For many women, makeup is an important part of their morning routine. Women wear cosmetics for a plethora of reasons, such as to boost confidence or practice good self-care. If wearing makeup is significant to you, be aware of the ways that it can potentially harm your eyes. If you end up with an infection, it could be weeks or months before you can wear makeup again!
Here are five ways that cosmetics can hurt your eyes and ways to avoid this:
1. Increased Risk of Infection
When putting on makeup, your fingers get close to your eyes. So does your makeup. Can you recall times when you’ve accidentally poked your eye with a mascara brush or touched your eyelid with eyeliner – both of which contain bacteria? These germs can enter your eye and cause an infection. The best way to avoid this is by washing your hands, not sharing makeup with others, and disposing of eye products after 4 to 6 months.
2. Potential for Eye Scratches
Stabbing your eye with eyeliner or mascara does more than increase your risk of infection. It can also scratch the eye. Corneal abrasions are just like any other wound and require a trip to your eye specialist. If left untreated, an abrasion can lead to infection.
3. Greater Chance of Irritation
Manufacturers do not have to include an expiration date on their products, but makeup does get old. When expired, cosmetics are ineffective and potentially poisonous. For example, mascara typically has a shelf life of six months. After that, it dries out and can flake into the eye, causing infection. Here is a great article on makeup expiration.
4. Transfer of Bacteria
Even if you follow all of the directions for using cosmetics safely, there’s still the chance that you can wipe bacteria into your eyes at night. To avoid the risk of inflammation and oil buildup, remove your eye makeup each night. Use the appropriate antiseptic wipes and wipe away from your eyes to avoid the transfer of bacteria.
5. Allergic Reactions
Cosmetics use so many chemicals, it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to any of them. When using a new makeup product, always test it on a different part of the body. Once you use the product near your eye, there’s no telling what can happen if you are sensitive to the ingredients. Also, never use cosmetics when you are recovering from an eye infection.
Makeup is a beautiful addition to our lives, but it’s important to use these products carefully. By washing your hands, disposing of old cosmetics, and treating eye irritation at its first sign, you can significantly reduce your risk for infection or injury.