HEALTH: Can eye shadow damage your eyes?


We can all agree on how powerful make-up can be. It can boost our confidence, help us enhance our features and most importantly — playing around with it is downright fun.

However, many make-up wearers are unaware of the potential negative effects, which can cause complications to our eye health.

When it comes to eye shadow, using a poor quality brand, not using a clean kit or using it past the due date can lead to problems with the eyelids, the tear film and the eye itself.

For this reason, investing in a good quality brand and doing some research prior to purchasing an eye shadow palette is fundamental.

It was recently revealed that cosmetics brand MUA had been selling eye shadow palettes containing traces of asbestos.

For those who don’t know, asbestos is now known to be a potential carcinogen and can cause several other serious conditions such as pleural thickening, which is when the lining of the lung thickens and swells. It is now banned in the UK.

In some occasions, eye shadow can cause irritation, redness, dryness and in the worst cases, an infection such as Blepharitis.

Here are some tips to avoid eye damage from eye shadow:

Use an eye shadow primer or base

One major issue with eye shadow is when it flakes off. If your eye shadow doesn’t stay put, it will end up floating around in your tears and can cause irritation and redness. An eye shadow primer or base can help keep it in place.

Don’t leave your eye shadow (or any make-up product) overnight

Another way to protect your eyes from damage caused by eye shadow is to never leave it overnight. Failing to wash your make-up off is only going to increase the chances of bacterial and oil build up with eyelid inflammation. 

Use tea-tree oil to clean and soothe your eyes

Tea tree oil is a powerful essential oil that has a multitude of personal hygiene and household uses. It is naturally anti-bacterial which is good news for anyone that has suffered or continues to struggle with styes. Tea tree oil adds that extra, natural cleansing power to keep the specialised oil glands of the eye clean and clear from bacteria and demodex.

If you have any concerns about your eye health or your annual eye check-up is due, book an eye examination with our Moorfields-trained optometrist.

Any questions?

Contact us

020 3489 4681

227-229 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, London SW5 0EA