The Makeup Debate
For those that may not already know, wearing “normal” mainstream makeup brands is a no-no for almost all dry eyes sufferers. I recently had a debate about whether or not dry eye sufferers should be wearing eye makeup at all.
For over 6 years once finding out I had severe dry eyes and MGD at 22, I was constantly asking doctors and specialists for help on what makeup brands/products I could use that wouldn’t irritate my eyes. I was also asking what ingredients I should avoid. Their reply? “don’t wear makeup”.
Wearing makeup can irritate dry eyes as it can get into the eyes and make the tears break down even more. I understand this because at first I didn’t listen to the doctors and continued to use the makeup I had from mainstream stores (it is extremely unrealistic to tell a 22 year old to not wear makeup) and it did make my eyes worse using mainstream makeup. I then decided to cut makeup out of my life for a short while. This improved my dry eyes. However, it was the makeup I was using that was aggravating my eyes and the fact that no one guided me on using safety makeup techniques to not aggravate dry eyes. (See my previous blog post on makeup safety tips)
After been told continuously the answer was to not wear makeup at the age of 22, there was no chance I was going to accept it. Telling young girls and women of all ages not to wear makeup is unrealistic and lazy.
I have found certain ways I can wear makeup again without worsening my dry eyes….
There needs to be a discussion surrounding safe makeup for dry eye sufferers. I have learnt over the years that by using specific safety makeup application techniques and specific brands / products catered for sensitive / dry eyes, that it is in fact possible to wear makeup without irritating your eyes. The makeup removal process is equally as important, if not more important which I will be discussing in my next blog post. I personally choose not to wear eye makeup in the week Monday – Friday as I work on a computer screen all day, 5 times a week which irritates my dry eyes as well as the central heating/air conditioning in the work office. However, if I choose to wear makeup for meetings, work-dos, on weekends, special occasions etc then it is important to know what makeup to use, what makeup to avoid and the techniques to use that don’t aggravate dry eyes.
Knowing your problematic areas and taking these into account when deciding what makeup to wear or avoid, will allow you to apply safe makeup.
Eye Lubricant Gels & Makeup
I also use eye lubricant gels in the morning and afternoon. People usually just use this at night as they give off a greasy gel under the eye. I just wipe this away after an hour and re-apply my under eye makeup. I use eye gels 3 times a day. An example of a routine I use if choosing to wear makeup:
Apply eye lubricant (Lacrilube) when I wake up in the morning, apply makeup, add more lubricant with makeup on after a few hours and then top up with eye drops if/when necessary. Remove makeup thoroughly and then apply night eye gel before bed.
Remember, Everyone Has Different Eyes & Symptoms
Of course, everyone has different eyes, different symptoms, different levels of MGD, Dry Eye, Blepharitis and what works for one person may not work at all for someone else. Like I said, everyone’s eyes are different so a lot of it is individual trial and error. For example, for me heat therapy gives me so much relief, however I have heard from other sufferers with the same condition, that heat therapy aggravates their eyes. This proves that everyone is unique to their dry eye condition. I luckily do not get really swollen eye lids like other people I know. My symptoms lay more severe with my actual eyes being so severely dry and my gland dysfunction. I therefore avoid applying mascara on the roots of my lashes and apply shadows above my lash line.
It’s very important to remember: You yourself know what you can and cannot use due to your own unique symptoms. Knowing your problematic areas and taking these into account when deciding what makeup to wear or avoid, will allow you to wear safe makeup. What works for one person may not work for someone else.
See my previous blog post on safety cosmetic tips for dry eyes.
On my next post I will be sharing the makeup brands that did and didn’t irritate my eyes and the importance of makeup removal. Ellie x