How Safe is Eye Makeup? Here’s What You Need to Know

Can certain types of makeup harm our eyes? Here’s what you need to know about eye makeup and eye health. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.

In previous centuries, cosmetics contained some pretty unsavory ingredients, such as arsenic, lead, and mercury, which are extremely harmful to human health. Fortunately, commercial makeup no longer contains these elements, but it is still possible for your eyes to become irritated and even injured by some products and application techniques.

Wearing eye makeup can be fun, and for many of us it is an important element within our grooming routines. So, how can we make sure we’re being safe with our makeup choices? Here’s what you need to know.

Don’t apply your cosmetics too close to the eye itself.

Even harmless elements can irritate the eyes during prolonged exposure. Any type of makeup that can easily be transferred into the eye comes with a level of risk, because bacteria could be transferred, too.

Always be very careful wearing false eyelashes, waterline eyeliner, colored contact lenses, and eyelash extensions. Even mascara should be handled carefully and thrown out eight weeks after first use (the first time you use mascara and re-insert the wand into the bottle, you contaminate it).

Pay attention to the expiration dates on your makeup.

All makeup that is applied to the face comes with an expiration date. Always replace your cosmetics after the expiration date has passed. While the products may still seem fine, many of the ingredients can become irritants over time.

Only use clean applicator tools when applying makeup.

If you have especially sensitive eyes, you probably want to take extra precautions when applying eye makeup. Use clean brushes whenever possible, and fresh Q-tips make great eyeshadow applicators if you don’t want to risk contaminating either your eyeshadows or your eyes.

Do not share makeup applicator tools.

Sharing makeup applicator tools facilitates the spread of infection.

Do not purchase colored contact lenses from a vendor without a prescription.

Even colored contact lenses that don’t correct vision require a prescription. A retailer that sells them over the counter and doesn’t need proof of prescription should not be trusted.

Staying Safe While Looking Great

At OptiExpress, we are always happy to answer any questions you might have about eye health and safety. If you aren’t sure how to apply your eye makeup properly and safely, we can show you during your next eye exam. Schedule an appointment at our Cape Coral or Ft. Myers location today!

OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s most trusted eye care optometrists for over twenty years, having practiced in South Florida for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.