Dos and Dont’s of Using Eye Cosmetics

Whether you wear makeup daily or just for special ocassions and the holidays, here are some tips to keep your eyes healthy and bacteria free:

  • Don’t hold onto old makeup — throw it away after three months. If you have an eye infection toss it immediately.
  • Don’t use mascara that’s dried out — and never attempt to moisten it with your saliva or water. It’s best to replace mascara every two to four months, or sooner if it’s dried. A tip: Keep a permanent marker in your make-up kit, and mark the date you open a new tube of mascara, so you won’t use it past its shelf-life.
  • Keep eye cosmetics cool — always at 85° F or below (that means don’t keep them in your car or in a steamy bathroom).
  • Don’t mix and match cosmetics. Use what’s intended for your eyes on your eyes only — don’t use the same pencil for both lips and eyes, as that can introduce bacteria.
  • Avoid toxic heavy metals— lead, nickel, selenium, thallium, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium etc. Also, avoid permanent coloring and dyes for eyelashes, as they can cause irreversible eye damage if not used correctly.
  • Never share your cosmetics with a friend. Her bacteria will contaminate your eye cosmetics, and vice-versa. In this case Sharing is Not Caring. And, be careful sampling make up at stores, make sure make up has not been contaminated or avoid sampling altogether.
  • If you tend to be allergic try one type of makeup at a time.

Try these eye cosmetic safety suggestions:

  • Never put your eye cosmetics on while you’re driving or riding in a car. Your mascara wand can all too easily scratch your cornea — not to mention the risks of inattentive driving. You may also want to avoid applying eye makeup on buses or subways – sudden stops can also increase the risk that you’ll scratch your eye.
  • Skip eye cosmetics when you’ve got an irritated or infected eye — and if you think that a particular cosmetic is irritating your eyes, stop using it right away.
  • Keep eye cosmetics outside of your eye — don’t use eyeliner on the inner eyelids, where makeup can get inside your eye.
  • Always wash your hands before you dig into your makeup bag and start applying eye cosmetics.
  • Avoid eye cosmetics that are iridescent, glittery, or shiny, as they may contain ingredients that could scratch or irritate the eye. (especially if you suffer from dry eyes)
  • Make sure that all eye cosmetic applicators are clean before you use them — it’s a good idea to wash or replace all brushes and sponges frequently.
  • Contact lens wearers need avoid various types of makeup products, therefore hypoallergenic cosmetics are recommended. (More tips for contact lens wearers)

Safety at Bedtime: How to Remove Eye Cosmetics

Makeup can cause a lot of problems for your eyes — especially if you wear contact lenses. Eyes can become dry and irritated, and cosmetics can leave deposits on your lenses, affecting your vision and the comfort of your lenses. So it’s important to carefully and gently wash off your eye makeup each night before bed to make sure that your cosmetics don’t work their way into your eyes, build up, and cause damage. There are various kinds of makeup removers for specific types of cosmetics, therefore make sure to follow their instructions.



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