Eye Health and Makeup

A large portion of cosmetic beauty products on the market are intended for use around the eyes, including eyeliner, mascara, and false eyelashes. While most of these are generally safe, makeup is also one of the leading causes of eye infections, causing everything from sties to blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).

However, by following a few basic guidelines – and with a little common sense – you should be able to avoid makeup-induced eye infections. Let’s take a look.

1) Be aware of any allergies you might have to makeup products

Many of us have allergies, some of which can react to ingredients in makeup. The most common allergy that comes into play with makeup is contact dermatitis.

Hence, it’s important to be careful when you’re trying out new makeup products. You should apply them slowly at first to make sure you aren’t allergic and move forward with caution.

That said, you might not immediately react negatively to your makeup. In fact, repeated exposure to certain makeup ingredients can actually cause you to develop an allergy to them. So, if all of the sudden you start experiencing an adverse reaction to your makeup, you should figure out which ingredients are causing you a problem and find makeup without these ingredients.

Some of the most common ingredients in makeup that people experience allergic reactions to include:

  • Parabens
  • Propylene glycol
  • Lanolin
  • Quaternium-15

If you’re not sure which ingredient your allergic reaction is related to, get in touch with your eye doctor for help.

2) Never use makeup past its expiration date

As makeup gets old, there’s an increased chance of some sort of bacteria growing in it. The liquid and creamy bases of these products make it an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure you’re checking your expirations dates and tossing old product.

3) Don’t share makeup with anyone

Someone you share makeup with might have an eye infection that you aren’t aware of. So, if you use their product, or even just their applicators, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with the infection, as well.

This also holds true for trying products at the store – don’t use dirty applicators or samples that have already been used multiple times by others. In fact, sampling makeups products in stores is best avoided altogether.

4) Clean your makeup off before bedtime

It’s common knowledge that not washing makeup off your face at night can be bad for your skin. The same is true for your eyes. Not only do you risk the makeup getting in your eyes, but it can also lead to clogged glands.

5) Be careful with applicators

When applying makeup around your eyes, you’re often using sharp objects that could seriously scratch and damage your eye. So make sure you’re focused on the task at hand and avoid trying to apply makeup in the car.

This should be common sense for all of us, but a reminder never hurts!

Already Have an Infection?

Sometimes, particularly when you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, addressing the root of the problem will cause the issue to go away on its own.

That said, some infections can be serious and call for medical attention from your eye doctor. If you’re experiencing an infection, please don’t hesitate to reach out and make an appointment at our offices, whether the cause is makeup or not. You can call us today at (231) 932-9000 or fill out our quick contact form and we’ll be in touch.

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