BEAUTY Cosmetics

Is Your Makeup Why You Have Crusty Eyes?

crusty eyes
Written by Allison

Crusty eyes can be a major issue

Here’s a not fun reality of being a makeup user: you could be playing around with your eyeball health. It makes sense though, right? Makeup (and contact lens) users are touching around their eyes a lot more than the average person (add this to the shared disease files). If you have crusty eyes in the morning, makeup could be the cause.

What makeup causes crusty eyes?

One of the easiest ways makeup users can get crusty eyes? Conjunctivitis. Also known as pink eye. It’s a not fun problem with a ton of causes. According to this 2013 paper, conjunctivitis can be caused by any number of things. “Viruses, bacteria, or fungi; allergy; exposure to chemicals or irritants” are all game in the pink eye world. Pink eye the disease, not pink eye makeup, obvi.

And (again, with contact lens wearers) when you’re doing your daily face, there is a lot of action around the eyeballs with potentially contaminated products or just unclean fingers. There is a reason you’re not supposed to use mascara for more than a couple of months!

Dirty sponges blending under eye concealer.

Even tweezing your brows can be problematic if your tweezers haven’t seen a cleanser in a while.

According to the same paper, above, bacterial conjunctivitis is an easy pick-up for makeup users. “These bacteria live on human skin and can contaminate eye makeup or other products.” Which means, if you’re starting to get pink eye with eye discharge (the proper term for eye crust) you’re in for a restock and deep clean. Products you can’t clean (like mascara) will need to be tossed so you don’t infect and reinfect your eyes.

Really, you should be washing your brushes and other eye makeup tools (tweezers, lash curlers) every week. Don’t go around Sephora all willy-nilly applying tester products to your eyes. And if you were even considering that, definitely read these 12 Makeup Tips immediately.

If you really want to up your makeup cleanliness game you can keep a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol around. Just mist down the brushes, eyeshadows, and other tools you’re using before touching your eyes. The rubbing alcohol kills bacteria and dries quickly so you’re not applying rubbing alcohol to your skin. Oh, and please, toss your mascara every two to three months to avoid makeup induced crusty eyes.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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