In part one of a two-part series, Sarah Darbandi, MD discusses the effects of cosmetics on the eyes, particularly for patients with dry eye and blepharitis.
Q: How are cosmetics harmful to the eyes, particularly for patients with dry eye or blepharitis?
There are many things we apply around our eyes and on our eyelids, which is the thinnest skin on our body, including cleanser, moisturizer, under eye cream, concealer, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliners and more. Many of these products contain wax (synthetic, paraffin or beeswax) as well as potentially toxic chemicals such as carcinogens and parabens. Although parabens prevent the growth of bacteria in makeup, they can be absorbed through the skin and transmitted into the bloodstream. Parabens can also make dry eye worse as they prohibit the oil glands that line the eyelid from secreting enough oil.