Beauty regimens have been around for thousands of years, but there has never been so many products available as there are now. Eye makeup and similar cosmetic enhancements are usually safe. However, there are some risks associated with makeup and eye treatments that you should be aware of.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your eyes as safe as possible when choosing and using beauty products.
Keep Your Makeup Fresh
If you only wear eye makeup every once in a while, you’ll be dismayed to learn that mascara and eyeliner should be regularly replaced. Keeping makeup past its intended shelf life can cause clumping, bacteria growth, and separation in the product, making it more potentially harmful to your eye.
Never use dried out mascara, and do not rehydrate it with saliva or even tap water from your bathroom sink. If you’re only an occasional makeup wearer, buy mascara and eyeliner in sample sizes to make it more likely you’ll use the products before they expire.
To make your mascara stay moist and bacteria free, don’t pump the brush up and down when loading it with product. This aerates the mascara, making it dry out faster, and it pushes bacteria from the rim down into the container.
Avoid Sharing Products
If you and some friends are getting ready together for a night out, don’t share makeup — especially mascara brushes and eyeliner. You don’t want to introduce harmful bacteria to your eye by using some else’s brush.
You don’t know your friends’ eye health histories. Eye infections, illnesses, and other viruses that pass through mucus membranes are stored in mascara tubes and brushes. When you contract an illness or condition, like pink eye or a sty, you should also toss your own tainted makeup and replace it with fresh product to prevent reinfection.
A big beauty trend becoming ever more popular is eyelash extensions. There is usually little danger in choosing to place artificial hairs onto your own lashes for a special occasion. But there are some risks in the type of adhesive used, the technique, and the frequency. You should always choose a licensed esthetician to apply eyelash extensions.
The risks of frequent eyelash extensions are:
- Allergic reactions. Allergies can build over time, so you can have a violent reaction to eyelash extensions, even if you have not experienced one before.
- Loss of real eyelashes. The extra weight of eyelash extensions can damage the hair follicle, thinning your natural lashes if you choose frequent extensions in a short period of time.
- Dry eyes. Eye lashes normally protect the eye from dirt and debris without any increased harm to the eye. Longer, thicker lashes act like a fan that dries the eyes as it moves more air over the eye surface. They can also be so long that they trap dirt instead of repelling it.
- Punctures or scratches. While rarer, there is always the chance of human error when someone is working close to the eye. It only take a single slip to injure the soft tissue on the surface of or surrounding the eye.
If you have concerns about getting extensions, talk to your eye doctor. They can provide you with the most information on safest and best beauty practices.
Stop Dangerous Behavior
There are some dangerous behaviors that significantly increase your chances of injuring your eyes when using makeup. These include:
- Applying makeup in the car, even when you are not driving. Applying while driving increases your chances of collision, but even when you’re not driving, a sudden stop can mean you brush your eye instead of your eyelashes. Eye pencils are especially dangerous. If you were to get into a car accident while applying eyeliner, the force of the motion could mean you impale your eye. Never apply makeup in a moving vehicle.
- Neglecting to wash your hands before using eye makeup. You wash your hands before you eat and after you flush, and you should apply the same behavior to applying makeup, especially if you use your fingers to apply eye shadow.
- Removing contacts before cleaning your eyes. Never try to wash makeup off before
removing contacts. This can drive particles into your eye, trapping them under the contact. You’ll also damage your contacts.
Stay safe by using common sense. A steady, clean hand is essential to keeping your eyes healthy.
Stay Away From Cosmetic Contacts
Contacts designed to make the eyes look larger (circle contacts) are becoming increasingly popular. These can be ordered at any prescription strength without the consent of your doctor. It’s dangerous to avoid professional care. These contacts have not been approved by FDA as safe for use.
Contacts designed to create larger eyes are potentially dangerous, especially when you don’t need contacts for vision correction. Medically necessary contacts are developed to maintain oxygen delivery to the eye. Unregulated circle contacts can deprive the eye of oxygen and lead to more dangerous injuries.
For more information about eye beauty trends and safety, contact us at Country Hills Eye Center.