If you’re new to wearing contact lenses and are a lover of make-up, worry not. It’s perfectly safe to keep wearing make-up alongside your lenses, but be sure to take extra precautions to avoid any irritation.

Wash your hands

Firstly, always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. Your optician will have explained this prior to prescribing your lenses, but it’s an important step that can often be overlooked. 

Be sure to put your contact lenses in before you apply make-up, and take them out before you remove it. 

Avoid oils and creams

Any oil-based make-up products should be avoided where possible. Oil and water don’t mix, and if oil gets into contact with your lens, they may go cloudy and impact your vision. 

If you’re using any eye creams, ensure your contacts are removed before applying. As the skin around your eyes is so thin, heavy creams can easily get into your eyes and cause blurred vision.

Creams could also trap underneath your lens, causing irritation and potential infection.

Choose mascara carefully

Try to pick a mascara that doesn’t contain large, clumpy fibers that could fall into your eyes. Avoid waterproof mascaras too, as these could potentially stain your lenses and cannot be rinsed out with water.

It’s advised that you choose a mascara that is hypoallergenic, dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested, as these are perfectly safe to be used with contact lenses.

Consider daily lenses

If you currently use monthly lenses and you’re an avid make-up wearer, it might be worth considering the switch to daily disposables. 

Daily lenses are fuss-free and can be thrown away after each use. The hassle to clean and store them every night is removed, so those with a particularly busy lifestyle will benefit greatly.

Plus, daily lenses are typically made with a thinner, more flexible material, allowing for easier handling and optimum comfort. Inserting and removing your lenses has never been easier.

Avoid the waterline

Contact lens wearers should avoid applying make-up, usually eyeliner, on their waterline. The waterline holds the openings of the meibomian glands, which excrete oils into the tear film to keep the eyes lubricated. 

If these glands are blocked, it could cause uncomfortable dry eyes and potentially painful styes. As an alternative, liquid eyeliner can be applied on the outer lash line to create a similar effect.

What happens if make-up irritates my eyes?

If your make-up does irritate your contacts, be sure to immediately remove your lenses with clean hands. Use saline solution to rinse out your eye and either reinsert a fresh lens or wear glasses.

If irritation persists, seek help from an eye specialist to avoid chance of infection.