Eye Infections from Makeup – YOU NEED TO KNOW

eye infection from mascara

Eye Infections from Makeup – YOU NEED TO KNOW

eye infection from mascara

Putting on makeup is a part of most women’s morning routines, whether it is just a bit of mascara, eyeliner or even an entire face makeup.

But, what if that bit of mascara or eye liner is actually aggravating your eyes causing irritation, dry eyes and potential infections?

Can you get an eye infection from makeup?

Mascara, eyeliner, and other products can lead to infections, or cause/ worsen your dry eye symptoms. One of the main causes of makeup related infections is due to the quality of products and improper after care routine. Dry eye related symptoms are usually caused because makeup thins out the outermost oily layer of the tear film allowing a much faster evaporation of the natural tears. One might also experience irritation, itching, tearing and sometimes it can also lead to development of stye or painful bump on the eye lid margin. 

Did you know ? 

Around $10 billion a year is spent on cosmetics and beauty supplies in America, with 75% of women using cosmetics to improve their confidence (U.S. Census Bureau). But, as many of these women are using products to feel confident, it’s important to keep in mind that some of these products can actually cause more harm than good. 

How does eye makeup cause eye problems? 

Eye make are usually safe to use but it can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi and viruses. Eye lashes and skin usually have bacteria on them, while applying make these get transferred to the skin and also the make kit via makeup tools like brushes and sponge. These bacteria can grow in the moist surface of the makeup kit leading to symptoms like irritation, itching, redness, discharge, crusts on the eye lashes, etc.

Eye makeup can also clog the meibomian glands in your eyelids, which are responsible for making the oil for your tears. When your tear film isn’t working properly, dry eye symptoms are easily triggered causing irritation, watering, itching and discomfort. Dry eye disease occurs when your tears aren’t providing adequate lubrication for your eyes, which can cause uncomfortability, and even stinging and burning.

How to avoid eye problems caused by eye makeup?

  • Change the  eye makeup every 3-4 months or as recommended by the details on the product. Always look at the expiration date on your products. 
  • Do not share your products. Sharing products can led to increase in contamination which increases the risk of eye infections. 
  • Always clean and change your make-up tools. Makeup tools also carry lots of germs and bacteria on them so ensure to clean them regularly. Also replace them as needed. 
  • “Lens First”, when using contact lenses and eye makeup remember the “Lens First rule” always wear the lens first, then apply your eye make. Always remove your lens first and then remove the eye makeup. This rule helps to protect your contact lenses from getting damaged or contaminated with eye makeup. This will also help in minimizing irritation, dryness, and increase contact lens comfort. 
  • Avoiding using makeup with glitter particles as they can increase irritation and discomfort. Small particles from the eye makeup can also get trapped on contact lenses causing irritation. 
  • Incase of any itching, irritation, burning sensation, discomfort with the eye makeup discontinue the use and replace the products.  
  • Avoid using cheap products. Some of these eye products can have chemicals and irritants that can cause redness, discomfort and infections. 
  • Avoid using waterproof eye makeup, especially with contact lenses. Waterproof eye makeup are hydrophobic in nature and are difficult to clean. They can also clog the glads on the eyelid margins which can cause eye infections, swelling, or dryness. 
  • Always remove your eye makeup before sleeping. Always use mild makeup remover specially designed for your eyes. Hypoallergenic are know to work very well for removing eye makeup. 
  • Avoid using eye makeup if your eyes are red, irritated or inflamed. Using eye makeup when the eyes are sore can increase the risk of eye infections. 
  • Always store your makeup in a cool and dry place. Heat and moisture can increase the bacterial growth and minimize the effectiveness of the preservatives used to protect your eyes from infections.
  • Replace your eye makeup if any of the products have caused eye infections and start fresh. 

Common eye infections due to eye makeup: 

  1. Blepharitis: It is an inflammation of the eye lid margin which causes redness, irritation, itching, discomfort  and crusts on the eyelashes. 
  2. Stye / hordeolum: It is an infection on the eye lid margin caused due to clogged pores. Its causes swelling and bump on the eye lid margin similar to a pimple on your skin. It can be painful. 
  3. Pink eye/Conjunctivitis: This is a very common infection causing inflammation and infection in the eye. It causes redness, irritation, itching, watering and discharge.  This infection can be bacterial, allergic or viral. It can also be contagious and can easily spread to others. 

In majority of the cases infection or inflammation caused due to eye makeup can be easily treated. In some severe cases it can cause damage to the eyes leading to partial or complete vision loss. This problem is easily avoidable if we follow proper eye makeup routine and take good care of the eyes. 

So, is your makeup causing you dry eye, itching, irritation, discomfort or a sand paper kind of feeling in the eye? Are you already suffering from dry eye disease and need to check if using eye makeup is increasing your severity and frequency of  your dr eye symptom?

Save & download the report for future references Or simply connect with an eye doctor to learn more about how to take care of your eyes. 

Are you suffering from itching, irritation, redness, watering or discharge from your eyes? Do you think you have an eye infection due to your eye makeup? Speak to our online eye doctor now: https://doctors.eyecarelive.com/patient/

Director of Clinical Affairs at Eyecarelive, Inc
Ukti Vora is the Director of Clinical Affairs for EyecareLive. She is actively involved in defining strategy, planing and executing various services to build a robust telehealth platform focusing on the needs of the eye care professionals. As an optometrist with 11+ years of clinical experience, and her degree in Management she serves a perfect liaison between the company and the consumer. She brings a unique blend of diversity with her experience in India and USA. She has been a speaker at several national and international conferences, panel discussions, podcasts and online webinars.