Makeup in the eyes

Most of us don't consider the potentially harmful effects of our favorite beauty products when applying mascara, eyeliner,  or other makeup near the eye.
 From irritation to eye infections, it is easy for harsh chemicals, bacteria and fungi to hide within your makeup.

Makeup in the eyes in Bellflower

How can makeup irritate your eyes?

Small flakes, glitter or pieces of makeup in the eye

A makeup product that can flake into your eyes, such as mascara,glitter based makeups and powdered shadow, is the most potentially irritating. Women who wear cakey, flaky mascara have particles of it on the surface of their eye lids. These pieces can cause irritation, infection, corneal scratches, and discomfort. 

Eye Allergies caused by makeup

Our eyes are sensitive, and for some people makeup that gets into or too close to the eyes can lead to an allergic reaction. If you notice irritation, itchiness, redness, or other allergic reactions stop using that makeup and if it continues then seek professional help. 

Eye Infections caused by makeup

Old or expired makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus that can lead to an eye infection. Another common cause of eye infections is when two people share makeup, and the first person has an eye infection. If you suspect an eye infection, schedule an emergency eye exam today by calling our office at (562) 925-6591.


Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

Makeup got in my eyes, what should I do?

Do not panic if you accidentally get makeup in your eyes. Follow these instructions:

  • Rinse your eyes thoroughly with clean tap water or eye-wash solution until all mascara, eyeliner, and makeup flakes are removed. If you wear contact lenses, take them out before flushing your eyes.
  • Once you've rinsed off your makeup, apply moisturizing eye drops to the affected eye.
  • Clean your contact lenses carefully using your cleaning solution if you wear contact lenses.
  • While your eye is still irritated, avoid re-inserting your contact lenses.

Why shouldn’t you apply makeup inside your eyelids?

Those who love this technique, which is sometimes called waterlining, should know that it blocks the oil glands responsible for protecting your cornea. Additionally, it can transmit bacteria directly into the eye.

Pilot studies have shown that particles from eyeliner can contaminate the eye if they are applied inside the lids. Researchers concluded that even though particles were cleared away by the eye in a few hours, contact lens wearers and people with sensitive eyes or dry eyes may experience problems due to this. It is important to maintain the health of these oil glands (called meibomian glands), as blocking the glands for extended periods of time can lead to the glands atrophying an no longer being able to produce the necessary oil layer for your tear film. 

Why shouldn’t you apply makeup inside your eyelids?
What safety tips should you follow when using eye cosmetics?

What safety tips should you follow when using eye cosmetics?

  • Eyeliner should be applied outside the lash line, away from the eyes, to avoid direct contact of the product with them. Additionally, the liner will be less likely to flake off into the eyes.
  • Make sure the wood casing on eyeliner pencils is sharpened so the eye or eyelid won't be scratched. With time, the tip of the pencil becomes rigid, requiring more pressure to apply. You should replace the pencil once this occurs.
  • It's a good idea to replace your makeup products every six months (more often if you wear contact lenses) to prevent excessive contamination with skin bacteria.
  • Using an old applicator with a fresh cosmetic product is not recommended. The old applicator will transfer bacteria to the new cosmetic.
  • Purchase new eye makeup after any type of eye infection, such as conjunctivitis.
  • Eye makeup removers may irritate the eyes, even though they were designed to be used around the eye. Apply them with care to the eyelid and avoid getting the product in your eyes.


What safety tips should you follow when using eye cosmetics?
  • Never apply makeup to your eyes while driving. You may accidentally poke your eye with the applicator if you crash or make a sudden stop.
  • You should never use saliva to thin old or clumped makeup or to wet a mascara wand. The saliva in your mouth contains bacteria.
  • You should not share your eye cosmetics with others. The skin of each individual is different. You may become infected if you contaminate your cosmetics with another person's bacteria.
  • Make sure the cosmetics demonstrator uses fresh applicators and not to let a used sample come into direct contact with you at the counter.
  • If you suspect that you have cosmetic-related eye problems, contact our eye doctors at (562) 925-6591.



Common Questions

You can irritate your eyes with certain makeup products. The following makeup products are recommended by eye care specialists: All products that are hydrating, hypoallergenic, and free of fragrances and dyes. You should avoid alcohol-based products because they can dry out your eyes. Thickening mascara has less of a chance of flaking after it dries. Make use of an eyelash curler instead of mascara.
Makeup is not cheap, but keeping makeup past its expiration date ends up costing far more than replacing the makeup. Look on the product for an expiration date, but if you are unable to find one then the following are general recommendations. Mascara 4 months, Pencils 1-2 years, eye shadow cream months, eye liner 4 months.
Eye makeup, in particular mascara, creates a moist environment that is ideal for bacteria to thrive. As a result, you are at risk of developing conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Therefore, liquid or creamy eye makeup, including mascara and eyeliner, should be disposed of after three months. In the event that your eye makeup becomes contaminated or if you develop pink eye, you should dispose of it as soon as possible and visit our eye doctor at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach.
Makeup in the eyes
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

If a piece of makeup is stuck in your eye, or if you accidentally poked yourself in the eye with an eyeliner pencil, or if you are suffering from dry eyes as a result of makeup getting in your eye and you have tried everything described above and nothing seems to help, then you should visit us for an emergency eye exam before your eyes are further damaged. For an emergency eye exam, please call (562) 925-6591 or visit Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach. Patients with eye emergencies visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of urgent eye care for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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