Could Eye Makeup Hurt My Eyes?

Woman applying eye makeup mascara closeup

Millions of people use makeup daily. It is a relatively safe method of beauty enhancement. Wearing eye makeup to enhance the overall look of the eyes is also a popular way to express your unique style. But can eye makeup hurt your eyes? Your eyes are very sensitive, and adding makeup to these delicate body parts can cause eye problems and even harm your eye health.

Harmful Effects of Bacteriapowdered makeup spilled on counter

Your eyelashes naturally have bacteria on them. Once you use a makeup tool, the bacteria sticks to it. This buildup of bacteria increases your chance of an allergic reaction or eye infection with each use. If makeup gets into your eyes, irritation and redness can occur. However, a more serious condition can occur if a mascara brush or eyeliner pencil is contaminated with bacteria and scratches the surface of your eye.

Harmful Effects of Glitter or Powder Eye Shadows

Smoky eyes, cat eyes, and shimmery eyes are options for a great look (Hey, don’t look so surprised! We are eye care doctors after all.) Still, powders and glitter can clog your eye glands and tear ducts, leading to dry eye, sties, and irritation. Instead, you should try a cream eye shadow. You can also use an eye brush dampened with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops to apply powder shadow. Never use saliva to dampen your tools. The bacteria in saliva will increase your chances of eye infection.

woman applying eye makeup mascaraAvoid Cross-Contamination

Want to avoid swelling, mucus discharge, and inflammation of the whites of your eyes? Then it’s a good idea to never share cosmetic products with another person, as it can cause cross-contamination leading to pink eye or other eye diseases.

Additional Tips to Prevent Eye Injury from Makeup

  • Avoid expired makeup and change cosmetics every few months.
  • Toss your makeup when it reaches the expiration date
  • Immediately stop using eye products that irritate.
  • Wash your hands before applying makeup.
  • Make sure the makeup tool you use is clean, especially near the lash line.
  • Keep containers closed and free of dust.
  • Don’t use makeup products when you have an eye infection.
  • Read more tips from The American Academy of Opthamology

There is an old saying, “beauty is pain.” Fortunately, it is only painful if care and action are not taken to neutralize bacteria and eliminate harmful particles caused by irresponsible makeup use.

If you have questions about your eye health and would like to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, contact The Eye Center, with locations in Huntsville and Madison, at 256-705-3937.


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