Makeup for Sensitive Eyes

Be Careful

Makeup’s Impact on Your Eyes

Be careful where you put your makeup, especially eyeliner.

Just inside the eyelashes, closest to our eye, there is a row of small orifices that secrete a special type of oil that keeps the tears from evaporating. These oils are created by Meibomian glands. Healthy Meibomian glands are importance for healthy tears. When we cover the opening of these glands with eyeliner or makeup debris from our mascara, the makeup gets pushed in our tear film and can block these glands. Over time these glands can start to slowly die off or atrophy when they continue to be blocked and inflamed.


It is not just eyeliner and mascara though, I often see powder from eyeshadow or from foundation in the tear film as well. This seems especially true of glitter products. Big glitter particles can even scratch the eye. Careful application of these products, as well as a primer may help keep some of these powders from falling into the eye.

 Know what is in your makeup

There are several ingredients in makeup that can irritate the eyes and cause redness. Picking non-toxic makeup ingredients is a great place to start. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid:


Benzalkonium Chloride (BAK)

Butylene Glycol



Formaldehyde (or Formaldehyde-releasing ingredients such as Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin)

Isopropyl cloprostenate





            Here are a few brands that focus on sensitive eyes:


                        Eyes are the Story

                        W3ll People


            Others that have fewer eye irritants than average






 Don’t go to be bed without removing your makeup

This is really importance for getting rid of bacteria that can collect throughout the day, in addition to the makeup itself. Sleeping in makeup can make you more at risk of developing blepharitis, a type of inflammation of the eyelids that causes crusting along the eyelashes. Cleaning the eyelashes and eyelids is healthy, even for people who do not wear makeup. I personally use We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eye Makeup Remover Oil. Others I recommend are Systane lid wipes, Ocusoft lid wipes, oasis tea tree oil lid wipes, and Optase eyelid cleansing wipes.

Replace your eye makeup every 3 months

Replacing your eye makeup regularly reduces the risk of bacterial collecting within it and eventually irritating the eyes.