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Link Between Eye Make-Up and Dry Eyes

Eye make-up is the most popularly used part of face make-up, but it can also be a matter of concern for people with dry eyes. In this article, we try to understand the link between eye make-up and dry eyes and find solutions to it.

Link Between Eye Make-Up and Dry Eyes

Link Between Eye Make-Up and Dry Eyes

Eye is the most important asset for humans. Therefore, whenever you face any issues with your eyes, you rush to a doctor, immediately. One of the most common eye problems which most people face is dry eyes. Your doctor may either prescribe drops and ointments or some time you may need to undergo surgery to treat the activity of your tear ducts. When you have dry eyes, it is particularly advised to choose the appropriate eye cosmetics like mascara and eyeliner because these products come in contact with your eyes, directly or indirectly. A wrong choice of the make-up products might lead to various kinds of eye disorders. You need to choose your eye make-up wisely to avoid worsening of dry eyes.

Healthy eyes produce tears with the right proportion of water, oil, and mucus which helps in keeping your eyes moist. Sometimes your eyes might not be able to produce tears or it may evaporate very early which results in dry and scratchy eyes. This condition is termed as “dry eyes”. Dry eyes occur due to various reasons like aging, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorder or using cosmetics. Out of the various possible reasons, the main cause of this problem is the regular use of eye make-up cosmetics as using eye make-up sometimes induces the dry eyes symptoms. Hence choosing the right eye make-up is important in addition to understanding the link between dry eyes and eye make-up.

Choosing the Right Make-up to Avoid the Problem of Dry Eye

If you have dry eyes problem you need to be extra cautious in choosing eye make-up products because some make-up items may affect your eyes and aggravate your problem.

Here are few guidelines which you can follow while choosing your eye make-up:

  • Choose make-up removers that are oil or parabens free.
  • Always choose cream-based products.
  • Keep away from powder-based and liquid-based products when it comes to eyeshadows or foundations.
  • Start using eyelash curlers in place of mascara.
  • Stay away from expired mascara that crushes into pieces when dries.
  • Always a use thicker form of mascara as it never crumbles after drying.

Why Do Some Eye Make-Up Products Make Your Dry Eyes Worse?

Do you know that the way you apply make-up on your eyes, makes a huge difference? Yes, a study states that there are fewer particles in the tear film of a person who apply eyeliner away from the eyelash as compared to the individuals who apply liners along the eyelash.

A thin membrane that covers your eyeball is known as tear film which is a sensitive part. So it is advised to avoid any kind of make-up from coming in contact with the tear film. If a person uses certain kind of mascara that crush into pieces on drying, one can find tiny particles in the tear film which leads to a higher risk of particles getting in contact with the eyes. The same logic applies for powder-based eyeshadows as well.

Researchers state that when your eyes get in contact with those tiny particles it may lead to or worsen dry eyes. In fact, eye make-up is one of the prime factors for dry eyes problem. This clearly shows that eye make-up and dry eyes are related and it is necessary to be careful while applying make-up.

How to Use Make-up When You Have Dry Eyes?

Yes, we cannot neglect the fact that eye make-up is one of the essential parts of this modern world however there are proper ways of applying eye make-up and cleansing that one needs to learn. You can minimize the risk of dry eyes due to make-up by incorporating these tips into your daily life. Here are few tips:

  • Try using lubricating eye drops half an hour before applying make-up
  • Use different brushes for different types of make-up.
  • Minimize the use of mascara by applying it only on outer side of your eyelash.
  • Apply eyeliner towards the outer side of your lash line.
  • Make sure you sharp the eye pencil every time before using it to stay away from bacteria.
  • Try restricting make-up items to your face however, if required use very minimal make-up or no make-up on your eyes
  • Not only applying make-up, even the cleansing part plays vital role in eye care. Here are the proper guidelines for removing eye make-up:
  • Make sure you remove all sort of make-up chemicals from your eyes before you go to bed.
  • You can also use baby shampoo in little quantity on a cotton cloth or cotton ball to remove make-up.
  • Clean all your make-up brushes frequently.
  • Avoid using eye make-up when having an eye infection.


Eye make-up and dry eyes can be a troublesome combination. The best way to stay away from dry eyes or eye infection is to minimize the use of eye make-up. It is best to avoid eye make-up completely because wearing mascara and eyeliner on the inner line of the lash may induce severe eye problems. However, in unavoidable situations you can continue wearing eye make with proper precautionary steps like using right product, following proper hygiene etc. It is better to avoid wearing any eye make if you suffer from chronic dry eyes or seek medical help and get the right treatment.


  1. American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Makeup Tips for People With Dry Eyes.” https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/makeup-tips-for-people-with-dry-eyes
  2. Healthline. “Dry Eyes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-eyes

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 18, 2023

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