Is Eye Makeup Affecting My Eyes?

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A beautiful face attracts everyone, however, during this pandemic era of face masks, eyes are the only prominent part visible. So, eye makeup has caught on as a trend in recent days. Eye makeup can be harmful to the eyes if proper precautions are not taken.


Common eye problems due to eye makeup products

If you are not mindful of the contents or method of application of the eye makeup products, you may be at risk of getting these eye problems:

  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Infectious conjunctivitis
  • Infections of eyelids
  • Corneal scratches
  • Ulcer of the cornea

Toxic chemicals in eye makeup products

Some brands of eye makeup products could contain toxic ingredients like:

  • Coal Tar
  • Formaldehyde
  • Parabens
  • Ethanolamine compounds
  • Retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate
  • Heavy metals like Nickel and Chrome
  • Benzalkonium chloride (BAC)
  • Aluminium and others

If these particles get into the eyes while applying, it can be very harmful. It is important to choose products wisely and use them correctly.


Useful tips to help you reduce eye makeup related eye problems:

  • Be mindful of the ingredients of the makeup products.
  • Check the ingredients thoroughly and avoid products having harmful contents like coal tar, formaldehyde, parabens, aluminium.
  • Never share your eye makeup products with anyone.
  • Sharpen your eyeliner pencil properly to avoid any scratches.
  • Replace eye makeup every three to four months.
  • Replace them immediately if it starts to smell bad or clump as it may lead to infections
  • If you get an eye infection, make sure to replace all of your previous eye makeup products in order to avoid further infections.
  • Remove all the eye makeup thoroughly at the end of the day, this will ensure that there is no bacterial growth to cause infection.

Dos and Don’ts of eye makeup

  • Use your own makeup set and never share it with others.
  • Always use clean eye makeup applicators: Wash or replace all brushes and sponges frequently.
  • Do a patch test before using a new makeup product: Always test the makeup products before applying them to your eyes. Discard the product if you develop any allergies.
  • Do not put on eye makeup while driving, riding or sitting in a moving vehicle: Either eyeliner brush or the mascara wand could easily scratch your cornea. Sometimes it can spread inside ur eyes and can cause irritation.
  • Do not use old makeup products: Over time, mascara wand or eyeliner brush gets contaminated by its contact with eyelashes which harbours some bacteria naturally. Any kind of bacteria and fungi can multiply in these pretty little cosmetic boxes. Change them as per their shelf life.
  • Do not apply makeup at the meeting of the eye and the eyelid: Eye makeup at the point where the eye and the eyelid meet can block important meibomian oil glands and can lead to dry eyes. This may cause a frequent burning sensation in your eyes.
  • Avoid using eye makeup if you have had a recent eye surgery: Consult your ophthalmologist as to when you can start using makeup products.
  • Use eyeliner only on the outside of the lash line: Don’t use eyeliner on the inside of the lash line, this may lead to scratches, irritation or infection of the eyes.
  • Remove your eye makeup at the end of the day: Whenever your day ends, make sure to remove all the makeup thoroughly.
  • Do not apply eye makeup products if you already have an infection or irritation.

Take proper care of your eyes, if any makeup product gets into your eyes, rinse with normal clean tap water immediately. If there is irritation even after washing your eyes, consult your eye doctor. Take only prescribed medication.


We at MM Joshi Eye Institute are always available for consultation 24/7. Call us or use the form to book appointments for consultation with our experienced ophthalmologists.

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