The majority of adult women wear some type of makeup, and many wear eye makeup. While cosmetics can boost self esteem and look attractive, they are not without a set of hazards. Here’s what eye doctors want you to know about the dangers of cosmetics to your vision.


Cosmetics have many types of ingredients such as oil, minerals, pigments, and traces of metals. It’s not uncommon for a person to suffer allergic reactions to any of these elements, which can leave your eyes red, itchy, swollen, watery, and burning. Your vision may become blurry or you may have difficulty seeing due to the swelling. If you notice any of these symptoms after applying a cosmetic, remove it promptly, discontinue use, and consult eye doctors right away.

Introducing Germs

Your eye has a delicate system of moisture, drainage, and mucus membrane. A brief touch of your eye area with dirty hands could wreak havoc very quickly, and this is common with cosmetic use. Old cosmetics should be discarded and you should never use saliva to moisten products like mascara or eyeliner. NEVER share cosmetics, especially eye makeup. Doing so can introduce foreign bacteria or fungus to your eyes and facial skin. Wash your hands well before applying makeup to avoid inadvertently contaminating your eyes.

Harmful Ingredients

In the United States, the ingredients of cosmetics are regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) so harmful elements are banned for a consumer’s protection. This is not the case with cosmetics from other countries, which may contain heavy metals and dangerous ingredients. Kohl is one such product, which is especially dangerous to children due to its lead content. The FDA has gone so far as to publish a list of ingredients that are safe for cosmetic use. If ever in question about a new cosmetic, consult this list before using.

Cosmetics can be a fun way to express yourself, but caution should be taken to ensure their use is not harmful to your vision. Consult with  your Phoenix eye doctors with any cosmetic questions involving eye safety prior to wearing questionable products.