Dry eyes: is your eye make-up contributing?

by Andrew Gay - Date: 2007-05-09 - Word Count: 509 Share This!

Dry eyes is a condition that affects up to 30% of the population. The typical dry eye sufferer is female and middle aged.

At around this time of life the near vision starts to deteriorate due to the normal aging process. This is easily remedied with reading glasses, but of course, it is not that easy to apply or remove make-up with a pair of reading glasses on.

As an optometrist, I have seen some eye make-up that looks like it was intended to be make-up for the theatre.

Problems arise if the make-up is applied too thickly or in the wrong place.

While the oils in the skin and the eyes are cousins they are not compatible. If eyeliner is put on the eyelid margin then it can act as a bridge that that allows the skin oils to contaminate the tear oil.

Mascara that finds its way down to the base of the lashes can also form a bridge for contamination.

When the oils from the skin get into the tears, this produces a disruption of normal tear function causing the tears to break down too quickly resulting in the symptoms of dryness.

Problems can also occur with faulty eye make-up removal.
Some don't actually remove their make-up they just let it "wear off" with the help of a rinse from regular tap water.
Others use Vaseline, baby oil or other make-up removers that have a thick oily base. This does not mix well with the natural oils in the tear film.
For an easy, complete removal do not use the waterproof type of make-up because it is so hard to remove without resorting to industrial strength remover.
Light make-up can easily be removed by using a gentle soap such as baby shampoo or a hypoallergenic cleanser such as Novatis Lid care. Simply shampoo the eye lids with the finger tips. Do this morning and night.
If heavier make-up is used, then after using a commercial make up remover be sure to shampoo the lids to remove any residue from the cleaner. Some have an aversion to "getting soap" in their eyes, but if baby shampoo is used this shouldn't be a problem.

After make-up removal it is time to apply moisturisers.

Difficulties can occur when moisturisers are used close to the eye. The type of oil in moisturisers is not compatible with the oily layer in the tears. If the oil from a moisturiser gets across the eyelid barrier then it can cause the tears to rapidly break down causing a dry eye problem.

The best type of moisturiser to use is a re-hydrating cream which will not affect the oily layer of the tears.

While it seems such an innocent part of the daily routine, faulty application and removal of eye make-up can be a contributor to the symptoms of dry, gritty, burning eyes that many women in middle age experience on a daily basis. Often they suffer in silence unaware that there are many easy strategies and home treatments available for dry eye.

Andrew Gay is an Optometrist with an interest in dry eyes. He is the publisher of http://www.insider-guide-to-reading-glasses.com in which he gives the inside scoop on reading glasses. Visit his website for more information on dry eyes and its management.

Related Tags: dry eyes, eye make-up

Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: