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    7 tips for safer lens wear with cosmetics

    Clean, safe habits when applying makeup can help avoid lens wear complications

    Many contact lens-wearing patients ask their eyecare professional (ECP) about makeup brands, applying makeup, and how this affects their contact lens wear. What we use on our faces likely ends up either on the contact lenses before insertion or in our eyes on the lenses.

    This includes facial moisturizers, eye makeup remover, makeup primers, and most importantly mascara. A few tips regarding wearing cosmetics and contact lens wear can help our patients wear their lenses with more comfort.

    1. Wash hands before applying contact lenses

    Always instruct all patients to wash their hands prior to applying contact lenses. This prevents any type of contamination or possible infections during application.

    Previously from Dr. Mitchell: 5 ways to start the lens care conversation with patients

    2. Apply contact lenses prior to any facial product

    Suggest to your patients that they apply any type of face moisturizers or products after they handle their contact lenses.

    Just like discussing washing hands prior to applying contact lenses, it is also important that their hands be free of any products. Our patients likely assume that washing hands, then applying facial products means that their hands are clean.

    Their hands might not necessarily be dirty, but that product is now on the contact lenses. Oils and other chemicals present in facial cosmetics can affect contact lens comfort and vision.

    Related: Surviving allergy season as a contact lens wearer

    Brittany Mitchell, OD
    Dr. Brittany Mitchell practices at Alabama Vision Center in Birmingham, AL, in an OD/MD setting. She is a graduate of the University of ...

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