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  • Jonathan Joffe

Good Beauty Habits Makes for a Healthy Ocular Surface.

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

Living in a semi-arid country like Namibia, with low levels of humidity means that 8 out of 10 Namibians walk around with dry eyes, with 6 in 10 being highly symptomatic. Now add the daily use of beauty products and treatments and the result would be severe strain to the

eye´s ocular surface.

The Ocular Surface is a very important part of the eye. It consists of the conjunctiva and the cornea, together with filigrane elements such as the lacrimal drainage apparatus and associated eyelid structure.

A healthy ocular surface is vital in maintaining comfort, good vision and the overall appearance of the eye. Many cosmetic products contain harsh chemicals, even light metals (glitter), which is disruptive to the ocular surface.

As part of a daily routine most women use makeup to enhance their appearance. Makeup is used to enhance the outer beauty; it helps to express oneself and is even used as a form of art. This brings up the question: should we stop using makeup in the name of good eye health? We say: absolutely not. Everything requires balance. Opt for maintaining good habits and you should be on your way to beautiful yet very healthy eyes.

Eye shadows, primers, eyeliners and mascaras contain chemicals that can clog up the lid margins of the eye affecting the quality of your tear film. This can cause long term damage resulting in dry, irritated and itchy eyes also known as Blepharitis.

Blepharitis is a common condition associated with poor ocular hygiene often seen with chronic use of "heavy eye makeup" with sufferers reporting chronic discomfort.

Want to avoid Blepharitis and still use your makeup? Don’t worry, we have you covered.

Here are a few habits you should incorporate to avoid Blepharitis:

Make Sure to Read Labels

Become label-conscious even if you are not allergic to stuff. Just as you scrutinize the calories in your food, get into the habit of looking at the chemicals in your make-up and treatment products. Paraben (found in foundations and creams), Formaldehyde (commonly used during lash extensions), BAK and Carbon Black (found in eyeliners and mascaras) are toxic chemicals one should try to avoid.

Wash before you sleep

Never fall asleep with your makeup on. Many women are guilty of this - especially after a late night. Too tired to do a 3-step cleanse after a long day or night out? Keep a regular supply of eyelid wipes on hand. Occasionally reaching for your wipes is perfectly acceptable.


Invest in a good cleanser. High-end products are worth the investment as they are packed with the good stuff to get the most stubborn makeup off. ZO facial cleanser, for instance, has developed a cult-following among women (over 35) all over the world.

ZO skin products is a medical grade, luxury skin care range developed by the world-renowned Dr. Zein Obagi. You can now find the cleanser and other products locally.

Goodbye lashes

Limit your salon trips for lash extensions. New lashes every 6 weeks is an absolute no, rather choose 3 special occasions (wedding, birthday, BFF function) a year thereby giving your lid margins a "timeout" from the onslaught of the products.

No Makeup

No-makeup-days should be encouraged. Spending a lazy Sunday at home with family. Go makeup-free and pamper your eye with a 10-minute heated eye pad session. This helps with puffiness and also has the added benefit of stimulating the oil glands situated along your lid margin. Check out the OPTITHERM eye mask. Blood shot eyes and a discolored sclera (white part of the eye) do not look attractive. An eye brightening mix or a lubricating eye drop can do wonders and should be added to your daily beauty routine as they immediately tackle these concerns and are safe for long term use.

Tattoo Makeup is a NO

Permanent Eye Makeup should be avoided. Tattooing of the eyeliner blocks the meibomian glands which in turn impacts the quality of your tears.

Bye Mascara

Throw away your mascara every 2-3 months as bacteria can build up and cause infections. Good news: eye pencils have a longer shelf life and can be used for a year before needing to be discarded.

Therefore, there is no need to give up your makeup. Practice the tips above and you will be able to express yourself with your makeup and have a healthy Ocular Surface.

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