Makeup Tips For Avoiding Contact Lens Problems

Wearing contact lenses need not interfere with wearing makeup. Here are some easy ways keep your eyes healthy.

For women, properly wearing makeup with contact lenses can be an adjustment. It's no secret that wearing contact lenses may complicate things when shopping for and applying makeup. However, learning correct techniques and adopting healthy habits will pay off by keeping your eyes clean and comfortable every day.

Using the wrong cosmetics or using them improperly can cause unsuspected problems. Even the slightest bit of debris or contamination can cause big trouble. Everyday makeup wearers are the most susceptible to these problems, and there are simple steps you can take to avoid them. Becoming knowledgeable about potentially irritating ingredients and proper application can help you avoid dryness, allergic reactions, lens damage and infection.

First, become familiar with the ingredients in cosmetics that cause irritation and know which products to look out for. Here are a few tips that will help you choose the right products.

*Choose well known brands. You may have to spend a little more for a quality product.

*Examine the ingredients. Choose products that are fragrance-free and oil-free. Although uncommon, avoid preservatives such as phenyl mercuric acetate and phenyl mercuric nitrate. These can cause allergic reactions in some people.

*Read the catch phrases. Look for terms such as "hypoallergenic", "for sensitive eyes" and "for contact lens wearers".

*Choose water-based mascara (not water-resistant or waterproof). Avoid any mascara with fibers, like those that claim to build lash volume.

*Choose pressed face powder.

*Although liquid, cream and gel eye-shadows are best, pressed shadows are acceptable. Do not use loose powder eye-shadow. Avoid frosted varieties.

*Soft pencil eyeliner is best.

*Choose an oil-free eye makeup remover. Avoid anything creamy.

Once you've chosen the right cosmetics, proper application is critical to keeping your lenses clean and your eyes healthy.

*Always wash your hands with a mild soap, such as Ivory or special optical soap, before inserting or removing lenses. Avoid liquid, antibacterial, cream and deodorant soaps. Avoid those with heavy perfumes or strong chemicals.

*Insert soft contact lenses before applying makeup. Insert rigid gas-permeable lenses after applying makeup. When removing makeup, take out your lenses beforehand.

*Don't apply eye makeup if your eyes are red or irritated. This will only worsen the condition.

*If practical, apply eye makeup with disposable applicators. If this is not practical, clean brushes and applicators frequently.

*Lightly apply makeup. Too much product can dust or flake off into your eyes.

*Apply face powder by dabbing it on. Close your eyes when applying powder near them.

*Apply mascara to the outer half of your lashes. Use caution when using the wand.

*Never apply eyeliner on or inside the eyelid rim. Keep eyeliners sharp to avoid scratching the eye or lens with the wood pencil.

*To remove makeup, use a fiber-free pad (not a cotton ball).

Now that you know how to apply makeup properly, exercising care and maintenance on products and applicators will avoid potentially dangerous contamination. Here are some tips to start you on the right foot.

*Replace makeup every 3-6 months. Replace mascara and eyeliner every 3 months.

*If you contract an eye infection, discard all eye makeup. Microorganisms transferred to other products or applicators can re-infect the eye.

*Never use anyone else's makeup or applicators. Never share yours with others. This greatly increases risk of infection.

*Close containers tightly after use.

*Never expose makeup to heat.

*Use aerosol products such as hairspray and perfume before inserting contacts. Let the aerosol product settle before inserting lenses.

*Apply moisturizer or lotion after inserting contacts, or after they've been removed at night. Use lanolin-free, fragrance-free products.

*If any makeup debris comes in contact with your lens, immediately remove and disinfect it.

*Never apply makeup while driving or in motion.

By learning to live with your lenses the right way, you can live life looking your best!

© High Speed Ventures 2011