Cosmetics have played an important role in a woman’s beauty since ancient times. Women like to highlight their eyes as one of their best features. From the earliest era of the Egyptian empire, women from all social classes liberally used kohl and malachite powder (a green mineral) for eye makeup.

The makeup trends have evolved with the times. While modern women continue to use cosmetics to enhance their eyes, the styles and colours have evolved.

Eye Make-up problems are minimal, when makeup is used correctly, can maintain your eye health and make your eyes sparkle; however, when used incorrectly, it can ruin your eye health and make your eyes susceptible to eye infections.

Eye Health: Eye Problems Associated with Eye Makeup

Although the cosmetic industry has made strides in the introduction of toxic-free, organic, and hypo-allergenic products, the majority of make-up contains harmful irritants such as nickel, fragrance, and carbon black. When placed around the eyes, it can cause serious harm.

The eye problems that may arise due to eye makeup, include:

Scratched Cornea

Also called corneal abrasion, this condition occurs when you accidentally damage the clear outer layer of your eye (the cornea) while applying mascara or eyeliner. Left untreated, the abrasion can seriously infect the eye and result in a sore known as a corneal ulcer.

Viral or Bacterial Conjunctivitis

When makeup or other beauty products like creams, lotions, eye liner or mascara come in contact with the eye, the conjunctiva, the coating that protects the eyeball, becomes inflamed, vessels dilate, and the eye turns red. This could be due to irritants or chemicals in makeup that are too toxic for the eyes to handle. It could also be due to the exposure to the bacteria in the makeup itself, which is often picked up through sharing make-up.


A stye is a painful red bump that develops beneath the eyelid or at the base of the eyelashes. Styes, which form when bacteria infect oil glands, can be painful and irritating. The most common causes are old makeup and not properly removing old makeup from the eyes.

Allergic Reactions

Some chemicals or ingredients present in cosmetic products can cause an allergic reaction. For example, small particles or glitters present in eye makeup can cause allergic conjunctivitis which can lead to symptoms of itching, watering, and irritation of the eyes.

Ways To Avoid Eye Make-up Problems

·        Never share your eye makeup with anyone, as they are breeding grounds for microbes that get transferred to the eyes.

·        Before applying any old product, make sure to read the expiration date mentioned on your product.

·        Avoid applying eye makeup products close to the eyelid margin.

·        Store your makeup in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity promote microbial growth by shortening the shelf life of preservatives.

·        Toss away your old or expired products as they can cause bacteria and fungi to grow on the makeup after the product has reached its expiry.

·        Replace your eye makeup products after an eye infection in order to avoid bacteria from spreading.

·        Clean all makeup tools regularly. Brushes and other eye make-up tools can carry bacteria which can increase the risk of eye infections.

·        At the end of the day, remember to remove your makeup as well like your contact lenses.

·        Avoid using cheap cosmetic products that contain harmful chemicals or ingredients. Stick to makeup with the least amount of harmful ingredients. Opt for formulas that are mineral-free and hypoallergenic.

·        If you have had eye surgery, avoid wearing any eye makeup.

Final Thoughts

There is little doubt that eye make-up jazzes up our look and gives our eyes a variety of shades, glitter, and glam. The dark kohl strokes make our eyes appear bold and beautiful. But if makeup causes eye pain, redness, irritation, or eye discharge, get it treated immediately to maintain eye health and avoid further Eye Make-up Problems. The majority of infections or inflammations caused by eye makeup are treatable. In severe cases, it can cause eye damage, resulting in partial or complete vision loss. This problem is easily avoidable if you use proper eye makeup and take the right precautions when it comes to your eye makeup.

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