Health Library

Health Library

Cosmetic Safety for Contact Lens Wearers

What eye hazards may be associated with cosmetic use?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association, cosmetics are among some of the most common sources of problems for contact lens wearers. Misusing cosmetics can lead to severe adverse reactions, including:

Picture of an eye, close-up, external

  • Deposits on the lens

  • Eye irritation

  • Allergy

  • Injury

  • Infection

  • Dryness

What safety practices should take place?

There are safety measures for choosing, applying, and wearing cosmetics, which you can follow to protect your eyes and provide for long-term, problem-free contact lens wear, including:

  • Choose unscented, hypoallergenic cosmetics manufactured by a well-known brand name that you trust.

  • Wash your hands before inserting or removing your contact lenses.

  • Do not borrow or lend your cosmetics to others.

  • Wash all makeup application brushes frequently.

  • Apply makeup after inserting the contact lenses.

  • Do not purchase mascara refills in which you insert your old applicator.

  • Avoid frosted, pearlized, iridescent, or other glittery types of eye shadow, which may contain ground oyster shells or tinsel.

  • Do not apply eyeliner to the inner edge of the lid or above the lash line on the lower lid.

  • Avoid using loose powder on the face.

  • Do not apply creams too close to the eyes.

  • Never apply eye makeup while in motion or while driving.

  • Do not use water or saliva to lubricate applicator or thin cosmetics.

  • Do not apply cosmetics if your eyes are red, swollen, or infected. Consult your ophthalmologist or optometrist if symptoms persist.

Cosmetic Safety for Contact Lens Wearers - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J., OD, FAAO
© 2014 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×