In our office, our optometrists and opticians literally see thousands of pairs of eyes a year. Some eyes are healthy… some eyes are not so healthy… and some of the unhealthy eye complications are due to improper makeup use. Many women know the rules of wearing makeup; like cleaning brushes, and discarding expired product. But really, how many women actually follow these rules? The reality is that using makeup can put you at a higher chance of catching an eye infection, getting an eye stye, or having other ocular problems that can lead to other serious issues!
Eye Makeup Safety and Expiry Dates
Everything now a days has an expiry date; milk, car seats, and eye make-up included. You may think that an expiry on make-up products is just another money grabbing scheme thought up by big cosmetic companies to get your money. In fact, the make-up expiry guide line is put in place with your eye health in mind. As a rule, you should replace your mascara every 3 months (same as a toothbrush or contact lens case), your eyeliner, and eye shadow should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Following these time guidelines will help you reduce your chance of catching an infection due to old dirty makeup products.
Clean Your Brushes And Makeup Applicators Often
Makeup artists and dermatologist recommend that makeup applicator tools be cleaned quite frequently. This is because over time makeup builds up in the brush bristles and sponges of the makeup applicator tools. This buildup of makeup can become home to old skin oils, bacteria, and debris. If your applicators are dirty, they can cause infections. A dirty applicator can also make it harder to apply your makeup evenly. There are some special products that can be purchased from cosmetic stores which are specially designed to clean your makeup tools. Because we are not in the business of cleaning makeup applicators, we’ve founds a great article for you to read that discuses how to care for your makeup tools here!
Learn How Line Your Eyes
One of the biggest offenders of eye makeup safety and improperly applied eye makeup deals with the use of eyeliner. Did you know that there is a correct and an in-correct place to put eyeliner? Many women choose to apply their eyeliner, directly to the waterline margin of their lower eye lids (above their lash line). This is definitely an eye health “no, no”! Eyeliner applied inside the lid margin can clog small oil glands (meibomian glands). The function of the meibomian glands is to secret oil into the tear film to help moisturize the eyes and keep them healthy. The clogging of these tiny pours, can cause eye infections, styes, and dryness. One way to continue to use eyeliner and avoid complications in doing so, is to line below the meibomian gland openings, under the eyelid margin by the eyelash line.
Sharing Isn’t Aways a “Nice” Thing To Do!
The act of sharing is a nice gesture, unless it’s sharing your eye makeup! Lending a friend or family member your eyeliner or mascara may seem like an innocent thing to do, so what’s the problem? The problem with doing this, is that you can expose yourself and your friend’s eyes to unwanted bacteria and viral infections. Not all eye infection symptoms are visible. Sharing make-up makes you more vulnerable to unwanted eye problems, and red infected eyes are generally less than pretty! So the next time you’re asked to lend your liner, think eye makeup safety and say “No”!
So the next time you go to put on your eye makeup, show your eyes some love by following our eye makeup safety tips!
If you have any questions regarding the health of your eyes, book an appointment online with one of our knowledgable optometrists!
Article written by: Trina Vanaalst – Registered Contact Lens Practitioner & Optician