Mascara, If Left On, Could Cause Eye Damage

Many times, after a long day, the last thing you feel like doing is scraping off your makeup before going to bed. However annoying though, you may want to reconsider going to sleep with that mascara still on.

A resident of Sydney Australia complained to her doctor of a gritty feeling in both eyes. Under closer inspection, the ophthalmologist found black spots on the inside of the 50-year-old’s eyelids. All this was due to her problematic beauty routine.

DanaRobaei, the ophthalmologist, said the woman had explained that for the past 25 years or so, she hadn’t usually cared enough to remove her daily use of mascara before going to sleep.

After decades of sleeping with mascara was the cause of many problems in the woman’s eyes. The insides of the eyelids were lined with conjunctiva. Trace amounts of the mascara had built up over the years, turning into solidified concretions. Some of the bits were also poking through the conjunctiva, scratching at her corneas and causing her discomfort.

Cleanliness is Important To Your Health, This Includes Washing Off Makeup like Mascara At the End of the Day

Robaei compared the symptoms to someone throwing sand into your eye. It’s a constant irritant for the eye.

Typically, black mascara consists of oils, waxes, and water along with carbon black and iron oxides for pigment.

So long as it hasn’t been contaminated, modern mascara is safe. However, it does flake off the lashes sooner or later. When it flakes off, it gives the particles the opportunity to migrate inside the eyes.

While it was not reported what type of mascara she used, it’s known many lengthening mascaras have small amounts of synthetic fiber. These have a higher chance than others to travel from lashes and right into the eyeball.

In this specific case, those bits of mascara formed together to irritate her eye so much she had a type of chronic inflammation. Her eyelids also had swarms of pigmented macrophages which is a type of immune cell.

To remove all the lumps from the patient’s eyes, it took doctors 90 minutes. As a result, she now has permanent scarring on both her eyelids and cornea.

However, this cautionary tale isn’t to make you swear makeup off for life. So long as you take care to clean the mascara off regularly, or at the very least every three months, you should be fine.

If you’ve often fallen asleep with your makeup still on, you may want to check the inside of your eyelids to be safe. It’s also important to regularly wash your face.