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People ask the question a lot – “Can I wear eye makeup? “What kind of eye make up works for blepharitis and dry eyes?”

Why you should not wear eye makeup if you have dry eyes, Blepharitis, and MGD.

Here, we will look at the scientific evidence why you should not wear any eye makeup if you have dry eyes, Blepharitis, and meibomian gland dysfunction. The particles in your eye makeup get into your eyes within 30 minutes.

 What is dry eye?

Dry eye happens when your eyes cannot produce the properly balanced tears to keep the eye moist. Your tears evaporate too fast, leaving your eyes dry and scratchy. Or your tears may not have the correct balance of oil, water, and mucus to provide comfort. People with dry eyes have more sensitive eyes, especially to eye makeup.

Causes of dry eyes

There are many reasons why dry eyes occur. Sometimes it’s due to aging. Other times it’s because of an underlying medical condition like Sjogren’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid disorders.

No matter what causes dry eyes, using eye makeup can make them worse. You should know which products to avoid and how to properly apply makeup to preserve tears.

What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis usually affects both eyes along the edges of the eyelids.

Blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, causing irritation and redness. The root cause of blepharitis is often dry eyes.

Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that’s difficult to treat. Blepharitis can be uncomfortable and unsightly. But it usually doesn’t cause permanent damage to your eyesight, and it’s not contagious.

Causes of blepharitis

The exact cause of blepharitis isn’t clear. In some cases, it can spread to another person. It might be associated with one or more of the following:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis — dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
  • Infection
  • Clogged or malfunctioning oil glands in your eyelids
  • Rosacea — a skin condition characterized by facial redness
  • Allergies, including allergic reactions to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup
  • Eyelash mites or lice
  • Dry eyes

What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) refers to the condition where the glands are not secreting enough oil or when the oil they secrete is of poor quality. Often, the oil gland openings get plugged up so that less oil comes out of the glands. The oil that does make it out of the glands can be granular (crusty) or otherwise unhealthy and can cause irritation. The root cause of MGD is also dry eyes.

What eye makeup products to avoid

When you have dry eyes and sensitive eyes, there are some makeup products that you should avoid, such as:

  • old mascara that crumbles when it dries. All eye makeup should be discarded after 3 months.
  • makeup removers that have oil or parabens.
  • powder-based and liquid-based products, including eye shadows and foundations.
  • products that contain fragrances.

Safe eye makeup for Blepharitis, MGD and dry eyes

Certain makeup products can irritate your eyes and thin out your tear film. If you must wear make up, here are some tips for choosing the best product if you have dry eyes:

  • Consider using an eyelash curler instead of Mascara.
  • Avoid makeup removers that have oil or parabens.
  • Avoid powder-based and liquid-based products, including eye shadows and foundations.
  • Use cream-based products instead.
  • Clean your makeup brushes often.

Why some eye makeup products can make your dry eyes worse

Eye makeup comes in contact with the membrane covering your eyeball – the ocular surface tear film. Make up will make your dry eyes worse, causing eye infection and blepahritis.

Research suggests that where you apply eye makeup can make a difference. One study involved measuring the volume of glitter particles in subjects’ tears when using eyeliner. Those who applying eye makeup along the lash line experienced a higher volume of particles in their tear film than those who applying makeup outside the lash line. The researchers suggested that the movement of eye makeup particles into the tear film could make eye irritation and dry eyes worse.

Loose makeup particles are harmful to ocular surface tear film.

If you use Mascara that crumbles when it dries, you’ll get particles in your ocular surface tear film. If you applying makeup powder close to the bottom of your lash line, you get particles moving up into your ocular surface of the eye. Eye make up made from powder eye shadows can also expose your eyes to even more loose particles.

Summary of eye makeup and your ocular surface

The bottom line is that eye makeup can thin out your tear film on the ocular surface. This causes tears to evaporate more quickly. In fact, some people get dry eyes because of eye makeup.

Applying eye makeup when you have dry eyes

People who has dry eyes have more sensitive eyes. Applying makeup can cause dry eye problems, there are ways to apply it to minimize particle transfer. Here are some tips:

  • Insert lubricating eye drops 30 minutes before applying eye makeup.
  • Use separate applicators
  • Always apply eye makeup outside of your lash line.
  • Apply Mascara to just the end of the lash line.
  • Keep mascara use to a minimum.
  • Use makeup on other areas of your face instead of the eyes.
  • Clean your makeup brushes often.

How to remove eye makeup

Take care when removing eye makeup, especially for people with sensitive eyes. Use healthy eye makeup practices. This includes:

  • Always take off eye makeup before you go to sleep.
  • Try a little baby shampoo on cotton or a cloth to remove makeup.
  • Sharpen eye pencils before each use to avoid bacteria.
  • Wash makeup brushes often.
  • Don’t use makeup when you have an eye infection.
  • Consider using a gentle eyelid cleanser like Avenova when you have sensitive eyes.

How to clean eyelids when you have blepharitis?

First of all, do not wear eye makeup when you have blepharitis – inflammation of your eyelids.

The old approach, which some eye doctors still recommend is to use baby shampoo.  We not know baby shampoo does not work to get rid of blepharitis.  Most detergent- based eyelid cleanser has similar challenges because bacteria re-attach and re- infect the eyelids.

What is the best eyelid cleanser for dry eyes

We highly recommend hypochlorous acid-based eyelid cleanser like Avenova, which builds up a biofilm to prevent re-attachment of bacteria onto your eyelids.  Avenova is gentle for people with sensitive eyes.

Purity of the hypochlorous acid preparation is important because the by-product is bleach.  Once the bottle is opened, it is good for one month.

To learn more: click here

Scientific Research on Eye Makeup and dry eyes.

The application of cosmetic products to eyelashes and the ocular adnexa has been a concern for eye doctors for many years. Recent research indicates the migration of cosmetic microparticles into the precorneal tear film within 30 minutes of application, particularly in Mascara.

How does cosmetic particles affect the corneal epithelium

Cosmetic particles like to adhere to the corneal epithelium, the conjunctiva, and other ocular surfaces. Resulting in vision-related problems such as contact dermatitis and loss of eyelashes. The impact of cosmetics on the wettability of contact lenses still need to be studied.

 Effect of Cosmetics on Contact Lenses

For contact lens wearers, a lab-based study looked at a variety of cosmetics on lenses surface deposition and wettability.

Potential recovery of these changes was determined after a cleaning cycle using a one-step hydrogen peroxide care regimen (Clear Care, Alcon). A total of seven lens types were evaluated in this research study with people who wear contact lenses.

Lenses were taken out of their blister pack and exposed to nine different commercially available cosmetics types. The cosmetics included hand creams, eye makeup removers, and mascaras. The product was applied one at a time on each lens type.

The overall deposition was evaluated by measuring mean pixel brightness (PB) and “patchiness” (standard deviation of PB). Also, contact angle measurements were performed through a sessile drop method to assess wettability. After undergoing a 6-hour cleaning cycle using Clear Care, the same measurements were repeated.

Mascara cause the most damage to contact lens wearers

Waterproof mascara is the most damaging. Mascaras caused the most significant increase in PB ( pixel brightness) with levels of approximately 15 to 40 units indicating that this cosmetic group left the most visible deposits on the lenses.

Furthermore, it was found that the application of non-waterproof Mascara resulted in the highest PB. Clear Care removed most deposits from the non-waterproof Mascara for four lens types. In contrast, deposits remained relatively unchanged for one of the waterproof mascaras.

Effect of hand creams on contact lenses.

Overall, hand creams and makeup remover had minimal impact on PB, and only minor changes were noted regarding wettability. Hand creams were partially removed when cleaned with the peroxide care system, which was variable for different lenses.

Summary of cosmetics on contact lenses

Cosmetics on lenses affect visual performance and lens comfort, especially with the waterproof mascaras, which are less likely to be removed during the cleaning cycle.

People with dry eyes should always pay attention to cosmetics’ role on ocular dryness and discomfort symptoms, especially in contact lens wearers. Ask yourself if your eye makeup is making your eyes red.

How TheraLife Can Help

TheraLife is an oral dry eye treatment that helps you make your own tears from inside out – orally.

Learn how TheraLIfe Eye works, click here

Learn more about Blepharitis – click here

Learn more about Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) click here.

Any questions, call toll free 1-877-917-1989 US/Canada. International 650-949-6080


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