If you suffer from dry eyes, your makeup habits could be making them worse. Here's why that is and what you can do to lessen the likelihood of exacerbating your dry eye symptoms from wearing makeup.
The main goal for most people when they suffer from dry eyes is to make them feel more comfortable and less bothersome. The itchy, scratchy, burning sensations that can accompany dry eyes can make everyday life much less enjoyable for those who suffer from them. Perhaps they've tried prescription eye drops from their optometrist to try and alleviate their symptoms, or even considered surgery to fix the problem.
But they probably weren't aware that their makeup habits could possibly be making their dry eyes even worse. Here's why that is.
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How Your Makeup Habits Could Be Making Your Dry Eyes Worse
When using eye makeup products, many of them can come in contact with your tear film, which is the thin fluid layer that covers your eyeball. When this happens, there's the potential for your tear film to be thinned out, which results in your tears evaporating quicker. When your tears evaporate too quickly, your eyeballs don't receive adequate lubrication, leading to dry eyes. While applying eye makeup can make dry eyes worse, some people's dry eyes are actually caused by their eye makeup habits and application practices.
Research suggests that applying your eye makeup along the lash line can result in more makeup particles entering your tear film, which can lead to increased eye irritation and more bothersome dry eye symptoms. Using mascara that turns crumbly after it dries out can also lead to more makeup particles being present in the tear film, same too with using powder eye shadows or applying powder close to the bottom of the eye.
If you're guilty of any of the above makeup habits, you could be making your dry eyes even worse than they already are.
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How to Select the Right Makeup Products for Dry Eyes
If you have dry eyes, selecting the right types of makeup products can go a long way in minimizing your chances of making your symptoms worse. Some makeup products are known to irritate eyes and thin out that all-important tear film we mentioned earlier. If you suffer from dry eyes, here are some helpful tips for selecting the right makeup products:
- Don't use old mascara, which tends to turn crumbly once it dries
- Opt for thickening mascara, as it's less prone to flaking once it dries
- Instead of using mascara, try using an eyelash curler
- Don't use makeup removers that contain oil or parabens
- Try to not use powder-based or liquid-based makeup products, which includes foundations or eye shadows
- Opt for cream-based products instead
Using Makeup When You Have Dry Eyes
While eye makeup can certainly pose some problems for those who suffer from dry eyes, there are a few ways you can apply it so your risk of getting makeup particles into your tear film is lowered. These tips include:
- Half an hour before putting on your makeup, put in some lubricating eye drops
- Make sure you use different applicators for every type of makeup product
- Never apply eye makeup inside your eyelashes
- Only apply mascara to the tips of your eyelashes
- Minimize your mascara use as much as possible
- Try to use makeup on other parts of your face as opposed to your eyes
When taking off your makeup, it's important you do so carefully. You should also be following proper makeup hygiene practices at all times. Examples of these include:
- Always removing eye makeup before going to bed
- Using a less harsh product such as baby shampoo on a cloth or cotton ball when removing your makeup
- Sharpening eye pencils before each use to cut down on the amount of bacteria on them
- Regularly washing your makeup brushes
- Never using makeup if you have an eye infection
While the only way to ensure eye makeup doesn't exacerbate your dry eyes is to not wear any at all, sometimes that just isn't a feasible option. But if you constantly find yourself suffering from severe dry eyes, it might be something you want to consider.
If not wearing eye makeup is just something you can't see yourself doing though, the above tips — which includes using the proper products, applying them appropriately, and adhering to good hygiene practices — should at least allow you to continue wearing eye makeup without making your dry eyes any worse.
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If you need dry eye care in Calgary or Three Hills, My Optometrist Calgary has you covered with our Advanced Dry Eye and Ocular Wellness Clinic. Contact one of our My Optometrist Calgary clinics at either 403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry).