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Life and Religion

How to avoid eye makeup damage
Quest for beauty could put you at risk
Published Saturday, September 7, 2013 1:40 pm
by Michaela L. Duckett

Bacterial eye infections can often be avoided by replacing eye makeup every three months, washing hands before each application and never sharing with others.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that $10 billion are spent annually on cosmetics, beauty supplies, and perfume. However, in the quest to look their best, many Americans fail to realize that some products can actually do more harm than good. Some cosmetics can lead to eye problems that could easily be avoided with a few protective measures.

“The eyes are such an important part of our lives,” said Dr. Edward Kondrot, founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center in Florida. “Yet we don’t stop to appreciate them until there is a problem. It is important to take measures at any age to help protect your vision. The eye makeup that people wear is an area of concern when it comes to protecting the eyes.”

Millions of women put eye makeup on daily unaware that it could lead to short- or long-term damage. Here are five ways Kondrot said eye makeup can damage the eyes:

1. Bacterial infections. A condition known as bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) is one of the most common problems people encounter because of wearing eye makeup. This is because bacteria get into the makeup. To avoid it, don’t use old makeup. Eye makeup should be replaced every three months. Also, don’t share makeup with others, always wash hands before applying makeup, and never use saliva to assist in applying mascara.

2. Toxic heavy metals. It is important to become an eye-makeup label reader. Some products, many imported from overseas, contain heavy metals that can be damaging to the eyes. Avoid eye makeup containing such ingredients as arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, nickel, selenium, and thallium. Look for makeup that is non-toxic and more natural.

3. Dry eyes. Eye makeup can help lead to and aggravate dry eyes. To help avoid this, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and using natural tear lubricant.

4. Allergic reactions. Repeated use of the same makeup can stimulate your body to develop allergies. Give your eyes a break by changing brands and taking vitamin C to reduce inflammation

5. Loss of eyelashes. The very makeup that people use to help create a longer eyelash look can actually lead to a loss of eyelashes. Keep eyelashes long and healthy by eating a healthy diet.

“People don’t have to give up wearing eye makeup altogether, if they really feel they need it,” said Kondrot. “But it is important to consider the factors that can damage the eyes and then take measures to minimize those risks. Preventing eye problems should always be your first goal.”


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