10 Tips for Eye Makeup Wearers

For most women makeup is a part of our daily grind. It is meant to enhance our natural beauty and make us feel confident.   You know what doesn’t make us feel beautiful? Styes and swollen eyes! Follow these steps to prevent eye infections.

10 tips to maintain healthy eyes for makeup wearers:

  1. Before applying, make sure your hands are clean. Washing your hands with antibacterial soap is a crucial first step to preventing eye infections (and also breakouts).
  1. Make sure your makeup brushes are clean. Dirty brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Although most recommendations are for once a week, I personally try to wash my brushes after every use. I tend to use any antibacterial soap I have lying around with warm water to clean my brushes.
  1. Don’t put eyeliner on your water line. Putting eyeliner on your waterline (AKA inside rim of eyelids) will cause your eyelid glands to get clogged up. Your eyelid glands are there to provide lubrication and protection to your eyes. When they get clogged up they can cause different lid diseases like styes.
    • Tip: wearing eyeliner on the outside of your eyelid can make your eyes appear bigger!


  1. Replace mascara and eyeliner every 3 months. Don’t use expired makeup and replace your makeup every 3 months to avoid bacterial build up. If you’ve had an eye infection, throw out any eye makeup you used at that time. 
  1. Never add water to your mascara. Adding water can introduce bacteria and can also ruin the mascara by diluting its ingredients. It’s better to replace it with a new one.
  1. Don’t leave makeup in your car. The temperature in your car is usually warm which is bacteria’s favorite temperature! Leaving your makeup in the car can compromise its quality by changing the color and consistency while also deactivating certain ingredients and preservatives. Mascara wands and eyeliners tend to be sharp enough to give you a corneal abrasion (scratch the front part of your eye) so it’s best not to put on makeup while in a moving car.


  1. Don’t share eye makeup. Sharing is caring in most cases but not this one! Don’t share your eye make up with your friends or family. This includes the samples and testers they have at places like Sephora and Ulta. Those testers have been sampled by many other women who may have pink eye, herpes, the flu and other diseases that are contagious.
    • **A study done in 2016 concluded, “all of in-use cosmetics were contaminated with bacteria…” Basically, there’s a 100% chance there’s some sort of bacteria or fungus in that sample, including E.coli! Eyeshadow with a side of pink eye? No thanks!
  1. Always remove your makeup at the end of the day. Be sure to gently clean your eyelids and eyelashes thoroughly. If you use an eye makeup remover avoid getting it in your eyes and rinse with water afterward.
    • Avoid harsh eye makeup removers that contain alcohol and harsh detergents. 
    • Try We Love Eyes – Eye makeup remover kit for an eye cleaner that is optometrist approved https://www.weloveeyes.com/products/the-ultimate-makeup-removal-kit
    • You can also use jojoba oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil to remove your eye makeup. These are a safer more natural alternative. 
  1. Avoid harmful mascara ingredients. In general, it’s best to use eye makeup that is approved by an eye care specialist. Using non-toxic eye makeup (and remover) can also help strengthen your natural lashes.
    • Avoid these toxic ingredients in mascara:
      • BHA, Urea, Sulfates, Phthalates, Kohl, Parabens, Formaldehyde (not an exhaustive list) 
    • All Almay and Physicians Formula mascaras are ophthalmologist approved and are safe to use with contacts lenses. 
    • Beauty Counter is also known for clean, safe makeup  http://www.beautycounter.com
    • Avoid all waterproof mascara and eyeliner!
  1. If you wear contacts, always put your contact lens in BEFORE you apply eye makeup and then remove the contact lens BEFORE removing makeup. Putting your CLs in before your makeup prevents makeup debris from getting caught underneath your lenses. Removing your CLs before removing your makeup keeps your CLs clean and damage-free. Be careful with glitter makeup getting under your contact lenses.

What happens if makeup gets into your eyes?

  • If you’re wearing contacts, remove them first.
  • Rinse your eyes out with clean water or eyewash.
  • Do not put your contacts back in if your eyes are red or irritated.
  • Clean your contacts with multipurpose contact lens solution.
  • If the problem persists, make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible!
Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care. This site is not intended to provide specific medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you act on any advice rendered on this website, you do so strictly out of your own volition. Make an appointment with your optometrist or healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a specific medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. I have no financial incentives and I do not receive any compensation for the products listed in this blog.
 ** Dadashi, Leila, and Reza Dehghanzadeh. “Investigating Incidence of Bacterial and Fungal Contamination in Shared Cosmetic Kits Available in the Women Beauty Salons.” Health Promotion Perspectives, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, 2016,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5002883/.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: