Should You Break Up with Your Makeup?

October 30, 2020

Back when you were in junior high, your mother or sister was probably the person who taught you about makeup. She likely gave you some great advice, but if you’re like most of us, a few of the main points she stressed may have fallen by the wayside as we’ve gotten a little older. However, today more than ever, it’s crucial to keep the “rules of makeup” front and center when caring for your eyes. In the past decade or so, makeup has changed dramatically – especially the items that are used around your eyes.


The focus has shifted to outrageous lashes and brows, super-shiny eye shadows and liners in an array of wild colors. Some of these products contain ingredients that can be harmful, especially if they’re worn near your eyes. Because a large number of women wear makeup, they are much more likely to suffer from a variety of eye ailments, including dry eye, conjunctivitis (pink eye), allergic reactions and even scratches to the cornea caused by sharp eye liner pencils, mascara wands or eyelash curlers. Remember, if you do end up with an eye infection at some point, make sure to throw away all eye makeup and start over. You don’t want to keep re-infecting your eyes with contaminated product.


When it comes to wearing cosmetics safely, you can depend on the top Houston eye doctors to steer you in the right direction! The optometrists at Pro-Optix Eye Care are here to share the best advice you can get on the dangers of cosmetics – even better than Mom’s!


Beware of “Lashes for Days”

The latest trends in eyelashes focus on the big, the bigger and the really huge. You can find magnetic eye lashes, eyelash extensions, over 50 formulas of mascara and even eyelash jewelry. Most of these accents are unnecessary, and can be dangerous. Try DIY solutions such as combing your eyelashes with natural oils such as olive, vitamin E, coconut, castor or tea tree. There are some lash extending mascaras that promote healthy eyes – but be very careful during application. You don’t want to injure your eye with the wand!


Be a Little Selfish

Eye makeup is like a faithful boyfriend...meant for one woman only. One of the easiest ways to invite infection is to share, even with best friends or family. Always wash your hands before applying eye makeup, and wash your applicators often with gentle soap or baby shampoo, rinse well and let them air dry.


Keep It Fresh

Using expired makeup is a big mistake. Once makeup is opened and used, bacteria and fungus begin to grow. Getting these microbes in your eyes can cause nasty infections. Buy smaller sizes and keep track of when you purchase them. Mascara and liquid eye liner should be discarded after 3 months, cream eyeshadows within six months. Pencil liners have a max shelf life of a year and powder eyeshadow needs to go before it turns two. It’s also a great idea to keep your makeup in a cool, dry place that won’t exceed 85 degrees. At higher temperatures the preservatives in the makeup break down, allowing bacteria to form.


Ready for Bed

Always remove your makeup before you go to sleep. Leaving eye makeup on overnight can block your oil-producing glands, leading to infection. Mascara sticks to your lashes, causing them to break or even fall out. Always use a gentle product designed to remove eye makeup. Ask us about our excellent tea tree cleanser that also helps control growth of bacteria on your lashes!


Ditch the Glitter

Eyeshadows with sparkly flakes may give you a high-fashion nightclub look, but glitzy additives can end up in your eye, causing irritation and infection. If you’re looking for shine, stick with a cream shadow that casts a shimmery glow.


Never Dye Your Eye

Using dyes on your eyebrows and eyelashes is a disaster waiting to happen. The FDA has never approved a permanent colorant for brows and lashes – they’re much too dangerous. Serious eye injuries have been reported, including permanent blindness.


Color Outside the Lines

Don’t use liner on the inside of your eyelids – it can block the oil glands that protect the cornea, transmit bacteria directly into the eye or cause injury.


Next time you come for a vision exam or to try some new designer frames, ask your family optometrist at Pro-Optix Eye Care for more safe makeup tips. In fact…why wait? Call us at 713-360-7095 today to schedule!


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