Should I wear mascara?
November 9, 2017 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I get eyelashes stuck in my eyes unusually frequently. Is it dangerous if this happens when I have mascara on?

Caveat: it's also possible that some of what's getting stuck in my eyes are eyebrow hairs (they look exactly like my eyelashes). Basically, annoyingly often, I find a lash (or eyebrow hair) in one of my eyes. My eyes have also been dry, so it's very hard to get the lashes out. In one recent case, despite trying water and eye drops and crying and a q-tip, the lash was stuck overnight and for hours the next day. It drives me crazy. I only wear mascara occasionally. My question is whether it would be bad for a lash with mascara to get stuck in my eye, and if a particular kind of mascara would be better. (Mascara also tends to smudge under my eyes, so even though I often just use Maybelline Great Lash, a tubing kind might be better).
posted by pinochiette to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
I have had mascara'd eyelashes in my eye many times, and also in general just accidentally gotten makeup in my eyes. its never been a problem (ie never caused damage) it does sound like you have unusually dry eyes though...but I don't think there is anything about mascara per se that will hurt your eyes.
posted by supermedusa at 8:53 AM on November 9, 2017

Like supermedusa, I get mascara'd lashes in my eye a lot and don't have issues. I do pitch and replace my mascara pretty regularly, though (I don't think I've ever actually finished a tube, and I wear it daily), because of nasty eye bacteria buildup.
posted by okayokayigive at 9:26 AM on November 9, 2017

The main danger of infection from mascara is in applying it, because the applicator itself scratches the eye and then the mascara is introduced. It's not as likely that you would get an infection from mascara getting into your eye with an eyelash because the surface of the eye would be intact.

That said, I seriously recommend that people replace their mascara frequently (min every three months) because of the first issue.

Source: Former women's magazine web editor.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:38 AM on November 9, 2017

Mascara is tested (mostly on animals, sadly) to make sure that if/when it gets in your eyes, it won't cause damage. So go for it.
You might get a side benefit if mascara making your lashes stick together and not falling into your eyes even if they fall out.
Make sure you take off eye makeup at night with cotton pads and remover (I like loreal).
On the other hand if you are getting lashes in your eyes often because you rub your eyes a lot, then mascara will not be great since it will smudge and look raccoony.
posted by rmless at 9:41 AM on November 9, 2017

if you already have dry eyes then any irritant that gets into your eyes is going to be Bad For Your Eyes. as you've already noticed, you had a problem blinking something away. (next time, no water and no q-tip! only something specifically for lubricating eyes!) eyelashes with mascara on them are more gritty than unmasacara'd eyelashes and will feel a lot worse.

in general any kind of intrusive contact with dry eyes is not great because your eyes are missing their primary source of defense against abrasions and general irritation.

in the future you should have something like an eyewash cup and solution for things that get stuck to your eyes, because sticking things - fingers, q-tips, etc - into the irritated eye will always make things worse. it's entirely possible that the eyelash in question did in fact get removed from your eye and what you felt as being the eyelash remaining was just an abrasion on the eye itself. i have done this many times and it is horrible.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:03 PM on November 9, 2017

You might wish to try one of those overnight ointments to moisturize your eyes while you sleep. (Link is to the one I use, but there are others.) I also gently tug on my eyelashes when I shower and comb my eyebrows backwards with a brow brush to remove loose hairs. Replace your mascara once per quarter.
posted by xyzzy at 5:14 PM on November 9, 2017

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