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Eye Make-up VS. Your Eyes

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Dream Big

It is almost every little girl’s dream to start playing with make-up. From eyeliner and mascara to eyeshadow and lipstick. About 65% of women wear eye make-up. Personally, I cannot go a day without my mascara, but I always make sure that I have proper eyelid hygiene to prevent any harm to my ocular surface. As time goes on technology only gets better and now inventions are created every day to make our day to day a little easier.

A new beauty technique that is very popular is eyelash extensions. Now anyone can have long, dark eyelashes but sometimes it is not always as glamorous. Eyelashes are not just there for beauty, their main function is to protect our eyes from harmful particles like dust, sand or debris from the environment.

What’s Up With Eyelash Extensions?

When eyelash extensions are placed, they tend to block the meibomian glands. These glands are important openings along the eyelids for the oil glands to exert protective oils to the tear film. When meibomian glands are blocked, it causes a risk increase for dry eye. Our eyelashes are a certain length for a reason, and that reason is for protection. Improper installation of eyelashes can cause severe eye infections.

False eyelashes are not the only item to be cautious about. Eye make up such as mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow can also cause risk to the ocular exterior. A tip I would recommend to you, avoid wearing any eye makeup the day of your annual eye exam. Make-up products such as eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow can hide or even imitate blepharitis. Blepharitis is defined as eyelid inflammation caused when the small oil glands of the inner eyelid become agitated. Symptoms of blepharitis include red, itchy eyelids that may look greasy and crusted. If a patient is wearing eye shadow or eyeliner the optometrist is not able to give the patient a proper exam because remember, an eye exam is not just about having your vision checked. The optometrist is also responsible for checking the health of the eyes inside and out.

Makeup and Your Eyes

Even mascara should not be worn to your annual eye exam. When mascara is applied to eyelashes, there is a thick, dark coat covering the eyelash. With the eyelashes covered, this prevents the doctor from seeing signs of Demodex. Demodex are compact mites that reside in or around hair follicles. They are most commonly known as eyelash mites. These mites are usually harmless but when there is an abnormal amount of eyelash mites, symptoms can involve itchiness, redness, burning or rough patches around the eyes. To contact lens wearers, be extra cautious to mascara flaking off. The pieces of mascara can enter the tear film and cause irritation. The flakes of mascara can even embellish under the contact lens and cause corneal erosion or even starch the ocular surface of your eyes. If the ocular surface is scratched bad enough, some patients are not able to wear contact lenses again.

It is important to take proper care of your eyes. After all you only have one set of eyes. Most women have their basic makeup routine every morning, but most women do not have an eyelid care routine. It is important to take off any eye make-up before bed to prevent any irritation or infections to the eyes. I use Blephadex eyelid wipes every night before I go to bed, they are made with coconut and tea tree oil to help cleanse, moisturize and refresh my eyelids.

Briana Rodriguez Class of 2023