makeup fully
- Practicing proper contact lens care
- Washing your hands before touching your face
- Inserting soft contact lenses before makeup
- Inserting hard contacts after makeup application
- Removing contact lenses before taking off makeup
Eye Health and Makeup Application and Removal Tips
How you apply and remove makeup also has an impact on your eyes. When applying and removing makeup, keep these tips in mind.
- Clean your face and eyelids beforehand
- Apply makeup outside the lash line
- Wash makeup brushes regularly
- Never apply makeup to an eye that’s injured
- Never apply makeup in a moving vehicle
- Only use fresh applicators when testing makeup in stores
- Use a soothing, lubricating makeup remover like vaseline
- Try baby shampoo to remove eye makeup
- Thoroughly rinse makeup remover off your eyelids
- Gently wipe the base of your eyelashes with a cotton swab
- Don’t use exfoliating scrubs around your eyes
Sight: The Most Precious Sense
You don’t have to stop wearing makeup all together for the sake of sight. However, if you do wear makeup, opt for high-quality, non-toxic products when you can and follow these eye health and makeup tips. After all, our sense of sight is so precious. If you have eye pain or think you could have an infection, see a doctor.
If you’re due for your next eye exam, book your eye appointment today!
Hakim Optical has provided Canadians with quality corrective lenses at a value that can’t be beat for over 55 years. Our knowledgeable staff and optometrists are here to help you find an eyewear solution tailored specifically to you.