Makeup has been used in cultures across the world, over thousands of years. While application methods, ingredients, and styles have changed dramatically, the pain of a cosmetic faux pas has not eased. We aren’t talking about forgetting to blend your eyeshadow. We mean actual injury, allergic reactions, and infection.

Injury

Not everyone can have steady hands like the skilled doctors at Complete Eye Care. One wrong movement can send a mascara wand straight into your eye. It should go without saying to be careful any time you are putting foreign objects near your eyes.

One culprit of eye injuries while applying makeup comes from putting it on while in a moving vehicle. Please do not apply makeup while in the car especially if you’re the one driving!

Additionally, aim to keep your wings and eyeliner pencils sharp for increased precision. If easy application is a thing of the past and you need to press down harder to get the desired results, it’s time for a new eyeliner pencil. A scratched eye isn’t worth one day’s signature look.

If you find yourself the victim of a corneal abrasion, schedule an exam with your Lawton eye doctor at Complete Eye Care. Treatment may be as simple as using eye drops while your eye heals, but it may also be more involved. We recommend a professional opinion.

Allergy

Makeup today is far safer than the arsenic and leeches of the past. However, you should still be wary when using a new product on the sensitive skin of your face and eyes.

Try out new makeup one at a time in order to identify potential sensitivity. Though the term “hypoallergenic” is useful when making a first-glance choice, make sure to check the list of ingredients, especially if you are prone to allergies.

Common allergens include nickel, iron oxide, and other ingredients found in preservatives and fragrances. Avoid formaldehyde, parabens, and benzalkonium chloride (BAK). BAK is known to be toxic to the cells on the surface of the eye, which is particularly risky for contact lens wearers.  It goes by several names including quaternium-15 and guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride.

If your makeup causes any irritation, redness, or swelling, stop use immediately and make an appointment with your doctor to ensure no infections develop.

Infection

Every three months make a point to discard and replace the cosmetics you’re using. This not only keeps your look fresh for every season but prevents harmful bacteria and fungi from growing.

Follow the manufacturer recommendations for when to replace your makeup. Also, keep those cosmetics stored properly! Higher temperatures can deteriorate the preservatives and create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.

Most of all, make sure you keep your supplies clean! Elle has a great article on how to clean your makeup brushes and applicators. Don’t share makeup ⁠— even with your bestie. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelid and outer surface of the eye and can easily spread. If you’ve had an eye infection, discard and replace all eye makeup. Trust us, the additional cost might hurt, but the repeat infection will hurt worse.

Bonus Tips

If you’re a contact lens wearer, it is best to wash your hands, put in or take out your contacts, then apply or remove makeup last. Oil and other makeup can smudge or get stuck on contact lenses if you touch your makeup first.

Avoid clumpy mascara and use waterproof mascara sparingly; it can dry out your lashes and make them susceptible to breakages which will likely end up in your eyes. Moreover, don’t top off dry mascara with water. It’s worth it to indulge in a new tube. Consider upcycling your used mascara wands by sending them to Wands for Wildlife. The old wands are used to remove fly eggs and larvae from the fur and feathers of wild animals.

Remember, whatever you put on must come off at bedtime. We all love the feeling of a freshly washed face. Plus, your skin (and eyes!) will thank you for the extra few minutes of care.

Finally, the most important tip for beautiful eyes is to stay on top of eye health by regularly seeing your eye doctor. Everyone, regardless of vision correction needs, should have an annual eye exam. Contact the professionals at Complete Eye Care today to schedule your next appointment.

Now that you know all about makeup and eye health, take a look at which vitamins your eyes need with our previous blog post.