Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Residues of cosmetics or soaps can get on the contact lenses via the hands and contaminate them. To what extent the residues lead to a worse compatibility of contact lenses depends on how often the contact lenses come into contact with these agents. It is important that you always wash your hands carefully before inserting or removing contact lenses.
Naturally, contact lenses are most often contaminated by cosmetic products such as mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner and face creams. These cosmetics contain many substances and color pigments that are applied in a thick layer around the eye. These cosmetics can dry and crumble and get into the eye. Eye shadow contains many larger glittering particles that can get under the contact lens, causing a strong foreign body irritation. In that case, remove the contact lenses immediately to prevent these particles from becoming lodged in the contact lens. Eyeliner on the inner edge of the eyelid can interfere with the function of glands that help build the tear film. Tiny components of eyeliner cosmetics can get into the tear film and smear the contact lens. Most of the time, these tiny particles do not cause a foreign body sensation to the lens wearer, which means the problem is not noticed right away.
Some lens wearers insert the lens first before putting on makeup, others put on makeup first and then insert the contact lenses. In any case, one should develop a technique that optimally protects the contact lenses from cosmetics. We recommend to insert the lens before applying make up for hygiene.