Cosmetic Safety for Teen Contact Lens Wearers

What eye hazards may be linked to 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:

  • 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 child to help protect their eyes while wearing contact lenses. Make sure they follow these suggestions for safe use:

  • Choose unscented, hypoallergenic cosmetics from a well-known, trusted brand name.

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

  • Don’t expose eyes to water while wearing contact lenses.

  • Don’t borrow makeup and don’t lend your cosmetics to others.

  • Wash all makeup brushes often.

  • Apply makeup after putting in the contact lenses.

  • Don’t reuse your old applicator with mascara refills.

  • Don’t use frosted, pearlized, iridescent, or other glittery types of eye shadow. These may contain ground oyster shells or tinsel.

  • Don’t use eyeliner on the inner edge of the lid or above the lash line on the lower lid.

  • Don’t use loose powder on the face.

  • Don’t use creams too close to the eyes.

  • Never put on eye makeup while in motion or while driving.

  • Don’t use water or saliva to wet an applicator or thin cosmetics.

  • Don’t use cosmetics if your eyes are red, swollen, or infected. If symptoms last, an ophthalmologist or optometrist should be called.

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2020
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