Many young teens want to look and act just like the Kardashians, makeup and all. These and other celebrities help spike an interest in makeup for young girls, but there are a few dangers to using a lot of eye makeup. Without proper care, teens and women might find themselves with blurry vision, teary eyes, or even worse—eye infections. That look would hardly get them any positive attention. Not only should young women learn to love and be themselves, they should also learn how to apply eye makeup safely.
One recent study brought this topic of makeup health to light, prompting experts to recommend a few guidelines for young makeup wearers. This study, headed by Dr. Alison Ng from the University of Waterloo, looked specifically at the dangers of eye liner. Since liner is typically worn very close to the eye, the researchers suspected a tight correlation with bacterial infections and harmed vision.
In this study, Dr. Ng tested three volunteers in their upper 20s who did not have any known eye infections. The researchers used eye liner with glitter to observe the particles more easily. Then, the volunteers applied eye liner either inside or outside their lash lines.
The next day, the participants returned to use the application opposite from the previous day. In the end, the study found that 15–30 percent more eye liner moved into the eye when the women applied it within their lash lines.
According to Dr. Ng, the makeup also contaminated the eyes more quickly in this location. Although the study was quite small, it still supports the fact that women should take great care when applying makeup, especially around the eyes.
How Makeup Affects the Eyes
Most of the time, teens are looking for makeup that will stay on their eyes all day long. To deliver on this promise, makeup companies often use ingredients that literally stick to the skin.
As a side effect, however, these products can also stick to the eyes if makeup starts migrating throughout the day. The makeup and its potentially harmful ingredients might just end up in the eye, causing discomfort, redness, and blurry vision.
That discomfort from the makeup can last several minutes. In the above study, Dr. Ng and the researchers observed a thin film that covered the participants’ eyes.
After around 10 minutes, their eyes restored their usual vision. Still, scientists know little about any long-term effects that might occur if makeup gets into the eye consistently.
Eye Makeup Dos and Don’ts
To protect your vision from the dangers of eye makeup, you don’t have to avoid it altogether. Instead, you can follow a few FDA-approved guidelines to keep your eyes safe and beautiful.
- Apply eye liner outside the lash line.
For some reason, putting liner on the inner eyelid has turned popular in recent years. According to the experts, though, this makeup fad is a mistake, and teens should avoid it at all costs. Instead, apply liner on the outer lid.
- Change out eye makeup every 3–4 months.
Makeup provides a wonderful home for bacteria. To guard against transferring that harmful bacteria to your eyes, buy new makeup every few months.
If you have to, write down each product’s open date to make sure that you don’t use it for too long. This practice will guard against many eye infections.
- Clean, clean, clean.
Keep bottles, sharpeners, and brushes clean by wiping them down. You should also avoid using your hands to apply the makeup as much as possible.
To keep the eye liner clean, sharpen it or cut off the tip before every use. Also, discard dried makeup right away: do not try to moisten it, especially with saliva.
- Take extra care of contact lenses.
Contact lenses can trap eye makeup on the eye for a longer period of time. If makeup gets in the eye while wearing contacts, remove and clean them with contact solution. If your eye is still irritated, wait until the irritation subsides before putting the contacts back in.
As celebrities and other role models make eye makeup appealing to young teens, these young women should learn how to apply it safely. By keeping their makeup clean, changing it out consistently, and applying it away from the eye, girls can protect their eyes from any self-imposed danger. In the end, teens should consider going without eye makeup on occasion and learn to love themselves as the beautiful people they are.