Can I wear makeup and contact lenses?
Wearing contact lenses doesn’t mean you are forever doomed to go makeup free.
Makeup should pose no problems for the contact lens wearer, however some wearers with sensitive eyes or sensitive skin can find regular makeup an irritant, if this is you, then don’t worry all is not lost, there’s no need to ditch the contact lenses just try some of the suggestions below.
Apply your contact lenses before applying your makeup
This helps prevent makeup grease that may be on your fingers getting into your eyes and causing irritations, also, an added benefit is that helps you see clearly when applying your makeup.
Signs your makeup is causing irritation
If after applying makeup you find you are blinking excessively or your eyes are watering and stinging then this could be caused by your makeup.
Try a few slow blinks to see if the contact lenses centre and settle, if not then remove contact lenses and wear your glasses or alternatively remove your makeup, clean and dry your hands, and try again.
I find it best to leave it 10 minutes or so to let your eyes recover before inserting a new pair of lenses.
Of course, you don’t want this to happen every time you wear contact lenses, so consider the following options to help you wear contact lenses and makeup trouble free.
Try Hypoallergenic makeup
Hypoallergenic makeup is worth a try, these products have been formulated to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and can be found in most large pharmacies and makeup stores.
Check out Oil Free makeup
By eliminating oil from your makeup you can reduce the risk of blocking your pores and more importantly for contact lens wearers the lacrimal gland which produces tears and also allows for excess tears to drain from the eye.
Consider Fragrance Free makeup
Fragrances, whether natural or synthetic can cause irritation to sensitive areas such as the eyes.
Added fragrances do not improve a product but are added to the finished product to enhance our experience, although it might be nice to have a pleasant aroma as we apply our makeup this is not essential so can easily be avoided if you are sensitive to such products.
Consider wearing Daily Lenses
Daily contact lenses are a great idea for people who have makeup irritation issues and also if you are a heavy makeup wearer. Using a new fresh pair of contact lenses daily helps reduce any makeup build up on the lens so helps keep your eyes fresh, clear and healthy.
Change your eye makeup regularly
Makeup once open, collects dirt and bacteria over time and goes “off”, increasing the risk of eye irritation and even infection.
Mascara should be replaced monthly, eyeliners every three months and eye shadows every six months.
Contact lenses and makeup can be successfully worn together.
If you know of a great brand for sensitive eyes let other contact lens wears know by posting on out twitter or Fb pages
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 13 Dec 2018, Last modified: 4 Mar 2020