October 11, 2018

Clean up your Make up bag for optimal eye health!


Read the full NZ Herald article here

You may never have realized this, but everything we put in or near our eyes can affect how dry they are.  Here’s some important things to think about when choosing or using eye make-up:

Powder vs Liquids or Creams:

Just like sand or dust, powder-based cosmetics can easily settle into the eye and disrupt the tear film causing your eyes to feel dry, irritable and red.

By switching to liquid or cream-based products you can avoid some of the discomfort and blurry vision that comes with powder products.  The same goes for eye shadows.  Because these products are applied directly to the eye lids they can easily end up on the surface of the eyes. Many beauty companies offer cream-based options for shadows, bronzers and foundations so you shouldn’t have to go without all together.


The very edge of the eyelid (at the base of the eyelashes) has special glands responsible for producing a thin, clean oily layer that helps to keep the surface of the eye moist and healthy.   Applying eye liner (especially waterproof ones) to the inner rim of your eye (sometimes called the waterline) will block these oil glands contributing to a problem called meibomian gland dysfunction –this will cause dryness, irritation, styes and often blurry vision.   Placing eye-liner under the lash-line not only reduces this problem but it also helps give the illusion that your eyes are larger.  

Check the expiry dates:

All make up products should have a Use By Date or an Expiry Date, usually marked with an indicator showing how long you can keep using the product after opening the container.

Keeping your products past this date increases the risk of bacteria growing in pots, tubes and containers. These germs can irritate eye and cause unwanted inflammation and infections.  The same goes for your make-up brushes and pencils - make sure you are regularly cleaning your brushes and sharpening the pencils to avoid bacteria build up.

If you wear contact lenses the problems caused by make-up can be much worse because contact lenses frequently get caked in make-up.  You will have to be especially careful to clean and replace your contact lenses as often as your optometrist recommends it, sometimes more often that is typical for that type of contact lens.  

The extra risk of getting dry or sore eyes with make-up unfortunately makes problems with contacts more likely (and potentially more serious) so keep those contacts clean and fresh and DON’T wear them when your eyes are tired and sore.

Written by Ally Kerr, Re:Vision Ophthalmic Technician

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