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6 Expert Makeup Tips for Great Eye Hygiene

Did you know that how you use makeup has a huge effect on your eye hygiene? That’s whether you wear eyeglasses, contact lenses, or neither!

Bad makeup habits do more than ruin your instagram-appeal. They can cause serious eye infections and damage your sight.

Failing to clean your makeup kit invites bacteria to set up house in your eyes. That’s because it’s easy for bacteria to grow on used makeup.

Chances are, you’re guilty of a few of these bad habits without even knowing it. The good news is, it’s never too late to turn it all around. Follow these 6 expert makeup tips to improve your eye hygiene today.

1. Don’t Keep Eye Makeup Past Its Expiry Date

Did you know that makeup has an expiry date? It’s okay, I didn’t know either! Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t force cosmetic manufacturers to provide these dates on cosmetics.

However, even without an expiry date, your makeup does have a shelf life. Once it expires the preservatives inside it become less effective. Since preservatives stop the multiplication of bacteria, once these stop working, you could be in trouble. Here’s how to be safe.

Makeup experts recommend throwing out any creamy formulas, such as cream eyeshadow or concealer, after a year and any mascara after four months. If this sounds like a waste of money, consider buying cheaper brands more often. Because in the end, medical bills are much higher than makeup prices!

messy makeup products

2. Put Your Contacts in Before Applying Eye Makeup

It’s never a good idea to put your contacts in after you’ve put your eye makeup on. Why? If you’ve already applied makeup to your eyes, there’s a good chance you have makeup in your tear film. A tear film is the thin layer of moisture that protects the eye and it must be kept clean and clear to work properly. Putting your contact in after apply eye makeup means laying a contact on top of a surface that is already dirty. This can lead to infection.

It’s also good practice to remove your contacts before you remove your makeup. Whatever you use to take makeup off - a makeup wipe, an alcohol cleanser, or cream - chemicals will end up in your eye. Coating your lens with any solution other than lens solution or tear film, is a very bad idea.

However, with your contact lens out of your eye you can focus on removing your makeup. Of course, you still need to clean and store your lenses. That is, unless you’ve already made the switch to disposable daily contacts.

contact lenses, contact case and solution

3. Choose the Right Eye Makeup Products

If you wear contact lenses, you can make your life easier by choosing better eye makeup products. Avoid powder eyeshadows, as there’s a greater chance the powder will get into your eyes. Stick to cream eyeshadow that you can apply with a disposable brush.

For eyeliners, choose a liquid over a pencil. Liquid eyeliners are a safer choice because these will not scrape the rim of your eyes, which can lead to infection. In addition, experts advise us to avoid fiber lash mascara. That’s because the tiny fibers in these mascaras are made of things like silk, rayon, or nylon, that can irritate eyes. So remember: Fiber lash mascara may give you luscious lashes, but it can also give you a serious eye infection!

4. Clean Your Makeup Brushes!

I'd go as far as to say the majority of us neglect to clean our makeup brushes as often as we should. Guilty, as charged! Failing to clean makeup brushes can cause eye infections like keratitis which can, if untreated, damage your sight.

The reason? Makeup brushes collect oil, dead skin cells, and all manner of environmental toxins. This dirt then develops into harmful bacteria that you put back onto your face and eyes.

Some makeup experts recommend using disposable applicators but this has a negative impact on the environment. Instead, make cleansing your makeup brushes and applicators a habit.

There are many products out there for cleaning makeup brushes. A quick day to day solution is to sanitize your brushes with 99% isopropyl alcohol and wipe them clean with a paper towel.

woman using makeup brush

5. Never, Ever Use Store Testers

Sephora hit the headlines after a woman claimed she contracted an infectious disease from a tester in one of their stores. But just how dangerous are makeup testers when it comes to eye hygiene? The answer is very. Makeup testers in stores can harbor all kinds of germs and bacteria that can lead to infection. There is no way of knowing who has already used that tester on their skin, lips, or eyes and what they have left behind.

Even stores that follow a strict disposable applicator policy cannot keep on top of double-dippers. Not to mention all the times people may have coughed or sneezed all over those shiny lipsticks. In short, Ophthalmologists advise giving store makeup testers a wide berth to protect the health of your eyes.

6. Put Your Eye Hygiene Before Anything Else

This same advice applies to sharing makeup or makeup brushes with friends.

Your friend may not be showing any symptoms of illness or infection, but why risk it? Be particularly strict with eye makeup. If you can't resist sharing makeup, or your sister uses it when you’re out anyway, clean it before you use it again.

To remove bacteria from your makeup products: sharpen any eye liner pencils; slice off the top of your lipstick; use a new eyeshadow applicator; clean any non-disposable brushes with alcohol and, honestly, throw that mascara away.

Sometimes you may follow good advice on good eye hygiene and still experience irritation. If that’s the case, you may be due for a new eye exam, or a change in contact lenses. Ophthalmologists recommend having a new eye exam every year and an up-to-date prescription to buy new contact lenses.

Bonus Pro-tip: After your fitting, resist the urge to buy your contacts with your doctor. That’s because you’ll find the best prices and top name-brand contact lenses right here, on LensPure. Plus, our customer care team is with you to answer all of your questions, every step of the way.

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