If you can’t remember when you purchased that eyeliner in your drawer, it may be time to dump it!
All those mascara wands, eyeliner and eyebrow pencils, pressed powder, blushes and brushes can be full of bacteria and harmful to your eyes.
So, what can you do to protect your vision and still get your glam on?
The Cleveland Clinic has these recommendations for eye and makeup health to keep your eyes bright and healthy:
- Throw away eye makeup after three months.
It can be easy to lose track of how long you’ve had that favorite eye shadow color, but cosmetics do have a shelf life, some longer than others, but usually about 3 months. One way to remind yourself to get rid of older makeup products is to use a permanent marker or sticker label with the date you should discard them.
- Read labels and avoid harmful ingredients.
It is important to pay attention to the ingredient label on products. For example, those containing kohl sometimes contain lead. Other ingredients you should consider avoiding include talc, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), urea, sulfates and phthalates.
- Don’t apply makeup inside the lash line.
Many women like to apply eyeliner along the inside of their eyelids. However, this practice, sometimes referred to as waterlining, blocks the oil glands that secrete oils that protect the cornea. This practice also can introduce bacteria directly into the eye.
A small pilot study found that particles from pencil eyeliner applied inside the eyelids can contaminate the eye, though when this did happen, the particles were cleared away by the eye within a couple hours. Researchers concluded that this could be problematic for contact lens wearers and people with dry eye syndrome or sensitive eyes.
- Just say no to glitter.
Yes, glitter in your makeup can add sparkle to your eyes, but it can also flake off and add sparkles in your eyes, causing redness and irritation.
- Sensitive eyes need hypoallergenic cosmetics.
If you have a history of allergies or just have extra sensitive eyes, it’s a good idea to use hypoallergenic eye makeup. Look carefully at the labels to find products designed for sensitive eyes, as they are less likely to be irritating. You can find all-natural, allergen-free cosmetics at larger drug stores.
Take these steps if makeup gets in your eyes
- Rinse eyes thoroughly with clean tap water or eye-wash solution until you flush out all mascara, eyeliner or makeup flakes. (If you wear contact lenses, remove them before flushing out your eyes.)
- Apply moisturizing eye drops to the affected eye after rinsing out makeup.
- If you wear contacts, carefully clean the lens using your cleaning solution.
- Don’t re-insert your contacts as long as your eye is still irritated.
What if problems persist?
Make an appointment to see your ophthalmologist if you continue to experience:
- Pain in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Persistently blurred vision
Take the right steps to protect your vision. Contact Zieker Eye today to learn more or schedule an appointment.