Kathyrn Chidwick BSc(Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing, in a recent article in Re:View the ABDO College journal, discussed the possible interactions between ocular cosmetics and contact lenses. Her critical research analysis found studies revealing eyeliner to migrate into the tear film and interacting with contact lenses. One of the interactions was to decrease the light transmision through the lens, where as another seperate interaction caused some lens materials to expand and others to contract!
Eyeshadow was also found to cause changes in lens hydration and swelling, with a particular material in many lenses absorbing far more pigment than others.
Good practice would be for patients to apply contact lenses before cosmetics and remove them before using cosmetic cleansers.
Even without adverse contact lens effects, her critical research analysis also found studies that revealed high contamination of ocular cosmetic products being used by patients with potential sight-threatning bacteria and fungi. It is strongly advisable for ocular cosmetics not to be shared or used past their expiry date.
The same research analysis found studies showing eye liner can destabilise the tear film and block the vital meibomian glands in the eye lid. Many skin-care products contain retinoids, these may cause or excerbate meibomian gland dysfunction.
Alllergic reactions to the multitude of chemicals found in ocular cosmetics have been known for many years, even leading to a dermatitis condition on the eye lids, from the ocular cosmetics themselves, or hair products.
The complete article can be found in the December 2021 issue of Re:View
Always apply makeup outside the lash line and apply mascara from the tips rather than the roots of the lashes, preferably to the top lashes only.
Never apply eye makeup over the oil glands that line the very edge of your upper and lower lids, just inside the eyelash line. These are the glands that secrete oils to keep the eye lubricated. If you need to use an eye drop, apply it 15-30 minutes before putting on your makeup.
It is a must to remove makeup before bed. Sleeping with eye makeup on can lead to clogging of the oil producing glands and eye infections. Try a gel based product that is oil and paraben free. Avoid getting the makeup remover into the eyes as this may irritate them further.
Avoid mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, and diazolidinyl urea. While they work well to remove makeup, they are known to cause irritation to the eyes.
A gentle lid scrub with baby shampoo on a clean cotton pad or soft cloth or a store bought lid scrub can help remove excess makeup and unclog the eye’s oil glands.
Keeping makeup applicators clean is critical to keep infection at bay. Make sure to sharpen your makeup pencils before application to remove the top coat of bacteria. Also, wash makeup brushes as well as using a brush cover to keep them clean. Avoid using store samples, but if you must make sure to use a fresh applicator.
Do not use the same applicator on different parts of the face. For example, do not use the same pencil on your lips and your eyes.
Avoid sharing makeup with anyone else and using makeup past its expiration date. As a rule of thumb, dispose of your eye makeup every three to six months. You can keep a marker in your makeup kit to note the date the makeup was opened.
Do not use any type of eye makeup if you have an eye infection and see your optometrist right away. If you do develop an infection, throw away all your eye makeup and buy a new set to start with after your optometrist OKs you wearing it again.
Always wash your hands before applying makeup and avoid using saliva to assist in putting your makeup on as this could lead to an eye infection.
The tiny particles in glitter and powder based shadows and foundation can get into and aggravate the eyes. Instead sparingly use cream shadows, highlighters and foundations.
Use a thickening mascara instead of lash-lengthening or waterproof ones as they are less likely to flake and get into the eyes.
Stick with hypoallergenic brands to avoid excess irritation. Avoid makeup with arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, carmine, lead, nickel, selenium, and thallium.
A plastic eyelash curler is a great alternative to mascara. (The metal in regular eyelash curlers can cause irritation and dryness around the eye).
You might also get away with less eyelid makeup if you concentrate on your eyebrows instead.
If you suffer from severe and chronic dry eye and are intolerant of eye makeup try highlighting other aspects of you face, such as your lips and cheeks, which allows you to highlight your natural beauty without ever touching your eyes.
These have grown in popularity due to beauty trends favoring the appearance of more robust eyelashes and eyebrows. Eyelash extensions are synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester) that are applied on the natural lashes using glue that may contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, lead, and benzoic acid. Allergic reactions to eyelash glue can be serious as well as associated complications including keratoconjunctivits, contact dermatis and blepharitis, conjunctival and corneal erosion, subconjunctival hemorrhage. To prevent complications arising from eyelash extensions, both the patients and the beauty industry should learn the potential complications of the procedure and the ingredients of the glue and lash removers should be strictly regulated and monitored.