How your makeup could be hurting your eye health

By Haley Hernandez - Health Reporter

HOUSTON - Makeup can be a girl’s best friend, but without proper knowledge of eye care, it can also be her worst enemy. That's because makeup can lead to eye infections which, or worst case scenario, can lead to vision loss.

Here are the warnings from Dr. Sheekha Sethi, an optometrist at Cohen Eye Associates. 

PUT CONTACTS IN BEFORE APPLYING MAKEUP

Sethi said when women apply makeup before contacts, there’s a chance the makeup also gets pressed into your eyes. With that being held against your eye all day, you're opening yourself up to infection and that can be dangerous.

THROW OUT EYE MAKEUP EVERY FEW MONTHS

She says one of the biggest mistakes we make is keeping makeup too long. The longer you keep it, the more likely there’s bacteria inside that gets in your eye and causes infections on your lids or cornea.

“I've seen time and time again that patients come in with red eyes and itchy eyes, sandy, gritty feeling eyes and then, especially in women, whenever I see these kinds of symptoms, I have to dig a little deeper and inquire about the products that they're using and so many times I hear that ‘I’ve been using this eyeliner or mascara for years now. It's the same one,’ and when I tell them they should be replaced every three months, it's almost like a shock to them,” Sethi said.

USE MAGNETIC LASHES, NOT ADHESIVE 

Issues such as styes and pinkeye can be linked to lash extensions, which is why Sethi recommends magnetic lashes, but only for special occasions as the weight of the magnetic lashes can cause your natural lashes to fall out. 

“It's just a magnet and you put it on and you take it off at the end of the day. There's no risk of any kind of infection that way,” she said.

DO NOT APPLY EYE MAKEUP IN THE CAR

If you think you'll save time by applying makeup in the car, Sethi said to stop.

She said patients often scratch or hit their cornea with a wand or pencil while driving.

“If that's not treated as soon as possible, there's risk of permanent vision loss,” Sethi said.

STOP APPLYING EYELINER TO THE WATERLINE

Sethi said there are hundreds of glands that secrete oils and lipids that the eye needs. Applying eyeliner to that area blocks those glands which can lead to irritation, dry eyes and infection.

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