The past decade has seen an explosion in the U.S. makeup industry, doubtlessly influenced by beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora. Though makeup can be one of the best ways to enhance your natural features, it can also pose many risks to your eyes. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of irritation, infection and damage while wearing eye makeup.
1. Always Wash Your Hands
Never touch your eyes or eyelids with unwashed hands. Even if your hands “feel” clean, they’re probably not—studies have shown that everyday items like smartphones can have more germs than a toilet seat. Washing your hands before applying a product can greatly reduce your risk of an eye infection.
2. Close Your Makeup Containers After Using Them
Again, you may feel that your bathroom is pretty clean, but remember that every time you flush a toilet, microscopic particles and germs get thrown up onto the air and settle on whatever’s nearby. Closing your makeup containers tightly will prevent them from getting infected. If you have pencil eyeliners, always make sure to put the cap on after use.
3. Don’t Share Your Makeup
Never share your makeup—not with your mom, not with your sisters, and not with your friends. Sharing makeup is one of the biggest causes of styes.
4. If You do Develop an Eye Infection, Throw Out All The Makeup You Used.
If you develop an eye infection, like pinkeye, you will need to replace all your makeup, or risk re-infecting your eyes. All the more reason to try to prevent getting one in the first place!
5. Never Separate Your Eyelashes With a Sharp Object.
Tweezers, scissors, those little razors that cut off facial hair, bobby pins: All these are things that should never be anywhere near your eyes. Instead, invest in a high-quality mascara that doesn’t clump.
6. Never Lick a Makeup Brush or Applicator.
You may have seen so-called “beauty gurus” on YouTube lick their brushes in order to get a perfect point. Your mouth is teeming with bacteria, no matter how well you brush and floss, and licking the brush could introduce that bacteria to your eyes. If you want a brush that keeps a thin, strong point, there are many options to choose from. A quality eyeliner brush is much cheaper than an optometry appointment.
7. Regularly Clean and Replace Brushes and Applicators
Bacteria slowly accumulates on all brushes and applicators, so be sure to periodically clean them with a disinfecting cleaner. Replace old applicators and sponges that get too dirty.
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