How Eye Makeup Can Cause Vision Damage

How Eye Makeup Can Cause Vision Damage

Eye makeup is worn by millions of women around the world. Without even thinking about it, women put on makeup every morning just like they put on pants. But, could your eye makeup be detrimental to your eyes?

Some studies suggest yes, that eye makeup can cause serious harm to your vision. However, most optometrists agree that if you wear the makeup safely, then your eyes will be perfectly fine. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when applying eye makeup.

Throw Out the Old and Bring in the New

As much as you might love your perfect shade of eye shadow, or your perfect clump-free mascara, if your makeup products are more than a year old, then they need to be trashed. Over time, makeup can become a wonderful environment for bacteria to grow and prosper. Not only is it often stored in a dark, cool place, but it also contains ingredients that certain bacteria can use to grow.

Most eye makeup should be thrown out each year, and mascara should be thrown away whenever it begins drying up. If you have to re-wet your mascara with water, then it is too old and could contain bacteria. Makeup labels often have a symbol that looks like a little can with a number inside. That number represent the months until it expires. Consider writing the date of when you bought the product on the label, so you can know when it’s expired. If you don’t throw out your old makeup, the bacteria can be introduced into your eyes and cause infections, abrasions and even slight vision damage if the problems persist.

Don’t Share

Never share makeup, especially eye makeup. Every person’s eyes and face contain a different level of normal bacterial flora. If you share with a friend or a family member, then their normal flora will be introduced to your makeup. The bacteria will then travel to your eyes whenever you apply your makeup next and could cause eye issues. Keep your makeup to yourself, and never share in order to keep your eyes healthy.

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Choose Cleaner Products

The most popular makeup brands use harsh chemical ingredients. After testing on animals, not humans, they believe their products are safe for our skin. Even when they are tested on humans, we are all different. We react to chemicals and allergens differently. Many common ingredients used in makeup can cause irritation in the eyes and skin. For example, bismuth oxychloride. This ingredient is used in mineral makeup products, which are touted as being the more natural option. Unfortunately, it can cause redness and irritation on the skin. If it gets in the eyes, similar consequences occur.

Always research the ingredients in your makeup products. The labels aren’t usually long enough to include the list, but you can find them online on the brands’ websites. Ideally, look for products that have the shortest ingredient list. The fewer chemicals you place around your eyes, the better. Keep in mind, fewer ingredients also means fewer preservatives. These products may expire faster than others so be aware of their expiration date and their smell.

Never Use Products on the Inside of Your Eyes

How Eye Makeup Can Cause Vision DamageIn order to enhance the appearance and size of their eyes, some women feel the need to place eyeliner on the inside of their bottom eyelid. This is extremely dangerous and should always be avoided. For one, you could accidentally slip and pierce or rub your eye, and cause undue damage, which could lead to vision issues. Secondly, if your eyeliner runs throughout the day, then it will likely get inside of your eye. This could cause infections and general irritation in your eyes.

Avoid Glitter

Glitter was huge in the 80s, but thankfully today it has gone by the wayside. Unless you’re a teenager preparing for prom or a pageant, then you probably don’t use glitter anymore. However, if you do, then you should be aware that the glitter particles can cause major irritation in your eyes, and even cause corneal abrasions. So, step away from the glitter, and leave the 80s behind!

If you must use glitter for a Halloween look or prom, choose finer ground glitter. This kind will go on smoother and more like a satin shadow. The chunky type, often used in craft projects, can cause abrasions. Not to mention the struggle of removing it at the end of the night. You shouldn’t have to scrub your eyelids to get makeup off. That will cause loose skin, redness, and potentially irritate your eyes.

Choose the Right Remover

Just as eye makeup products contain harsh chemicals, so do makeup removers. Try to use more natural removers, like coconut oil. Other products, like remover wipes, are soaked in inorganic ingredients that can irritate the eyes. In fact, you may notice that using a makeup remover intended for skin makeup makes your eyes burn. That’s why brands came out with another formula specifically for eye makeup. You shouldn’t use anything on your face that can cause burning. Opt for the more natural options when it comes to removing makeup.

Be Careful with Eyelash Adhesive Glue

It’s become quite trendy to apply fake eyelashes to our eyelids. It gives the appearance of having long, thick lashes without the hundred coats of mascara. However, to get the fake lashes to stay put, you have to use an adhesive glue. This glue is very dangerous for your eyes; many contain formaldehyde which can cause organ toxicity if it enters the body. Plus, using glue can destroy your existing natural lashes. They’ll become brittle, thin, and sparse. Skip the fake lashes and glue; instead, opt for a natural-ingredients mascara.

I hope you enjoyed these few tips about eye makeup. Remember throw out the old and bring in the new. Be aware of what’s in your eye makeup and the consequences of getting it in your eyes. No fashionable look is worth getting an eye infection or injuring your eyes for.

About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics with the dreams of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he and his brother decided to start Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent over a decade studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.

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12 responses to “How Eye Makeup Can Cause Vision Damage”

  1. Avatar for Beth Beth says:

    Great, but what about removing the makeup; some products burn when you take mascara off. Can you recommend a way–or a product– to safely remove eye makeup?



    • Avatar for charlene charlene says:

      Avon affective eye makeup remover and on a Q-tip

    • Avatar for Kirra Kirra says:

      Coconut oil! I use my fingers to warm it, spread it on my eyes, let it sit for 30 seconds or so, then wipe with toilet paper. No residue!

      Olive oil works just as well (actually, just about any oil does; I just prefer the benefits of cold-pressed, virgin coconut and olive oils).

    • Avatar for Ephraim Ephraim says:

      Don’t forget castor oil, too. It’s also good because it is known as a remedy for eye inflammation and blepharitis. Better still, forget the make-up!

  2. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

    i had a lasik surgery done recently.. i use lakme iconic kajal pencil n loreal makeup removre.. however i got a thin film of oil on my eyes making my vision blur. can anyone suggest water based eye makeup n makeup remover?

  3. Avatar for dunno dunno says:

    I’m soooo scared I just accidentally put ishadow IN MY EYE

  4. Avatar for sue sue says:

    I too have been looking for alternative eye make up remover because they he conventional products always leave my vision blurred after use.

    Will try olive oil or coconut oil.

  5. Avatar for Michiko Sasaki Michiko Sasaki says:

    Anyone know of Natural/Organic makeup? Ive done research on how most makeup have chemically toxic ingredients and lots of these ingredients have lead or can lead to cancer. Nobody ever thinks about these things, and with cancer being one of the leading deaths, we must all be so careful of what we are exposing our bodies to everyday. So if anyone knows any Natural Organic makeup that doesn’t cost a fortune, please let me know! Thank you!

  6. Avatar for Carol Phillips Carol Phillips says:

    The best eye makeup remover is Liz Earle Cleanse snd Polish. This removes all makeup including waterproof mascara. It is a natural product, no oil to get into your eyes and never any stinging. I have been using this for years and would not use anything else. It may seem a little more expensive but you only need one pump for your whole face and eyes.

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