Makeup can be one of the best ways to enhance your facial features, but it can be dangerous when used improperly. Mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, foundation and eye creams are all applied around the eye area and can cause irritation, infection and even eye damage when safety precautions are ignored. Your eyesight is precious, and it’s worth preserving.
- Wash your hands before applying makeup. You should never touch your eyes with unwashed hands, but it is especially important to have clean hands when applying makeup. This is the best way to prevent transfer of bacteria and germs.
- Purchase new makeup every six months. Makeup has a shelf life like any other product. Write the purchase date with a Sharpie on each make-up container so you can replace your makeup in the recommended time frame.
- Close makeup containers tightly after use. Keeping containers closed will prevent make-up from drying out or being exposed to bacteria and germs.
- Never use a sharp object to separate eyelashes. This may seem like common sense, but laziness or rushing can cause us to make poor decisions. Don’t let a moment of haste allow you to put your eyes at risk for injury.
- Avoid sharing makeup with another person. Avoid the spread of germs by only using your own makeup. If you like your friend’s mascara, buy a tube for yourself!
- Replace all eye makeup if you develop an eye infection. If you develop pink eye (conjunctivitis), a corneal infection or another virus, your make-up has likely been exposed to that virus as well. Not replacing your makeup means you may be re-infecting your eyes.
- Do not use water or saliva to thin out old makeup. If the texture of your makeup has changed or thickened, throw it away. Adding saliva or water could introduce bacteria into your make-up and cause eye infection.
- Keep eye pencils sharpened. Make sure to throw away pencils that have hard edges or are dried out. Hardened makeup requires you to press down more firmly and therefore increasing the risk that you will scratch your cornea.
- Store make-up properly. Keep make-up away from extreme heat which may cause it to dry out or change in texture. Store make-up in a cool, dry place.
- Never use old applicators for new makeup. You may like a certain applicator that came with an old tube of mascara or an eye shadow better than the applicator that accompanies its replacement. Don’t be tempted to keep that old applicator! Bacteria can grow and accumulate on applicators, so it is important to regularly replace applicators as well as make-up.