We all like to look good, but health must always remain the most important consideration. Many women wear makeup to enhance their appearance, often placing particular emphasis on their eyes. And while cosmetics such as eye shadow, mascara and eye liner will highlight your eyes and make them ‘pop’, you must be careful that the products you use are safe for, and safely applied to, your eyes in order not to affect the health of your eyes or interfere with your vision. It’s important to learn the ways to protect your eyes and vision from the potential dangers of eye cosmetics.
READ THE LABEL
Whether it’s a light touch-up or a full treatment of seductive darkened lashes for an elegant evening out, you need to avoid the various dangers cosmetics pose to your eyes. Always read the label, and don’t use or buy expired makeup. Bacteria thrive in dark, moist places, just like your mascara tube and makeup sponges. Be sure to replace your makeup every three months. And if you’ve just recovered from an eye infection, throw out your old makeup to prevent the danger of another infection.
THE RIGHT TIME AND PLACE
Don’t apply makeup while you’re driving. Not only is this potentially dangerous for you and the other motorists on the road, but you can end up damaging your eyes. Don’t leave your makeup in a warm car. Avoid eyelash colouring and permanent dyes, which can cause severe damage to your eyes if applied incorrectly.
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF
Don’t share your makeup with anyone. When you use somebody else’s makeup, you’re introducing different bacteria to your eyes that may be harmless to your friend, but damaging to you. And if the makeup is infected, you’re spreading bacteria from one host to another.
Allergic reactions to eye cosmetics can cause redness, irritation, swelling or even infection in your eyes. If you are suffering any of these conditions, take the offending makeup you think is the cause of the problem and go and see your local optometrist. In the future, read labels carefully to avoid products you didn’t react well to, and don’t pile on the makeup; carefully apply one product at a time and ascertain its affect. If it’s safe and you have no reaction, use another.
JUST A SCRATCH
Be very careful when applying makeup. One of the most serious eye issues that makeup application can cause is a scratched cornea, also known as a corneal abrasion. This may happen when you are applying your makeup with a mascara brush or eyeliner. If you think you’ve suffered a scratch to your eye, go and seen an optometrist immediately.
Infection is a common problem associated with eye makeup, so you never want to introduce all that bacteria on your hands to your eyes. Always wash your hands before applying makeup and never sleep with your makeup on. You need to remove all eye makeup before bed to prevent the build-up of bacteria on your eyes. Many makeup products today contain preservatives to prevent the formation of bacteria but it’s still possible for bacteria to grow on the surface of your makeup.
CAREFUL WITH CONTACTS
Contact lens wearers need to take extra precautions when applying makeup. Contact lens wearers are more susceptible to eye makeup-related eye problems, and must therefore be particularly careful. Keep your hands and contact lenses clean, and put your lenses in first before applying any makeup. Avoid ‘flakey’ makeup or fibre mascaras, as they are prone to leave more residue and particles in the eye. Daily lenses are recommended for makeup wearers, as you are not reusing the lenses and are therefore at a reduced risk of eye irritation or infection.
Ensure optimal eye health by only using eye-safe makeup, getting your eyes tested on a regular basis, protecting your eyes during sports and other activities that could cause damage to your eyes, getting early treatment for any injury to your eyes, and always booking an appointment with your local eye specialist if you have red, dry or itchy eyes. For more tips on eye care, read iSight Optometry’s blog. And if it’s time to schedule your next eye test, call us today. We’d love to hear from you.