How Cosmetics Can Harm Your Eyes

Particles contained within cosmetic eye products can migrate to the ocular surface, destabilize the tear film and result in discomfort and destruction of the ocular structures in the front of the eye. Since the FDA does not require these products to be approved before they are marketed, many of the lotions and potions we use have harmful ingredients that can cause damage to our eyes. Here is a list of the most harmful ingredients that we may come in contact with on a daily basis. Becoming aware about these nasty offenders is important and allows us to be empowered to make better choices to support our overall health and well-being.

The “Watch-out” List:

  • Benzalkonium Chloride (BAK)
  • Coal tar hair dyes and other coal tar ingredients
  • Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hydroquinone
  • Isopropyl cloprostenate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Parabens (methyl-, propyl-, isobutyl-, and others)
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP)
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Propylene glycol
  • Retinyl acetate, retinoic acid, retinol (Vitamin A Palmitate)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Toluene
  • Triclosan and Triclocarban

Check your products hazard score rating at EWG Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Tips & Tricks:

Applying Makeup

Be careful about what lotions and potions you are applying around your eyes. Skincare products can migrate up to one centimeter, so only use eye-specific products around this delicate area.

Do not permit naughty ingredients to compromise your tear film and vision just for the sake of beauty.


  • Share makeup
  • Apply makeup while moving
  • Use waterproof makeup – these ingredients obstruct vital lid anatomy


  • Wash hands before applying makeup
  • Remove makeup daily
  • Clean brushes regularly

Makeup Removers

Never use oil-free makeup removers. These ingredients strip the healthy oils from the delicate skin around your eyes. Approved removers include coconut oil and lid-specific hygiene products (OcuSOFT, Zocular).


The natural eyelash has been perfected to whisk away debris and prevent dry air from contacting the ocular surface. Lengthening them with eyelash extensions causes turbulent air flow that increases debris contact and evaporation of your tear film. Not to mention, the chemicals in adhesives and eyelash tints create havoc for the eye and potential sight-threatening allergic reactions.

Don’t feed those Demodex eye critters bacteria in your makeup. Always replace mascara every 1-3 months.

Stay away from popular lash boost serums that use a prostaglandin or synthetic prostaglandin (bimatoprost, isopropyl cloprostenate). These ingredients can change eye color, darken eyelids, cause redness, and harm your vital eyelid glands.


Never apply eyeliner to the lid margin, also known as “water-lining” or “tight-lining”. This obstructs the gland openings and causes vital anatomy to atrophy over time. Steer clear of permanent eyeliner tattoos because the tattoo ink depletes essential oils that keep your tear film from evaporating quickly.


Loose eyeshadow can flake off and imbed micro-shards into the delicate tissues that contact your eye. Prevent this mayhem by avoiding eyeshadow with glitter and sparkles, using a primer, and inserting contact lenses or a drop of artificial tear before applying eyeshadow.

Anti-Aging Serums

The best anti-aging eye treatment is paraben-free sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses! Schedule a free consultation with our in-house aesthetician to discuss OptiLight IPL (Intense Pulse Light Therapy) procedures. Even out your skin tone, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen development, and rejuvenate your skin in a drug-free and cosmetics-free manner.

Summary of Services
  • Comprehensive Eye Exam – complete evaluation of the visual system and ocular health including dilation (dilation is performed at least every other year)
  • Pediatric Comprehensive Eye Exam – complete evaluation of the visual system and ocular health including dilation beginning from six months of age. Eye exams for children are very important because vision problems are often related to poor school performance.
  • Contact Lens Fittings – for all types of contact lenses including specialty contact lenses available for astigmatism, presbyopia (the loss of reading vision after age 40-45 years old), and keratoconus (a progressive disease in which the cornea thins and becomes irregularly shaped).
  • Specialty Contact Lenses – supply any and all types of contact lenses available on the market.
  • Cataract Surgery Care – perform pre-operative and post-operative care following cataract surgery.
  • Digital Retinal Imaging – documentation of eye conditions that need to be monitored for changes over time.
  • Glaucoma Testing – diagnosis, management and treatment of glaucoma, called the “silent thief of vision” because it has no symptoms until its later stages when vision is already lost.
  • Lasik Surgery – perform pre-operative exam to evaluate if you are a good candidate and post-operative care following Lasik surgery.
  • Macular Degeneration Management – monitor progression and evaluate if treatment is necessary. Research indicates certain vitamins and minerals may help prevent or slow the progression of macular degeneration.
  • Eye Emergencies – including red eyes, injuries and sudden symptoms requiring evaluation and treatment.
  • Dry Eye Disease – evaluation and treatment such as punctal plugs, prescription drug treatments, IPL treatment, and monitoring.
  • Surgical Consultation and Post-Operative Eye Care Treatment – for cataracts, strabismus, corneal transplants, retinal detachment, Lasik, PRK, and Epilasik and others.
  • Frame and Lens Service – prescribe and fill prescriptions for prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, and specialty glasses for hobbies and occupational needs.