Preventing Eye Health Problems Caused by Make-up

By Gordon Wong, OD on November 01, 2018

Woman applying make-upAt Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, we treat a comprehensive range of eye diseases. Eye conditions compromise the health of the eyes and often lead to temporary or permanent problems with the vision.

Although there are many eye conditions that are caused by genetics, there are also numerous issues that are directly related to lifestyle care and practices. Make-up is actually one of the causes of eye infections.

Make-up is extremely popular, due in large part to its ability to make people feel more confident in their appearance. We would never suggest that a patient give up make-up altogether, but it is important to be careful about how it is used, applied, and maintained.

Here we will discuss some useful tips for preventing eye health problems caused by make-up so that our La Jolla, CA patients can practice a cosmetic routine that won’t compromise the health or function of their eyes.

Don’t Keep Old Make-up Around

As make-up sits, it can collect harmful bacteria and fungi, both of which have the potential to cause infection. The easiest way to protect the eyes from infection caused by make-up is to discard old cosmetics.

It is best to follow manufacturer recommendations, but a good rule of thumb is to get rid of mascara or liquid eyeliner after three months. Toss eyeshadow, foundation, and other cosmetics within two years.

It is helpful to write the purchase date on make-up products so that it is easier to keep track of when they’ve reached their expiration.

Clean Make-up Tools and Brushes

Many cosmetics are applied with brushes, sponges, or other tools. It is important to keep make-up applicators clean because they are just as likely as the make-up itself to cause eye infections.

Make-up brushes and applicators should be cleaned at least twice a month. If a patient does suffer from any type of infection or eye condition, it is safest to replace all make-up brushes that are used around the eyes.

Don’t Share Cosmetics

You never know who has used cosmetics or how they have been maintained, so the safest bet is to avoid sharing any type of make-up, but especially those that are applied near the eye.

This includes make-up testers that have been put out in stores. Although disposable applicators cut back on the risk of developing an eye condition from tester make-up or shared cosmetics, it is still not a guarantee since bacteria and fungi can be present on the make-up itself, not just the applicator brushes.

Be Careful When Applying Make-up

Eye make-up puts the delicate structure of the eye in close contact with bristles, sharp pencil tips, and other brushes and tools. Any of these can cause an eye injury, which could cause permanent damage, depending on its severity.

Always apply make-up with a steady hand, and never apply eye make-up while traveling in a moving vehicle.

Wash Your Face

No matter how good a person may look in make-up, it is important to wash it off at the end of the day. Soap and warm water may be sufficient for some types of make-up, but mascara will likely require a special make-up remover.

It is especially important to remove mascara each night because hard, stuck-on mascara can break the lashes and may lead to lid diseases, ocular scratches, or other eye conditions.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about good eye care practices, or would like to find out about the comprehensive eye care services offered at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, contact us at your earliest convenience.

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