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News & Blog

How Can You Apply Eyeliner Without Infecting Your Eye?

2nd April, 2015  


How Can You Apply Eyeliner Without Infecting Your Eye?


A new study has shown what can happen when you apply eyeliner incorrectly. The Eye Blog explains how you can apply eyeliner without infecting your eye.


Make your eyes pop


Ladies, you know how the routine goes. Several hours before a night out you need to break out the makeup bag, claw the bathroom mirror down from the wall and carefully apply your best slap so you can walk straight out of your front door and into the hottest club in town feeling like a million bucks!

No makeup routine is complete without the extensive application of eyeliner. A painstakingly drawn line can set off your orbs just right and make you feel like a Hollywood A-lister getting ready to sashay down the red carpet.  However did you know that applied incorrectly, liner is more likely to make you look like the Elephant man than Gwyneth Paltrow?


Research finds that eyeliner gets into the eye


A team of researchers have found that eyeliner can damage your eye. They recruited three female subjects between the ages of 26 and 30 from Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Visual Sciences in Wales. They had no known eye conditions. They assigned the girls to one of two groups. One group was asked to apply liner to the skin beyond the lash line. The other was asked to apply the makeup inside the lash line. They asked the groups to swap the next day.


They videoed each subject’s eye five to ten minutes after they applied liner. They used these clips to count how many eyeliner particles entered the eye. They discovered that 15% – 30% more particles creeped into the eye when liner was applied inside the lash line. They recorded a second video of each subject two hours later, and these clips showed that the particles had gone.


What happens when eyeliner particles get into the tear film?


This is a problem because these particles get caught up in your eye’s tear film. This is the liquid layer that sits on top of the cornea. It creates tears that lubricate and flush foreign bodies out of your eye. These tears then drain into the tear duct.


When these particles get caught up in your tear film they can irritate your eyes. They can make you feel uncomfortable; as though you have a lash in your eye. The researchers noted that this is a real issue for people with dry eyes; a condition where people’s eyes don’t produce enough tears. Their eyes don’t have enough tears to drain away the eyeliner particles, which can cause severe irritation.


How do eyeliner particles infect the eye?


How does this cause infection? Dr. Joseph Ciolino, a physician at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary who didn’t work on the study explained that “because the tip of the eyeliner can become seeded with bacteria, cosmetics have been implicated in eye infections.”


Here we see the connection. If particles from a bacteria-laden eyeliner pencil get into your eye they could infect it. Particles are more likely to enter your eye if you apply liner inside the lash boundary. Therefore you could infect your eye if you apply liner inside the lash line. If you leave an infection untreated it can damage your vision.


How should you apply eyeliner?


This means that you need to apply makeup outside of your lash line if you want to avoid an eye infection. Yet we would suggest you incorporate the following tips into your makeup routine if you want to make sure you don’t infect your eye:

– Don’t use eyeliner if your eye is already infected. You don’t want to make a bad problem worse.

– Always apply eyeliner in front of a mirror. You need to be able to see what you’re doing if you want to ensure your pencil doesn’t slip inside your lash line.

– Store your cosmetics properly. Bacteria loves heat. Keep your makeup at/below room temperature. However this won’t protect your pencil indefinitely. Throw it away after a few months.

– Don’t borrow your friend’s eyeliner. You don’t need their bacteria as well as your own.

– Wash your hands. Your hands are a breeding ground for germs. You don’t want bacteria from your hands to enter your eye via your liner, so wash away the germs before you even think about taking the pencil out of your makeup bag.


Devote time and effort to your eyeliner application routine


In other words you need to devote time and effort if you want to apply eyeliner without infecting your eye. Cut corners and you could give harmful bacteria everything they need to enter your beautiful orbs. Trust us, infection isn’t in this year.


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