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Are you aware of the dangers of festive glitter?

The festive season is in full swing and most of us have already started planning our Christmas look for this year. While there’s nothing better than getting glammed up for all those family gatherings and work parties, it’s important to remain wary of the dangers of not removing heavy eye makeup before going to sleep.

While eyeshadow, glitter and false lashes are all staples during the festive season, we are urging people to remain mindful of the risks associated with not removing these products properly. For many, removing eye-makeup after a night out is something that often slips our minds, and this only tends to get worse during the festive season (after a few too many Christmas party drinks).

Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director, said: “Make-up is one of the most harmful things for the eyes of any patient when worn for extended periods of time. If not removed at all, it can cause major complications.”

Such problems caused by extended make-up wear can include:

Eye Infections

During the night, make-up products can penetrate the protective surface of the eyes due to abrasion caused by movements of the pillow. The particles that come from glittery eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner can clog the hair follicles and oil glands on your eyelid. These particles can then cause infections or inflammations such as, most commonly, conjunctivitis.

Corneal Abrasion and Erosion

If left on, make-up can rub against the conjunctival or corneal surface, causing scratches. If this happens repeatedly, the damage can cause lasting, difficult to treat problems, with associated symptoms to include pain, sensitivity to light, watery and red eyes. Glitter particles are particularly harsh due to the material and size.

Eyelash Damage

Using mascara for extended periods of time can be very damaging to delicate eyelashes, causing fall-out. Broken lashes will scratch the cornea when the eye is rubbed overnight. Eyelids help protect our eyes from particles such as dust, shield our eyes from the sun and keep moisture like sweat out of our eyes. Damage to our eyelashes means we lose all of this important protection.

So, as we are getting ready to look our best during the Christmas period, let’s make sure that we remain vigilant and follow an appropriate make-up removal regime. To help you get started, we have compiled a few important tips:

  1. Use soap and water

To a lot of people, simply using soap and water might not seem effective, but it is in fact a tried and tested method to making sure that the face is clean. As opposed to make-up wipes, which are good for initial removal, soap and water is much gentler on the skin – not to mention much better for the environment.

  1. Use flat cotton pads rather than balls

Cotton balls break more easily than cotton pads, which means some may get left behind on your eyelashes. Over time, this can lead to irritation and infection – unlike pads which are woven so they don’t shed.

  1. Take your time

Instead of rubbing the eyelid vigorously with the cotton pad, allow time for the remover to soak into the pad and do the hard work for you. This will give the elements a chance to soften. Altogether, this reduces the chance of infection and abrasion.

Stephen added: “Christmas is the busiest time of year for a lot of people, it is common that people rush to bed without taking their make-up off. We want to make sure that people are aware of the risks so that we are minimising the number of people with avoidable eye problems. This simple act can prevent so many damaging effects, so this festive period, make sure you’re make-up safe.”

If you have any concerns about the health of your eyes, then be sure to book in for an eye test at an Optical Express clinic near you.

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