Cosmetic Safety for Adolescent Contact Lens Wearers

What eye hazards may be associated with cosmetic use?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cosmetics are among some of the most common sources of problems for contact lens wearers. Misusing cosmetics can lead to severe adverse reactions, including the following:

  • deposits on the lens

  • eye irritation

  • allergy

  • injury

  • infection

  • dryness

What safety practices should take place?

There are safety measures for choosing, applying, and wearing cosmetics, which you should discuss with your daughter to help protect her eyes while wearing contact lenses. Make sure she abides by the following for safe use:

  • Choose non-scented, hypoallergenic cosmetics manufactured by a well-known, trusted brand name.

  • Wash your hands before inserting or removing your contact lenses.

  • Do not expose eyes to water while wearing contact lenses.

  • Do not borrow or lend your cosmetics to others.

  • Wash all makeup application brushes frequently.

  • Apply makeup after inserting the contact lenses.

  • Do not purchase mascara refills in which you insert your old applicator.

  • Avoid frosted, pearlized, iridescent, or other glittery types of eye shadow, which may contain ground oyster shells or tinsel.

  • Do not apply eyeliner to the inner edge of the lid or above the lash line on the lower lid.

  • Avoid using loose powder on the face.

  • Do not apply creams too close to the eyes.

  • Never apply eye makeup while in motion or while driving.

  • Do not use water or saliva to lubricate applicator or thin cosmetics.

  • Do not apply cosmetics if your eyes are red, swollen, or infected. If symptoms persist, an ophthalmologist should be called.

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