Sometimes the things you put on your hair, face and eyelids to look more attractive can make your contact lenses look horrible.
This is particularly the case with eyeliner and eye makeup. If either of these substances makes its way into your tear film, it can easily adhere to your contact lenses, causing discomfort, vision problems and the potential for eye infections.
It doesn’t matter if you wear soft (including silicone hydrogel) contacts or rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses; once makeup adheres to the contact lens surface, it’s often there for good and can’t be removed with contact lens solutions.
Also, debris from cosmetics floating in the tear film can change appearance when it adheres to the contact lens surface. In the December 2011 issue of Contact Lens Spectrum, John Mark Jackson, OD, associate professor at Southern College of Optometry, reports a case where a lens deposit attributed to eyeliner formed a white (not black) opaque deposit on the surface of a soft contact lens, affecting the wearer’s vision.
Dr. Jackson offers the following advice on how to keep your contact lenses clean and free of problems caused by cosmetics-related lens deposits:
- Always apply your contact lenses before applying cosmetics.
- Avoid oil-based makeup and removers.
- Close your eyes tightly when using hairspray.
- Replace your cosmetics frequently, especially mascara and eyeliner, to avoid infection.
If you have any questions about lens care — especially if you have problems with your lenses getting dirty quickly — see your eye care practitioner for advice.
Another option for avoiding contact lens deposits is to switch to daily disposable lenses that you discard after each use.
Tags: contact lens care