Friday, March 27, 2009

Eye cosmetics and contact lenses

In a press release here for April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month,

Prevent Blindness America advises cosmetic users of all ages to:
  • Never use eye makeup testers in stores or share eye makeup with others.
  • Dispose of eye cosmetics three months after purchased, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
  • Always apply makeup outside the lash line to avoid contact with the eye.
  • Never store cosmetics in extreme heat or cold conditions (such as a car), as this can break down preservatives, allowing bacteria to grow.
  • Never apply makeup while driving or riding in a moving vehicle.
  • Never apply eye cosmetics if eyes are already red, swollen, or if you have recently undergone eye surgery until an eye doctor has given permission.
  • Never dye eyelashes or eyebrows. No color additives have been approved by the FDA for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes or eyebrows.

Whether contact lenses are used for vision correction or simply to change the appearance of eye color, they should never be considered merely cosmetic. In fact, in 2005, the FDA stated that all contact lenses are considered medical devices and therefore can only be used under the direction of an eye care professional. Contact lens users should:

  • Visit a licensed eye care professional to be fitted for contact lenses.
  • Use pressed eye shadows in conjunction with an eye shadow base to help makeup stay in place.
  • Always insert contact lenses before applying makeup and remove them before taking makeup off.
  • Never share or trade contact lenses with others.
  • Before handling contact lenses, wash hands with soap and water, then rinse and dry them with a lint-free towel.
  • Minimize contact with water, including removing lenses before going swimming or in a hot tub.
  • Contact lens cases should always be cleaned with fresh solution – not water.
  • Leave the empty case open to air dry.
  • Do not use cracked or damaged lens cases.
  • Lens cases can be a source of contamination and infection.
  • Keep the contact lens case clean and replace it regularly, at least every three months.

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