While we may like to pretend that beauty is all about glowy skin and glitzy make-up, it’s time to get real. At the end of the day, the last thing we want to do is wash our face. When you’re exhausted, bending over the sink can make you feel like you just just might fall face first into the water. And no one wants that.
But even though it’s a major pain, washing your face before bed is super important. Especially if you wear mascara.
If you don’t take the time to wash the mascara from your eyes, you could be setting yourself up for some serious trouble. Not only are you messing up your skin by not washing your face (and clogging your pores), you’re doing more damage by not removing your mascara.
Think about it: when you put mascara on, your eyelashes get heavy from the weight of the make up. Over the course of the day, you’ll either rub your eyes or things will fly in them, like an eyelash or dirt particles.
You’re introducing bacteria into your eyes that wasn’t there before — and that bacteria can do some major damage to your eyes long-term. Dr. Alexis Granite, a consulting dermatologist for Kiehl’s, in an interview with The Sun said:
“Removing eye make-up before you go to sleep is crucial. Any product that isn’t taken off has the potential to not only clog your pores, but also cause irritation, inflammation and infections. Inflammation around the eyelids can also lead to lash loss.”
During your sleep, your face is rubbing against your pillowcase. All the crud that lives in your pillowcase — dust, dead skin, hairs, maybe traces of drool or snot, plus the dirt and oil from your face — is smeared all over your pillowcase. And all of goop could be setting up shop in your eyes, even when you’re sleeping.
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Luke Arundel, resident optometrist for Optometry Australia, warns of two common eye makeup mistakes that could lead to long-term eye damage.
First, don’t apply makeup to your inner lash line, aka the waterline. So many of us have been doing it for years, but it’s really bad for your eyes. You could be spreading bacteria on the surface of your eyeliner. And since it’s hard to get the waterline truly makeup free, bits of eyeliner and mascara could be making their way into your eyelids, causing irritation.
Second, it’s important that you’re aware of expiration dates for your eye makeup. Our eyes are super sensitive, and mascara wands, especially if you wear it everyday, are super gross. Arundel explained to Daily Mail:
“The microbiological analysis of 40 mascara samples revealed the presence of bacteria and fungi which can cause nasty bacterial eye infections.”
He explains that legally, cosmetics companies don’t have to put expiration dates on their products, but it is commonly suggested that you toss your mascara after three months.
Last year, one woman made headlines when her mascara lodged beneath her lids after sleeping in it for 25 years.
Theresa Lynch, a 50-year-old woman who lives in Sydney, Australia, went to the doctor after having prolonged issues with her eyes. She claimed constant irritation, discharge, and an uncomfortable feeling under eyelids. But no one was expecting what they were about to find.
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Because Lynch didn’t properly remove her eye makeup every night, flecks of dried mascara had made their way under her eyelids. Doctors found 25 years worth of dried mascara flecks had calcified under her eyelids. The flecks had literally become embedded into her inner eyelids.
Thankfully, they were able to be surgically removed, but the procedure took 90 minutes. Unknowingly, Lynch had done major damage to her eyes.
Dr. Dana Robaei released the pictures of Lynch’s inner eyelid as a cautionary tale. And since she had never seen something so bad, she published a study on her findings.
The remnants became “subconjunctivital concretions,” which is basically a form of conjunctivitis. When you have 25 years worth of mascara build up inside your eyelids, the amount of damage that could be done is a lot. Dr. Robaei explained to The Daily Mail:
“Every time Theresa was blinking, these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision. If the scratch on the surface of the eye got infected, there is a risk this could be a potentially blinding but that would be rare.”
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Even though they were able to remove all of the concretions, there was permanent damage. Lynch now has scarring along the inside of her eyelids, which will certainly cause problems. And the surface of her cornea is scratched. Dr. Robaei equates the damage done to someone throwing sand in your eye. It’s that level of irritation.
Removing your mascara isn’t actually very difficult or time consuming, and you’ll be happier in the long run.
Tags: Inflammation, Luke Arundel, Mascara
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