Children's Health and Wellness

Cosmetic Safety for Adolescent Contact Lens Wearers

What eye hazards may be associated with cosmetic use?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association, cosmetics are among some of the most common sources of problems for contact lens wearers. Misusing cosmetics can lead to severe harmful 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. You should discuss these with your daughter to help protect her eyes while wearing contact lenses. Make sure she follows these suggestions for safe use:

  • Choose unscented, 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 often.

  • Apply makeup after inserting the contact lenses.

  • Do not reuse your old applicator with mascara refills.

  • Avoid frosted, pearlized, iridescent, or other glittery types of eye shadow. These 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 wet applicator or thin cosmetics.

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

Online Source: Using Eye Makeup, American Academy of Ophthalmologyhttp://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-makeup
Online Source: Contact Lenses and Cosmetics, American Optometric Associationhttp://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/contact-lenses/contact-lenses-and-cosmetics?sso=y&ct=e3306d69e562c0fe7dde14f966ced71f68dd5bfb74bf8cc9dd261ee119f7ab4d364d6417a514b644f7df7f85e81474f6acfe7c8513fd4c6d5efdc2047e2035d3
Online Editor: Geller, Arlene
Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J., OD, FAAO
Online Medical Reviewer: Griggs, Paul B., MD
Date Last Reviewed: 9/16/2015
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