As I was applying makeup the other day (a rare thing, because I can’t see) and poked my eye- got to thinking, do you discuss makeup application with your patients? Do you look at their makeup to determine whether it’s safe to use? Some make-up contains lead and other toxic ingredients that people may have a reaction to. The Problems: Allergic Reactions, Infection, Injury to eye or eyelids, Visual loss and even blindness, Corneal abrasion from eyeliner wand or fingernail, Conjunctivitis due to contamination of cosmetic or makeup applicator. According to the Organic Consumer Association, women who wear makeup could be absorbing almost 5 pounds of chemicals into their body every year!
April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month according to the FDA. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to reach out to your female patients and offer some optical events featuring ‘Women’s Eye Health’ programs in your office.
Some Optical Event ideas- to get and keep patients, offer a series of evening or lunch programs, utilizing local ‘makeup specialists’ (FREE), yoga teachers (FREE) , to come in and educate women about eye health. You can get a local listing of Natural or Non-Toxic Makeup companies from Green Eco Services, and we did a post on Yoga Eye Exercises.
Safety Tips in Eye Makeup
Keep Everything Clean and Wash Hands
Don’t moisten cosmetic products. Don’t add saliva or water to moisten eye cosmetics. Doing so can introduce bacteria.
Don’t share or swap. Women can be harmed by others’ germs when they share eye makeup. This includes “testers” at retail stores.
Don’t apply or remove eye makeup in a moving vehicle. Any bump or sudden stop can cause injury to your eye with a mascara wand or other applicator.
Check ingredients, including color additives. As with any cosmetic product sold to consumers, eye cosmetics are required to have an ingredient declaration on the label. If they don’t, they are considered misbranded and illegal
Use only cosmetics intended for the eyes on the eyes. Don’t use a lip liner as an eye liner, for example. You may expose eyes either to contamination from your mouth or to color additives that are not approved for use near the eyes.
Say “no” to kohl! Also known as al-kahl, kajal, or surma, kohl is used in some parts of the world for enhancing the appearance of the eyes. But kohl is unapproved for cosmetic use in the United State
Don’t dye eyelashes and eyebrows. No color additives are approved by FDA for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes and eyebrows. Permanent eyelash and eyebrow tints and dyes have been known to cause serious eye injuries.
Use care with false eyelashes or extensions. False eyelashes and extensions, as well as their adhesives, must meet the safety and labeling requirements for cosmetics. Since the eyelids are delicate, an allergic reaction, irritation, or injury in the eye area can occur. Check the ingredients to make sure you are not allergic to the adhesives.
Don’t use eye cosmetics that cause irritation. Stop using a product immediately if irritation occurs. See a doctor if irritation persists.
Avoid using eye cosmetics if you have an eye infection. Discard any eye cosmetics you were using when you got the infection. Also, don’t use eye cosmetics if the skin around the eye is inflamed.
Don’t use old eye cosmetics. Manufacturers usually recommend discarding mascara two to four months after purchase. Discard dried-up mascara.
Don’t store cosmetics at temperatures above 85° F. Preservatives that keep bacteria or fungi from growing can lose their effectiveness, for example, in cosmetics kept for long periods in hot cars.