Is Glitter Unsafe For Your Eye Makeup Routine?

You might love wearing glitter on your lids, especially if you prefer to go bold with your eye makeup. Whether you're headed out for a night on the town or to a fancy party, there's never a bad time for a little shimmer — and makeup brands have caught onto the growing love for glitter. In addition to the numerous glitter eyeshadows on the market, there are now even glitter eye primers that you can purchase to keep your sparkles intact.

As anyone who has ever worn glitter eye makeup will tell you, however, there are many unfortunate downsides to going bold. For one, it can be incredibly difficult to remove all of that glitter at the end of the evening. Even the most efficient eye makeup remover can't guarantee that you won't a little bit of sparkle around the house, days after you've partied. Additionally, some have been unlucky enough to get that glitter directly in their eyes, which can be extremely painful.

As Blue Sun International explains, regular glitter is typically composed of plastic, colorants, and metal — some of which are even toxic. All About Vision notes that glitter-based makeup can cause blurred vision, eye infections, or corneal abrasion if it makes its way directly into the eye. In the event that you're wearing contact lenses, the situation can become direr. That being said, is glittery eye makeup unsafe to wear?

Is glitter eye makeup really unsafe to wear?

According to Blue Sun International, makeup brands have caught wind of the potential dangers of wearing glitter on the eyes. Now, some companies have begun to develop "safe" glitter eye makeup that meets certain cosmetic regulations. Of course, supposed biodegradable (non-plastic) glitter exists, but there is limited research on this alternative. While these might be options for you if you now have a growing fear of glitter makeup, it's worth learning the facts about the real risks.

As the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) explains, glitter eye makeup is a common cause of corneal infection and irritation, particularly among those who wear contact lenses. For this reason, it should be avoided when possible. A piece of glitter in the eye can be similar to getting a grain of sand in the eye — not only is it irritating, but it can scratch the eye.

Generally speaking, you should only use eye makeup that is designed to be worn around this area of your face. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that glittery makeup labeled for use on your lids is entirely safe — it's ultimately your decision as to whether you want to take the risk. If you develop any type of reaction as a result of irritation from eye cosmetics, don't hesitate to contact your doctor or an ophthalmologist. A medical professional can provide you with any necessary treatment.

How to safely apply, wear, and remove eye makeup

Whether it's glitter or metallic eyeshadow, any type of eye cosmetic that you use should be worn with caution. However, you don't need to be afraid of your makeup collection. There are a few tips you can take into account to wear what you want safely. The Optometrists Network recommends sticking to products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates cosmetics under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which states that these products cannot be misbranded. As a consumer, this can give you peace of mind, knowing your makeup has been verified as safe for use.

Before applying any eye makeup, you should also make it a point to wash your hands and face. Sanitize your brushes after you use them, and sharpen your eyeliner (if possible) before each use. Taking these precautions can prevent the development of an eye infection. Replacing your eye makeup often and avoiding sharing it can also help you stay safe.

Finally, always remove your eye makeup after you're finished flaunting your look. The AAO recommends Vaseline for makeup removal, as it can be both lubricating and soothing. Baby shampoo can also help you wash away makeup from your eyelids. Cotton swabs can be used on the base of your lashes to remove any stubborn makeup.