Makeup Part II: Non-toxic, Contact Lens Compatible Cosmetics

Makeup Part II: Non-toxic, Contact Lens Compatible Cosmetics
Posted on 01/16/2017
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Contact lens wearers are at a higher risk for various ocular complications such as allergies, toxicities and infections. Many factors can contribute to contact lens related complications, including eye makeup. If you read my previous post, you know that there are many toxic chemicals that can be found in commercial cosmetics. Toxins are absorbed very easily by contact lens materials. This increases contact time with the eye and exposure to chemicals that may otherwise be rinsed out or diluted by your tears. Toxins can cause ocular surface issues such as dryness, redness and irritation. Additionally, chemicals coming in contact with the eye are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream and may build up in tissues in the body over time. I’ve compiled a list of safe eye makeups that are compatible with contact lens wear and have a low hazard risk (1-3).


ALMAY – Intense I-color (2)
ARBONNE – It’s a Long Story Mascara (2)
PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA – All physician’s formula mascaras are safe (1)

Avoid all waterproof and fiber lash mascaras when wearing contact lenses. If you are prone to allergies only use brands indicated as hypoallergenic and paraben free. Parabens are not only known for causing skin irritation and allergic dermatitis. The Breast Cancer Fund discusses how parabens mimick estrogen causing a disruption to the endocrine system and depositing themselves in organs such as breast tissue. Common mascara brands containing parabens include L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Avon, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Revlon, Chanel and Lancome.


L’OREAL – Voluminous Smouldering Eyeliner (1), Extra Intense Eyeliner (2), Infallible (2), Colour Rich (2)
MAYBELLINE – Define-A-Line (2), Lasting Drama gel(2), Line Express (3), Master Kajal (3)
N.Y.C High Definition Liquid Liner (2)
PHYSCIAN’S FORMULA – All Physician’s formula eye pencils and liners are safe (2)
REVITALASH – Raven 12 Hour Eyeliner (2)
TARTE – emphasEYES™ aqua gel liner (3)

Never draw liner on the inner lid margin (“water line”) of your eyes! Eyeliner migration into the eye is a huge causative factor in ocular irritation, dryness and contact lens buildup. Most commercial eyeliners no longer contain toxic heavy metals but any do contain parabens, preservatives that are known allergenics.

Eye Shadow

ALMAY – all eye shadows (3-4)
MAYBELLINE – Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24 hour Cream Gel Shadow (3), Eye Studio Color Plush (4),
NEUTROGENA – Crease Proof Eye Shadow (1)
PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA – Shimmer Strips (2)

Avoid loose powders and glitter shadows, as they can migrate into the eye and cause irritation and reduce the stability of your tear film.


ALMAY – Wake Up Under Eye Concealer
NYX – Above & Beyond , Dark Circle Concealer
MAYBELLINE – Instant Age Rewind (3), Coverstick (3-4)
PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA – Super BB 10-in-1 (3)
REVLON – PhotoReady, Colorstay, Age Defying
TARTE – CC under eye corrector

To help avoid eye infections that can lead to corneal scarring and vision loss, clean off eye makeup completely every night. See my previous post, Makeup: Is it hurting our eyes?, for a list of gentle eye makeup removers and lid hygiene tips.

Talia M. Mishkin, O.D.

Millennium Eye Care

  • FREEHOLD - 500 W. Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728 Phone: 732.462.8707 Fax: 732.462.1296
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  • MARLBORO - 455 Route 9 South, Englishtown, NJ 07726 Phone: 732.591.2200 Fax: 732.591.6347
  • MONROE - 4 Research Way, Monroe, NJ 08831 Phone: 609.495.1000 Fax: 609.495.1005
  • BRICK - 515 Brick Blvd., Brick, NJ 08723 Phone: 732.920.3800 Fax: 732.920.5351
  • JACKSON - 2080 W. County Line Rd, Jackson, NJ 08527 Phone: 732.364.5123 Fax: 732.364.3865

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