Safety Tips for Your Eye Makeup

The saying “beauty is pain” shouldn’t be true when it comes to eye makeup.

Makeup might not be made of lead, arsenic, and mercury like it was in centuries past, but we should still be careful with it around our eyes. Even modern makeup made of the safest ingredients can increase our risk of eye injuries and infections.

Keep Some Distance Between Your Eye and the Makeup

We would never tell makeup-loving patients to give up their eye makeup, but we have serious concerns about certain types that get far too close to the eyeball for comfort. These include eyelash extensions, false eyelashes, colored or costume contact lenses, and eyeliner for the waterline. These products can cause eye irritation and help bacteria build up and possibly get into the eyes.

Another type of makeup that can be a vehicle for germs is mascara. It only takes a single use for the mascara wand to be contaminated with the user’s germs, and one slip of the hand can result in a poke in the eye that could scratch the cornea.

Look Great, the Safe Way

What can we do to protect our eyes while we use makeup to create the looks we desire? Here are a few basic safety tips to follow:

  • Makeup expires. Check yours for expiration dates and replace it if it’s past its use-by date. Old makeup is more likely to cause an infection or irritation than fresh makeup, and this could be the culprit if you’re already experiencing irritation, especially if you’ve been sick. Our eyes can become reinfected from makeup germs after we recover!
  • Use clean brushes. Not only will they be better for the final result, but they’re also more sanitary!
  • Avoid the waterline. Even if it looks amazing and you’ve mastered the art of not poking your eye, putting makeup right on the waterline means leaving a lot of foreign material next to the tear film.
  • DO NOT SHARE your eye makeup. Whether it’s a family member or a friend, do not share makeup because you’ll be sharing your germs too.
  • Be careful who you buy costume lenses from. If the vendor doesn’t ask for a prescription, they aren’t trustworthy. Even if you don’t need a prescription to see clearly, you do need one for contacts that fit properly!

We love seeing our patients’ beautiful eyes!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.