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We’re long past the days of using lead paint in eye makeup. In fact, the cosmetics industry spends billions of dollars each year on research and development to ensure that the products you use on your eyes and skin are safe and won’t cause an allergic reaction.

However, there may still be some cause for concern as far as your eye makeup and its potential effects on your vision. If you’re not careful, your eye makeup could cause or exacerbate one or more of the following conditions:

  • Dry eye
  • Trauma
  • Water eyes
  • Dermatitis (skin inflammation)
  • Styes (small, painful, pus-filled lumps on the eyelid caused by staphylococcus bacteria)

You can avoid all of these issues, however, if you pay a bit of attention and use some common sense.

DON’T SHARE MAKEUP

When you apply eye shadow, mascara, or eyeliner, you cannot wash all of the bacteria and germs from your skin off of the brushes and applicators. Mascara and eyeliner, in particular, should never be shared. This is a really good way to transfer the bacteria that cause conjunctivitis (pink eye) and styes from one person to another.

DON’T SAVE OLD MAKEUP

Even if you don’t use it very often, throw away old makeup and replace it at least every six months. Mascara should be replaced after between two and four months before it dries out and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.

If you’ve had a case of conjunctivitis or a stye, throw away all of the eye makeup you were using when the infection appeared. That makeup is likely home to more of the same bacteria. To avoid another nasty infection, get rid of it and replace it with new, clean eye makeup.

NEVER APPLY EYE MAKEUP IN A MOVING CAR

If you’re running late for work or a date, decide whether it’s more important to apply your makeup or to be on time. Do not try to apply makeup in the car. Why? Infection is not the only danger that makeup poses to your eyes. Whether you’re the one driving or not, a sudden stop or start in a vehicle can result in an applicator or eye makeup brush applied directly to the eye. You can do serious damage to your cornea with trauma like that. Don’t risk your eyes’ health to save a couple of minutes.

REMOVE MAKEUP AT NIGHT

For similar reasons, you should always remove your makeup at night. As you sleep, tiny flecks of mascara and eye shadow can make their way into your eyes and cause dryness and irritation. You’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and with clearer eyes if you wash your face before bed.

INSPECT MAKEUP LABELS AND AVOID PRESERVATIVES

If you’ve noticed itchiness, puffiness, or redness around your eyes after using a particular brand of makeup, take a look at the ingredients. Get to know the types of preservatives used in makeup, and avoid brands that use them. Talk to your eye doctor about makeup brands that are gentler and more hypoallergenic.

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2 Responses to “EYE MAKEUP AND YOUR EYE HEALTH”
  1. Nisha Worsham says:

    I have read that dousing powdered eye shadow with isopropyl alcohol can make them sterile again after viral pink eye. Is this accurate?

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