Eye Health and Cosmetics

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Beware at the Beauty Counter

Why your cosmetics might be to blame for your eye irritations and what you can do to decrease the likely hood of eye discomfort from your beauty products.


Women (and men) have been using products to enhance their appearance since 4000 B.C opting for malachite or kohl as choice minerals to break down and use in creation of eye makeup. Today this practice is still happening although, cosmetic companies mass produce products using a lot more than the natural minerals utilized by the ancient Egyptians. While, we all like to look our best it should never come at the cost of our health.


Popular products like eye shadow, mascara, eye liners and fake eye lashes might seem safe because they are sold in drug stores, beauty boutiques and at high end beauty counters in large department stores but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t have adverse affects on your eyes. Making sure you read labels on products and choose eye makeup labelled “hypoallergenic”, “safe for sensitive eyes” or “contact lens friendly” might not be enough. Here are some suggestions to keep eye health top of mind when purchasing or using makeup.

1.) Avoid use of any cosmetics, especially eye makeup with these ingredients:

– Carbon Black

– Ethanolamine compounds


– Prime yellow carnauba wax

– Formaldehyde and formaldehyde – releasing perservatives

– Quaternium – 15

– DMDM hydantoin

– Urea

– Parabens

– Aluminum Powder

– Retinyl acetate

– Retinyl Palmitate

– Heavy metals like nickel or chrome

– Titanium dioxide or Ti02

2.) Avoid Waterproof Cosmetics

Mascara and eyeliners that are labelled “waterproof” are sure to contain added chemicals to resist water. Not only is this not safe for your eyes, but it also makes this makeup harder to remove making it more susceptible to flaking and falling into your eyes if not washed off totally and completely.


Prolonged use of “waterproof” eye makeup can lead to dry eye disease causing eyes to become red and itchy.


3.) Use fake eyelashes with magnets instead of glue

Your eyes are one of the most sensitive areas on your body – and the most complex. Risking the affects of sometimes toxic ingredients like fake eyelash glue is risky business. Prolonged irritation of the eye can cause lasting damage. There have been many cases of allergic reactions to the eye lid, eye irritation, damage to lash follicles and in severe cases permanent damage to the eye causing loss of vision.


If you do wear fake eyelashes, choose ones that are magnetic and ensure you take them out before bed. Trapped dirt and bacteria can easily get caught in the synthetic lashes and fall into the eyes if not properly stored, cleaned and taken off.


4.) Removing your eye makeup before bed is extremely important to avoid eye irritation. But nothing is worse than using a product that isn’t safe for your eyes. Avoid makeup remover products with these ingredient:

– Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

– Sodium coco sulfate

– Fragrance

– Phthalates

– Parabens


Using natural products like pure coconut, avocado or jojoba oil are safe and void of a long list of ingredients to search up. If you decide to purchase a product dubbed ‘makeup remover’ choose those with the least amount of ingredients and are oil based.

5.) Thoroughly clean your eye makeup brushes regularly and make sure you store your makeup in a dry, clean environment. Doing your best to keep bacteria from growing and multiplying on your brushes and eye makeup products is a large part in avoiding eye irritation.


Cleaning brushes regularly using soap and warm water and leaving them to dry before use prevents makeup and bacteria from building up. If you notice your eyes are becoming irritated even after you clean your brushes, it might be your mascara or eye liner pen/pencil. Best throw out makeup then risk eye infection. If you haven’t used makeup in a long while and can’t remember when you purchased it – throw it out. Everything has a shelf life and it isn’t worth risking your vision or eye health.

We deliver high quality interesting articles right to your inbox.