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    7 tips for safer lens wear with cosmetics

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


    3. Eye makeup should be hypoallergenic or ECP approved

    Most products from major cosmetic companies have been tested with contact lenses and are deemed safe. However, many patients will ask if a brand is safe, especially if they have had an adverse reaction in the past.

    Always make sure the products they use are safe to use with contact lenses and the patient understands the importance of cleanliness and safety when using cosmetics around the eye or when touching the lids or lashes.

    Related: How to keep athletes’ eyes healthy in contact lenses

    4. Makeup removers

    All makeup removers are not made the same and can come in many forms such as liquids, foams, oils, pads, cloths, and creams. Recommend that patients remove their contact lenses prior to using an eye makeup remover.

    With most of those products, there is a good deal of scrubbing involved that may cause some concerns with the contact lenses. Some brands that work best with contact lenses are Neutrogena (Johnson & Johnson) and Clinique (Estée Lauder Companies), while typical lid scrubs like OcuSoft (OcuSoft) and Blephadex (Lunovus) work well to remove cosmetics as well. Typically, I recommend the latter two for your blepharitis patients, but they also work well for makeup removal in general.

    5. Mascara replacement

    Mascara is applied directly to the top and lower lashes with the same brush used daily from the same tube. It is recommended that a single tube of mascara be replaced every three months. Patients should replace their mascara immediately if they contract any type of conjunctivitis.

    This three-month rule should also apply to any cosmetic applicators such as eye shadow as well. In addition, brushes used on lids or brows can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

    Related: How to establish value in the minds of contact lens wearers

    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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