Accessibility View Close toolbar

Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes

Do your eyes itch, burn and turn red when you wear makeup? Although cosmetics are supposed to enhance your appearance, you may feel anything but attractive as your eyes water and your makeup runs. Luckily, it's possible to look your best without enduring any pain or discomfort when you follow these tips.

Don't Let Makeup Come in Direct Contact with Your Eyes

Makeup can easily travel the short distance from your eyelashes or eyelids to your eyes, triggering sensitivity and dryness. The problem can be particularly painful if you wear contacts because the lenses trap the particles and prevent them from being washed away. If you have sensitive eyes, don't apply mascara to the roots of your lashes and use eyeliner on the outer part of your lids only.

University of Waterloo researchers conducted a study that examined how much glittery eyeliner entered the tear film when the product was used on either the inner or outer eyelids. The tear film is a protective layer of tears that keep your eyes constantly moist. When study participants placed eyeliner inside the lash line, 15 to 30 percent more particles found their way into the tear film in just five minutes.

Avoid Sleeping in Makeup

When you're exhausted, removing makeup make seem like an unnecessary step. Unfortunately, failing to remove eye makeup can clog oil glands, causing infections and styes on your eyelids and pimples on your face. Gentle cleaning products that don't contain fragrances, oils, diazolidinyl urea or sodium lauryl sulfate are the best choices if you have sensitive eyes.

Clean Brushes and Applicators

Brushes and applicators may look perfectly clean, but can still harbor bacteria. Clean them at least once a week with a mixture of warm water and baby shampoo to reduce sensitivity and prevent infections. After your brushes and applicators air dry, place them in a covered container. Never store makeup on a bathroom vanity or the back of a toilet. Every time you flush the toilet, bacteria can travel through the air and coat nearby surfaces, including makeup brushes and toothbrushes.

Wash Your Hands

Clean brushes won't matter if your fingers are covered in dirt, dust or bacteria. Before you apply any product to your face, spend a few minutes washing your hands.

Be Selfish, Don't Share

Sharing makeup increases your risk of developing a bacterial infection. No matter how close you are to friends or family members, the last thing you want to do is catch an infection from them or expose them to bacteria from your makeup.

Contamination can also be a problem if you use testers at makeup counters. Ask if small, personal-size sample sizes are available instead.

Have you ever been tempted to take advantage of a free makeover at the cosmetics counter? Before you do, ask the employee to clean the brushes and applicators he or she plans to use on you.

Eliminate Problem Products

Spend a few days makeup free if your eyes start to itch and burn. Once your eyes feel more comfortable, reintroduce your usual makeup products one at a time. If sensitivity returns, get rid of the product causing the problem.

If one particular type of product, such as brown eyeshadow, causes frequent problems, avoid that product in the future. In some cases, sensitivity may occur if you're allergic to the pigment that gives the eyeshadow its color. Keep in mind that it's possible to suddenly become allergic to a makeup product even if you've used it for years with no previous problems.

Purge Your Makeup Collection

Replace eye makeup every three months to prevent bacterial infections. Pay attention to expiration labels for other makeup products, such as blushes, bronzers, and lip products, and trash these items when the "use by" date arrives.

Keep It Simple

Stay away from products that claim they'll make your eyelashes so thick you'll swear you're wearing false eyelashes or boast that a super special ingredient will make your makeup last for days. These products usually contain a variety of added ingredients that can irritate your eyes. Stick to basic versions of your favorite products instead.

Read Labels

Chose products that are organic, fragrance-free or hypoallergenic. Avoid buying cosmetics that contain perfumes, preservatives, nickel, lead, sulfates, beryllium, added color, cadmium, parabens, talc, selenium or glitter.

Keep your eyes clear and comfortable with smart makeup choices and regular eye exams. If it's time for your next eye exam, or you're concerned about a problem, contact us to schedule an appointment.


The Beauty Department: Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes Eye Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes

Health: 8 Tricks for Wearing Mascara When You Have Sensitive Eyes, 11/13/15

American Academy of Ophthalmology: Using Eye Makeup, 1/7/11

University of Waterloo: Study Finds Eyeliner Application May Cause Eye Problems, 4/1/15

Prime: Lifting the Lid on Toilet Plume Aerosol, 3/13


Find us on the map

Office Hours


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-4:30 pm





  • "Wonderful experience! From the moment I walked in, I felt at ease and comfortable. The staff is welcoming, friendly, and personable. I would highly recommend Dr. Huser and her team."
    Kelly R.
  • "I'm always greeted well as soon as I walk in. The wait time is nonexistent, besides there's coffee or water to enjoy before going in (if there is a wait). Plenty of time to check out new frames & of course the glass bowl of Hershey kisses awaits you.Dr.Huser is honest and really cares. I don't ever feel like just another number. The staff all work as a team and you can tell they all love their job. Makes me want to work there."
    Maria E.
  • "Met Dr. Tekell for my annual appointment. She is very personable and professional. So easy to talk to. It was a very good appointment. So glad to see that although Dr. Jackman is not physically here anymore, his staff is continuing his great practice! Sure do miss him!"
    Ruby A.
  • "I have always had a wonderful experience at this location with all of their personnel and with the doctors. I have complete confidence in the accuracy of the exam. The excellent help of the staff ensures that the fit of the frames and of the way the lens sit in the frames is perfect. My previous frames were made with expert precision and durability, and have lasted for the past 4 years with no problems. They were built to last and that is hard to find in this day and age. If I could give a perfect 10 rating, I would."
    Kelly C.
  • "My 1st visit was in 2016 with Dr. Huser. She was terrific: engaged, knowledgeable, excellent communication skills. I later recommended her to my husband, and was even more pleased with the outcome. She diagnosed the source of his chronic eye irritation — relieving us of the fear that it might be a permanent result of surgery he’d had elsewhere — and offered some simple interventions which have actually worked. Saw Dr. Tekell recently when Dr. Huser was out of the office and was similarly impressed. This is a quality practice and they’ve assembled a great team — excellent optometrists, supported by friendly and helpful staff, and opticians who know their stuff, too."
    Kathleen G.
  • "Beautiful, well organized and impeccably functioning office. Extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff. Outstanding doctor with great care. Overall a wonderful experience, thank you!"
    Casey S.
  • "I absolutely LOVED the selection of glasses onsite!!! All the latest trends from conservative to super funky and fun! The staff is all very friendly and Dr. Huser's was fabulous! It's so wonderful to have a place like this accessible to Tricare/Military insurance holders."
    Brittney G.
  • "Best eye exam i have ever had. Period. Dr. Huser is AWESOME!"
    Jason M.
  • "Absolutely had the best experience! Jan is a star in my eyes filled with kindness and professionalism. The entire crew was super nice and accommodating to my 86 year old mom and me. I will never go anywhere else to get an eye test, or to get glasses. Thank you for making our day and for going above and beyond my wildest expectations."
    Zahra R.