Removing eye make-up safely

Women love to wear makeup. It is a daily ritual for some, which includes applying eye shadow, painting the lips and stroking a blush brush along the apples of the cheeks. Make-up is not harmful to the eyes; however, it is important to choose appropriate cosmetics that do not contain allergenic substances. Such allergens include nickel, which is a major cause of irritability and dermatitis from eye contact. Specialists from the Ophthalmology Department at Humanitas Hospital explain how to remove eye make-up safely and how to maintain proper eye hygiene.

What precautions should be taken before purchasing make-up cosmetics?

Before purchasing and applying make-up, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration. “Makeup tools that are typically used include: eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara. Eyeliner is water repellent and contains fatty substances. Therefore, it must have a good seal and be easily removablehow to remove eye make-up safelyWhen applying mascara, it is crucial to pay close attention to the inside of the eye. The edge of the lower eyelid can be home to abrasions or irritations of the conjunctiva and cornea. Eye shadow can be used in the form of a powder or cream. The powder contains micro-particles that can penetrate the eye, resulting in irritation and causing a nuisance. Often as a result of these leaks, we tend to rub our eyes and we may cause eye tissue abrasion. The powder eye shadow is not recommended for patients with ocular hypersensitivity or those who have undergone recent eye operations. Mascara should be applied carefully, trying to avoid eye contact. It must then be sealed properly to avert deterioration and replaced every three to four months.”

What are some recommended tips for removing make-up safely?

“For starters, it is important to wash your hands carefully, rubbing them together for 10-15 seconds and maybe even removing any rings from your fingers. It is then preferable to use specific products for eye makeup removal such as disposable eye wipes. They contain natural substances (calendula, aloe) that help cleanse the eyes and prevent hypersensitivity and allergic reactions. Even if they come into contact with the eyes they do not burn, nor do they create visual problems.

It is crucial to avoid removing make-up in a hasty or inappropriate manner. “Irritation of the conjunctiva and cornea, as well as erosions may result in cases where make-up is removed incorrectly. If left untreated, this can sometimes lead to inflammation and bacterial infections of the eyelashes or conjunctival area.”

How should women who wear contact lenses remove their make-up?

“Only the eyelid is affected when we first put on contact lenses and then make-up. On the contrary, when one removes make-up, it is preferable to first remove the lenses and then proceed to remove the make-up. This should be done with the help of artificial tears that lubricate the eyes.” 

How can proper eye hygiene be maintained?

“Whether a makeup tool, facial soap or water is used, it is advisable to cleanse the eyes in the morning with a tonic or saline solution. You should avoid using irritating or aggressive soaps and detergents. The process can be repeated in the evening before going to sleep. This helps cleanse the eyes that are exposed to dust and harmful particles all day long.”


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.