Thousands of years ago ancient Egyptians were using makeup and believed it was a sign of holiness. Makeup was an important part of their daily lives and in many ways still is today! If you want to bring out the appearance of your eyes, then eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara can do a great job. However, if a proper hygiene, sanitation, and replacement regime are not followed, there can be an increased risks to the health of your eyes and skin.
Here are some general recommendations:
- Store makeup in a cool and dry environment, do not leave cosmetics in a hot car.
- Check for expiration dates.
- Do not apply makeup while driving or while riding in a moving vehicle. (Just like texting while driving, you are putting yourself at a significant increased risk of an accident.) I have seen several patients with corneal abrasions from trying to apply makeup while driving or riding in a car.
- Don’t mix and match makeup. Using makeup on the lips and then applying around the eyes has the potential of causing eye infection.
- Never share cosmetics with others. You don’t know what bacteria or fungus could be in the other person’s makeup. You wouldn’t share a toothbrush with someone so I don’t suggest sharing makeup either.
- Always make sure your hands are clean before applying makeup.
- Brushes and applicators need to be clean. Washing, cleaning and/or replacing applicators frequently dramatically decreases the potential for bacterial growth.
- Avoid makeup that contains glitter, is iridescent or shiny around the eyes, they can cause corneal abrasion or irritation if they get into the eye.
- Never wear eye makeup if your eyes are irritated, red or inflamed.
- Many people can have an allergy to certain ingredients in specific brands. If you are having irritation try using other brands, especially those that are hypoallergenic.
- Always take extra precautions if you wear contact lenses, replace makeup frequently and clean applicators often to avoid serious eye infections such as a corneal ulcer.
Eyeliner: Use caution when applying eyeliner to the eyelid, avoid placing the tip of the eyeliner on the edge of the eyelid because it can come in contact with the eye itself. Many people begin to complain of eye irritation over the years of collecting more and more makeup inside their lids.
Mascara: since mascara is moist and inside a closed container, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. This is the product we usually see the most trouble with. Every time you apply mascara the applicator is contaminated with the bacteria from your s kin for this reason along, it should be discarded every 2 months or so just to decrease your chance of an eye infection.
Cleaning and Removing Eye Makeup:
Never leave makeup on overnight, it only adds to the problems by allowing bacteria and fungus to grow while the makeup stays on your eyelids. Safely and properly removing makeup (especially around the eyes) is an important step to maintaining proper eye health and hygiene. It is best to remove your makeup with a high-quality facial cleanser and/or a product that can kill bacteria that may be present. There are several products on the market that contain an antiseptic that is not harmful to the eye but will kill the bacteria. Some products will also kill the Demodex (eye mites) that may be present. A couple of better products are Occusoft wipes (the light blue package NOT the dark blue package) and Blephadex wipes. You can use these products to remove your makeup and leave the product on your skin to kill present organisms. Following a proper nightly care routine will lower the chance of bacteria in your makeup and decrease the chance of an eye infection.
By following these easy makeup safety tips you can continue to have a long and healthy relationship with your beauty products all while getting the results you desire.