Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource

 Browse alphabetically
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Childhood Vaccinations
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Healthy Skin
High Blood Pressure
Kidney Health
Low Testosterone NEW!
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features

Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Eye Health > Caring for your eyes > Safe use of eye makeup
Eye Health
Caring for your eyes
Eye infections and eye diseases
Eye symptoms and vision problems
Research news
Putting in eye drops: tips
Hey, Sleepy-Eyes: what to do about puffy eyes and dark circles
Sob story: 10 facts about crying and tears
Nutrition and eye health
Do computers cause eye damage?
8 tips for choosing sunglasses
10 risks for contact lens wearers
Diabetes: caring for your eyes
Safe use of eye makeup
How smoking harms your eyes and vision
Eye Health resources
Health features
Health tools
Support groups
Related conditions
Natural products
Discussion forums
Quiz yourself

Safe use of eye makeup

Your eyes are delicate organs. The tender tissues that your eyes are made of are vulnerable to infection and irritation from all sorts of natural aggravators - wind, sun, dust, dirt - as well as from things you put on or near your eyes. This includes cosmetic products, from makeup like eye shadow and mascara to products meant to remove makeup and cleanse the skin to adhesives, dyes, and tints used to change the appearance of the eyebrows and eyelashes.

When something gets into the eye, it can trigger inflammation, irritation, and infection. Some serious types of infection can lead to vision loss or blindness.

What's the safest way to apply eye makeup?
First and foremost, it is safest to put on eye makeup in a well-lit room - not in the car on your way to work! Applying makeup in the car is unsafe in general, but if you slip or miss the target with your eyeliner or mascara, your eyes could bear the injury or irritation.

Before you apply eye makeup, wash your hands and nails well. Apply product away from the eyes to avoid blocking the oil glands that are on the eyelids. Never use saliva to moisten dry or caked makeup. Be sure to remove makeup before sleeping. Use cotton swabs to gently remove any traces of makeup from along the base of your lids and lashes.

What products are safe to use on or near your eyes?
Any cosmetic product sold in Canada must meet standards of safety and clean manufacturing, and contaminated products are recalled and/or discontinued until the problem has been fixed. So you can usually rest assured that the makeups, cleansers, and moisturizers you buy are safe for use.

However, once you have purchased a product, it is up to you to use it safely! Read and follow all instructions on product labels.

What products are unsafe to use on or near my eyes?
Of course, any product not intended for use on or near the eyes should be avoided. This warning bears repeating, though, as some people do things like use hair dye to change the colour of their eyebrows.

That said, even those items deemed safe for use on or near the eyes should be used within 3 months of purchase and then thrown out. If you keep eye shadow or other products around too long, preservatives may no longer protect your eyes from bacteria.

Also, eye makeup that contains glitter or that becomes flaky could pose an irritant risk to the eyes and should be used with great care. And be cautious about buying and using kohl eye makeup, traditional in Middle Eastern, North African, and Asian cultures. Some types of kohl-based products contain lead. Not to be confused with modern eyeliner, kohl is usually found in ethnic stores or markets, sold in a powder form that is put onto an applicator stick for use. Health Canada has removed all known lead-containing kohl from the market and has taken measures to prevent further importation into Canada. However, products that kohl-based products containing lead may still be found.

Is there any time that I should not use eye cosmetics?
Do not use eye makeup - including eye shadow, mascara, and eye liner - that you purchased more than 3 months ago. Toss out any eye cosmetics that irritate or infect your eyes.

If you develop an eye infection or irritation, stop using eye makeup until your eyes have cleared. For those with allergies or sensitive skin, try out any new eye makeup on one eye first, and then wait to see if any irritation occurs before applying it to the other eye.

You should also never share eye makeup, due to infection risk. This warning extends to use of in-store eye-makeup "samplers." If you must sample a "tester" product, use a fresh applicator.

Do not use eye makeup if you have eye surgery. Wait until your doctor gives you the okay to do so. When you get the go-ahead, use only fresh, new makeup.

What about makeup or eye cosmetics that are applied in a salon setting?
Dyes used to apply "permanent makeup," like tattoo ink, are considered cosmetics products in Canada and thus must meet certain standards for safety under Health Canada's Cosmetic Regulations. Likewise, salons that offer false eyelash application or eyelash "extensions" must also follow strict guidelines for training aestheticians and other people to safely use and apply the required adhesive products.

Amy Toffelmire


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2015 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.