10 Helpful makeup tips for contact lens wearers

10 Helpful makeup tips for contact lens wearers

According to the American Optometric Association, makeup for contact lens wearers presents a risk to the lens quality. Even how makeup interacts with your contact lenses is a challenge contact lens wearers face. Contact lenses are comfortable and convenient until you add makeup to the mix or in your eyes.

Preventing problems related to wearing makeup and contact lenses is easy once you learn some quick tips. Picking the right makeup products and proper application can help you avoid these issues.

Follow our tips, and your makeup will look and feel great without irritating your contact lenses!

1. Wash your hands

While it goes without saying, the first step in putting in or taking out your contact lenses should always be to wash your hands thoroughly. Dry them off with a clean, lint-free towel to avoid contaminating your lenses.

2. Put your contacts in first

Before applying any makeup or moisturizer, wash your hands (as indicated above) and put in your contact lenses. Wash your hands when you touch something besides your eye to avoid infection. Once both lenses are in, you can go on with your skincare regimen and apply makeup.

3. Use cream eye shadows instead of powdered shadows

If you plan on wearing eye shadow or liners, try applying a primer to help the shadow stick to the eyelid. If you happen to get makeup on your contacts, be sure to thoroughly wash the lenses with fresh contact lens solution. Stick to cream-based eye shadows instead of powder to avoid contaminating the contacts.

Dr. John Lahr, the Medical Director for EyeMed Vision Care, recommends using cream eye shadows to prevent irritation. You can still use powdered eye shadows by mixing them with water. This helps it adhere to your eyelids and minimize flaking, particularly if your eyes are sensitive.

Powder foundations and concealers are a big part of makeup routines. You should try incorporating a hypoallergenic, water-based liquid foundation or choose pressed powder instead of loose powder. And be sure to close your eyes during the application.

4. Use hypoallergenic and oil-free mascara

“Use only water-based eye makeup remover and mascara that is labeled as hypoallergenic and oil-free," says Dr. Lahr. He also recommends avoiding waterproof mascara and eyeliner because they contain petroleum distillates which can irritate your eyes.

A useful mascara tip: avoid fiber mascaras like lash-building mascara because they easily flake. You don't want particles trapped under your lenses that can cause irritation and damage. Smudge-proof or long-wear mascara is your best bet and won't get into your eyes.

5. Don't apply eyeliner on your inner eyelid margins

When applying eyeliner, do your best to avoid lining the inner eyelid margins because this can lead to blocked tear secretion pores causing dry eyes. While you may not love how this tip impacts your eyeliner application, your eye health is important!

6. Use a fragrance-free and oil-free makeup remover

While removing makeup may seem easy enough, take care. Use a fragrance-free and oil-free makeup remover. Even better, find a water-based one! Use soft pads as opposed to cotton balls because cotton balls can be irritating and leave fiber debris.

7. Take your contacts out before removing your makeup

Just like with the first tip, always clean and dry your hands before removing your contact lenses. If not, bacteria and impurities from your hands will make their way to your lenses and can give you an eye infection!

8. Use only water-based eye makeup remover

When removing eye makeup, stay away from oil-based products or use mascara that can be readily removed with non-oily products. The best makeup remover for contact lens wearers is water-based since it gently removes makeup, oil, and debris without rubbing. Also, look for silicone-free products to reduce the chance of the silicone or oil adhering to your contact lens and causing fogging or even lens damage.

9. Prefer daily contact lenses

If you tend to wear a lot of makeup, consider switching to daily contact lenses. Putting on and taking off makeup frequently can increase your chance of eye irritation and infection. Play it on the safe side and go for dailies, even if they cost a little more than other lenses.

10. If you use monthly contacts, keep them clean

If you wear biweekly or monthly contacts, you should up your cleaning game. Clean your lenses properly with a multipurpose solution by rubbing them for 15 to 20 seconds to remove any makeup residue accumulated throughout the day. After, store them in a case with fresh solution. You should clean your contact lens case with contact solution or three percent hydrogen peroxide regularly. Poor case hygiene is a leading cause of eye infections.

Other useful makeup tips for contact lens wearers

Apart from being careful while applying and removing makeup, Dr. Lahr advises keeping your contacts away from the following products:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail polish
  • Perfume
  • False eyelash glue

Use healthy makeup habits by keeping containers closed and tossing out old makeup. So, the next time you apply makeup, think about these tips. Happy, healthy eyes make you feel and look your best.

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