For many individuals, wearing contacting lenses has been a way of life for years. But for those who are unaccustomed to wearing cosmetics, improper application of foundation, particularly eye make-up, can cause health problems ranging from minor irritation to more serious consequences. Also, the contact lens, itself, can be permanently damaged by the improper use of some types of beauty related products. But with proper care, contact lenses have the potential to enhance your appearance just as eye makeup does.
Cosmetics and contact lenses, however, dont get along well together when they are in contact with each other. Eye makeup can contaminate and ruin a set contact lenses causing irritation, burning, dryness and discoloration of the lenses. The following tips will help you avoid these problems.
- Contact lenses should always be inserted before applying any cosmetics. Always make sure your hands have been washed and are clean. Avoid applying lotions on your hands before handling your lenses. Do not use soap with perfumes or lotions in them.
- Removal of eye and face makeup is equally important. Be sure to remove your lenses first, if you are a daily wearer. For those who have extended wear lenses, be sure to close your eyes tightly during removal of makeup. Use a water based remover and apply it with a non-fibrous pad. Rinse thoroughly with water. Never use any makeup remover which contains lanolin. Lanolin may permanently damage your contact lenses.
- When purchasing cosmetics, look for hypo-allergenic products and avoid all oily, creamy items. Water-based versions of all makeup formulations are available. All cosmetics should be replaced every 3 months, as many preservatives are not effective after that time. Below are recommendations on each eye makeup product.
Use a water-based, but water-resistant brand that is designed specifically for use with contact lenses or is designed for sensitive eyes. Apply it to the tips of the lashes and allow the layers to dry prior to reapplying. Two thin coats are preferable to one thick coat as you will have less flaking and irritation. Replace your tube of mascara at least every three months to assure minimum contamination of the product.
Use a soft pencil type rather that a liquid or powered version which will flake off. Be sure to apply it only outside the lash line on both lids to prevent blocking the glands that line your eyelids. Replace it every three months.
Use a pressed powder rather that a liquid or cream products, which have an oily base and are hard to remove from the contacts. Never use pearlized or frosted types which contain tinsel, a rust forming ingredient which will stain your lenses. Apply the shadow with a sponge wedge rather that a brush to control particles better.