For hundreds of years, people have been using makeup to enhance their unique, natural features.
Over these years, the priority with using such beauty products hasn’t always been health, which might explain the amount of lead-based powders available. While you don’t have to worry about lead in eyeshadow today, it doesn’t mean that all modern makeup is good for you – or for your eyes.
Makeup and Our Eyes
Common harmful cosmetics include mascara and water eyeliner. Why? Because they increase our chance of developing an eye infection. Bacteria can build up on such products and therefore, be transferred into our eyes.
On top of potentially harmful products, it is important to be aware of scratching. An accidental poke from an eyeliner pencil or mascara can leave scratches on the cornea. Flaky, dry or powdery make up can also fall into the eye and cause irritation, swelling and redness.
Below is a scan of an inner eye lid with dry eye, that is not visible to the naked eye.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Eyes
So, does this mean we have to give up makeup? Of course not!
We just need to be careful around our eyes, so here are a few things you can do to keep your eyes healthy, while still wearing your favourite products.
Monitor expiration dates of your makeup, particularly of mascara and eyeliner. Keeping makeup up to date reduces the risk of infection.
Always use clean brushes to apply your makeup.
Where possible, avoid putting eyeliner on your waterline. Even if you have a steady hand, it is a lot of foreign material that you are applying directly next to your eye.
Never share makeup or applicators. No matter how close you are with your friends, bacteria from their mascara or makeup is not something you want in your eyes.
Before you step in front of the mirror to apply your makeup tomorrow, make sure your beauty routine isn’t coming at the expense of your eye health. If you have any questions about makeup products you’re using, we encourage you to bring them along to your next appointment so we can have a look. If you’ve been experiencing swelling, redness, or other unpleasant eye symptoms, don’t wait – book an eye test.