CHOC Children's

Cosmetic Safety for 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 contact 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 swim with contact lenses in place.
  • Do not borrow or lend your cosmetics to others.
  • Wash all make-up application brushes frequently.
  • Apply make-up 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 eyeshadow, 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.
  • Do not apply creams to the eyelid margin.
  • 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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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

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