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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 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.

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 makeup can make them worse. You should know which products to avoid and how to properly apply makeup to preserve tears.

Choosing the right makeup product

Certain makeup products can irritate your eyes and thin out your tear film. 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.

Why some makeup products can make your dry eyes worse

Eye makeup comes in contact with the membrane covering your eyeball – the tear film.

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 spread the liner along the lash line experienced a higher volume of particles in their tear film than those who applied it outside the lash line. The researchers suggested that the movement of makeup particles into the tear film could make eye irritation and dry eyes worse.

Loose particles are harmful.

If you use Mascara that crumbles when it dries, you’ll get particles in your tear film. If you apply powder close to the bottom of your eye, you get particles moving up into your eye. Powder eye shadows can also expose your eyes to even more loose particles.

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

How to use makeup when you have dry eyes

Although eye 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 makeup.
  • Use separate applicators
  • Always apply eye makeup outside of your eyelashes.
  • Apply Mascara to just the end of the eyelashes.
  • Keep mascara use to a minimum.
  • Use makeup on other areas of your face instead of the eyes.

How to remove makeup

Take care when removing makeup. Use healthy 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.

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. 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

A lab-based study looked at a variety of cosmetics on contact lens 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. Contact 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.

 The mascaras caused the most significant increase in PB 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. 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.

 Cosmetics on contact 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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