COSMETICS CAN PERMANENTLY CHANGE THE FIT, FEEL, AND VISION OF YOUR CONTACT LENSES
Have you ever had the experience of leaving the eye doctor’s office with a great contact lens – excellent comfort and perfect vision – only to have the vision and comfort take a marked turn for the worse a few days or weeks later?
As Optometrists, we’ve seen this issue present itself many times. The lenses perform and move beautifully on the eye in office, but a few days later we’ll get a phone call from the patient that they need to be seen because their lenses “don’t fit.” What changed? New research shows that the products we use around our eyes, from makeup to face wash and makeup remover, can cause significant changes to both the physical shape and performance of contact lenses.
How Does Makeup or Makeup Removers Come in Contact With Your Contact Lenses?
You may be surprised to hear that contact lenses can be affected by your normal skincare products, because they typically aren’t coming into contact with each other directly. No one rinses their contact lenses with makeup remover, or coats them with mascara purposefully (or if you do, you’d expect them to be extremely uncomfortable as a result!).
The overwhelming majority of the time, contact lenses are exposed to makeup and soaps by accident when you are either inserting or removing your contact lens. Sometimes makeup or face wash residue is still on our hands when we touch our lenses, or if you are wearing your contact lenses when you apply eye makeup like mascara or eyeliner, small amounts of it can easily transfer into your eye and stick to the surface of the contact lens. The majority of monthly and biweekly disposable contact lenses are made from materials called silicone hydrogel, and the silicone in these lenses that helps make the contact lens more breathable is also very attracted to oils. Makeup and makeup removers are primarily oil based products, and once they come into contact with a contact lens, they bind tightly and are next to impossible to remove even with the strongest contact lens cleaners.
To best prevent makeup from sticking to your contact lens and causing blurry vision, redness, or build up on the lens, try this technique:
1. Apply all of your makeup
2. Wash your hands thoroughly
3. Instill a rewetting drop to rinse makeup particles off your eye.
4. Insert your contact lens.
By applying your makeup first and then using an artificial tear drop to rinse stray makeup particles away from the eye’s surface, it’s less likely that you’ll inadvertently transfer makeup onto the contact lens.
What Makeup And Face wash Can Do to Your Contact Lens
|Contact lens edge distortion caused by exposure of samfilcon A lens to Neutrogena Oil-Free Makeup Remover via
What Problems Do Mascaras Cause? These products primarily affect image quality and vision by leaving deposits on the contact lenses that are almost impossible to remove, therefore changing the base curve; lens movement and centration of the contact lens on the eye could be affected
If you are struggling with contact lens performance, changing to a daily disposable contact lens and limiting exposure of the lens to cosmetic products may greatly increase lens comfort, vision, and wearing time. Avoiding waterproof mascaras and tightlining with eyeliner can also help minimize contact lens contamination.
The best solution? Changing to daily disposable lenses can make sure that your contact lenses perform the same every day!