A 50-year-old Australian woman developed serious eye problems after wearing mascara for 25 years without removing it properly before bed.
Most people know you should remove your makeup before going to sleep at night, but every now and then it slips the mind. It’s especially tempting to pass out in a full face of makeup after a tiring day of work or a late night out. Once you read this though, you might be compelled to take your makeup removing routine a lot more seriously.
An Australian woman learned the hard way that taking off your makeup should be as important as putting it on. The woman suffered severe consequences from repeatedly sleeping with her mascara still on.
She initially sought medical attention because she constantly felt like something was stuck in both of her eyes. Doctors examined her eyes after the woman admitted to “25 years of heavy mascara use with inadequate removal.” Doctors found that the mascara had accumulated in her eyelids.
The woman was treated by Dr. Dana Robei in New South Wales, Australia, who wrote about the case in last month’s issue of Opthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO). Although this woman’s case is rare, it is a reminder that we shouldn’t be careless about our eyes.
The mascara formed tiny hard deposits that were embedded in the skin under her eyelids. Some of the deposits were coming out and scratching her eyeballs.
“The concretions got embedded in the conjunctiva and it went deeper into the subconjunctiva layer, but you could still see it, sort of like a tattoo,” said Dr. Rebecca Taylor, clinical spokesperson for the AAO and an opthalmologist in Nashville.
Dr. Taylor explained that the conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that covers the eye and the inside of the eyelids. It’s an integral part of the eye that helps keep it moist and protects it agains infections.
“She basically had these rough things stuck on the underside of her upper eyelid so every time she closed her eyes it would scratch her eyeball, particularly the cornea,” Dr. Taylor said. She continued, “The cornea is the thin, transparent layer of tissue on the surface of the eye that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort if scratched.”
The woman also had follicular conjunctivitis, or a bacterial infection of the follicles in the conjunctiva. Dr. Taylor shared that “if left untreated, the woman’s corneal abrasions and infections could have led to serious vision problems.”
Not removing makeup properly can cause many problems.
Fortunately, cases like this are rare, despite it being one of the most common makeup mistakes.
Although sleeping with your mascara on once or twice won’t be harmful, one shouldn’t make it a habit.
It’s important to properly remove makeup to avoid any skin and health problems in the future.