Your Eyes and Cosmetics – Does and Don’ts

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Blog by Envision Eye Care

Wearing eye makeup is such a common thing, we often don’t consider how doing so can affect our eyes. But applying makeup can expose your eyes to dirt, bacteria and fungus so it’s important to use makeup mindfully! Follow these easy do’s and don’ts to keep your eyes safe and clean.

Steps for responsible eye makeup use

DO Keep an eye on the shelf life!

Most of us tend to use our eye makeup until it’s gone, but this isn’t the best way to ensure good eye health. Old eye makeup is more likely to be host to bacteria or fungus that can lead to eye infections and other concerns. Eye makeup has a shelf life of only 3 months, so you should throw it away and restock regularly.

DON’T put makeup inside your lashes

It can be tempting to get that dark eye look by lining the area inside of your lash line, but this can lead to both bacteria getting into your eyes, and the blocking of oil glands that produce oils to protect your cornea. This is especially important if you have dry eye syndrome or wear contact lenses.

DON’T share your eye makeup

Sharing mascara wands can transfer bacteria from one person’s eyes to another. No matter how much you love your friends, swapping eye bacteria is never a good thing! Makeup brushes carry bacteria the same way a toothbrush does, and you wouldn’t share those so treat your eye make up brushes the same way.

DO Clean your brushes regularly

Make up brushes are a prime collector of dirt and bacteria, which means that they will spread bacteria to your eyes every time you use them. Make a point of cleaning your brushes at least monthly using a mild soap or baby shampoo to prevent bacteria and dirt from building up.

DON’T put eye make up on while moving

Putting anything potentially sharp and pointy like mascara wands or eye liner pencils near your eyes while you’re moving around or in a vehicle is just asking for a poke in the eye. A scratched cornea isn’t something you want to deal with!

DO wash your makeup off at night

Using proper makeup removal wipes or cleaners is essential for eye health. Leaving makeup on overnight will only increase the likelihood of bacteria build up, which contributes to inflammation, and using the wrong removal wipes can compound this.

DO wash your hands before putting on makeup

It’s no secret that washing your hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, and this is true when it comes to applying eye makeup, too. You want to keep bacteria away from your eyes as much as possible and washing your hands before applying make up is the best way to do this.

DO store your makeup well

Keeping your eye makeup in a cool dark place will help maximize the shelf life of it. Ensuring everything is sealed when you put it away helps to prevent the growth of bacteria, the presence of eye-irritating dust, and helps stop oxygen from drying out liquid products.

If makeup gets in your eyes take these steps:

  1. Remove contacts if you wear them, then rinse your eyes with clean water until all traces of makeup are removed
  2. Put in moisturizing eye drops

If you wear contacts either clean them very well or replace them if you get makeup in your eye. If they aren’t cleaned well, you will reintroduce the dirt or bacteria as soon as you put them back in. Don’t put them back in until the irritation has completely cleared.

Apply makeup with care

Before you continue your daily makeup routine, make sure you are taking steps to keep your eyes as healthy as possible. Your eyesight is invaluable, so you want to protect it as best as you can! If you suspect any issues with your eyes, contact your optometrist for an appointment as soon as possible!