How To Use Makeup Without Harming Your Eyes

For thousands of years, people have been using makeup to enhance their unique and natural features. However, it’s only recently that people are becoming more conscious of the ingredients they put near their eyes and on their faces.  This has something to do with the disturbing amount of lead-based powders in the history of cosmetics. 

While modern makeup has improved for the better, it can still cause eye infections and painful abrasions if used incorrectly. Simple steps can greatly reduce the chances of damaging your eyes while making them aesthetic and dazzling. 

The Safe Way To Apply Eye Makeup

You’ll find thousands of varieties of makeup. They come in different types, colors, brands, manufacturers, and are made of various ingredients. Eye makeup is a general term for products used around the eyes to enhance and emphasize their beauty. Live by these three rules if you use eye makeup:

1. Wash your hands before putting your eye makeup on.

2. Clean your face and wash off your makeup with the right product each night before you go to bed.

3. Never share eye makeup with a friend to avoid cross-infection.

Eye Creams and Moisturizers

  • What it’s used for: Eye creams have been all the hype lately. These products promise to reduce or even erase the signs of aging: wrinkles, dark circles, and fine lines. Dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD, a clinical associate professor at Tulane University School of Medicine says that these products are formulated for the delicate skin around the eye. This part is fragile and prone to dryness. The main purpose of eye creams and moisturizers is to rehydrate or “plump up” the skin around the eyes.
  • How to use it properly: Cleanse the surface of your skin and remove all traces of makeup. You can take your cleansing routine a step further by exfoliating with a sugar scrub. It’s important to moisturize right after cleansing. While your skin is still wet, apply a face cream or lotion on top to lock that hydration. Don’t overdo the application of your eye cream. Just dot it with the tip of your finger around your eyes and gently spread it instead of rubbing it in. 
  • What you need to know: Moisturizers typically last up to two years, but make sure to check the expiration date on your product.


  • What it’s used for: Many different types of looks can be achieved through eyeshadow. The colors, shading, and blending techniques all come together to lighten, brighten, or even make the eyes appear larger. This type of cosmetic adds contour and color to the skin, on the eyelid up to the brow bone.
  • How to use it properly: It is not recommended to use your fingers when applying eyeshadow. It’s important to place the makeup on the lids gently. Opt for a brush, wand, sponge, or any other applicator that’s intended. If the product contains glitter (also not recommended), at least be careful when applying it and be careful to keep your eye closed. 
  • What you need to know: Powder eye shadows can last up to a year if you keep the case clean and closed and use brushes instead of your fingers. Meanwhile, cream eye shadows usually only last for six months. Using clean brushes will also improve the longevity of your eye shadow products. 


  • What it’s used for: The eyeliner creates a line above the upper lashes or below the lower lashes or both, even on the water lines of the eyes. People can also use it to change or enhance the eye’s shape. 
  • How to use it properly: You might be tempted to pull the skin taut around your eye to make the eyeliner line smooth. Be careful when you do this, and try to be gentle. Do not put eyeliner right on the inside of your eyelids. This can clog the glands that secrete essential oils necessary to protect the cornea and stabilize your tears.
  • What you need to know: It goes without saying but putting on any sort of eye makeup whilst on the move or on a bumpy ride can be potentially hazardous. If you’re putting eyeliner, you could accidentally scratch your cornea and have some of the product into your eye. This can be painful, and you may experience severe tearing and redness. The worst case is you get a bacterial infection of the cornea itself. 


  • What it’s used for: Give the appearance of darker, thicker, or longer eyelashes.
  • How to use it properly: Hold the mascara horizontally and apply the product. Resist the urge to pick out individual lashes with the tip of the wand as it’s the easiest way to accidentally touch the want to your cornea.
  • What you need to know: A study by the College of Optometrists reveals that over half of makeup users do not check the instructions to see how long they should keep their mascara on for. In fact, almost a fifth of the respondents admits to now knowing that expiry information existed. 

Applying mascara daily, particularly if the product is not clean or past due date, can lead to problems with the eyelids, the tear film, and the eye itself. Soot particles in mascara can also buildup in the oil-producing pores along the length of the eyelid margin. This can cause red, dry, and irritated eyes.

Makeup Brushes, Sponges, and Eyelash Curlers

  • What it’s used for: To apply makeup and curl the eyelashes. 
  • How to use it properly: Use these makeup tools as they are intended. Clean them on a regular basis. Wash and dry your makeup brushes and eyelash curler to remove the bacteria buildup. Do not use a makeup sponge more than once.
  • What you need to know: Makeup tools will gather bacteria and dirt over time. This means every time you go to apply makeup using these products, you are spreading the bacteria around your eyes. Make sure to clean them thoroughly.

Your Appearance and Future Eye Health

Many eye experts have seen the detrimental effects of makeup on the eyes, sometimes even causing long-lasting damage. It is not bad to use cosmetics per se, but be sure to keep your eye health a priority. With simple precautions, such as cleaning your makeup tools and throwing away expired products, you can keep your eyes from harm while enhancing their beauty.

NOTICE TO USERS is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on