Ever since ancient times, the eyes have been considered the windows to the soul. As such, they were enhanced and made look bigger by using beauty tricks, aka today’s makeup.
The most striking one, which shaped the eye into its characteristic elongated form, was Egyptian makeup. Eye-cosmetics in ancient Egypt were mostly created with two materials: udju, made from green malachite, and kohl, a lead mineral. Even today, we use the word kohl (kajal) to describe the black pencil that outlines, saturated or blurred, the eye contour. What is less known is that the materials used to produce eye cosmetics were primarily intended to cure and protect this most sensitive organ of our body. As make-up artist Rocco Ingria tells us, “(the Egyptians) would apply kohl to protect the eyes from the sun, to keep insects away and, thanks to the disinfecting properties of galena, to prevent or cure eye diseases.”
That’s why I’m sharing this topic with you. As an eye surgeon, I care about protecting your eyes and I wouldn’t want you to cause damage to them by choosing the wrong cosmetics or applying them incorrectly. Here is then a few hopefully useful tips!
1. Always choose quality makeup brands, possibly hypoallergenic.
2. If you have sensitive eyes, choose cosmetics specially designed for sensitive eyes. There are many quality brands out there on the market. The same is true for the eye contour!
3. Remove your makeup every night before going to bed and make sure you leave no trace of eyeliner or mascara behind. (This is also a beauty secret).
4. Apply your mascara carefully making sure it doesn’t come into contact with your eye. Do the same with the eyeliner. In case of accidental contact (and we know that may happen), dab your eye with lukewarm water and, if possible, wait a few hours before putting on makeup again.
5. Exchanging products with your friends is unhygienic, regardless of Covid. This is true both for the sponges or brushes and for the cosmetics themselves, which we often apply with our fingers.
6. Fake eyelashes are certainly attractive but they can cause damage to your eyes, especially if you wear the long ones. I’m not asking you to give up makeup totally, but just to choose the brand, model and application times with care.
7. This also holds true for the eyelash curler: choose it wisely, do not overuse it and keep it thoroughly clean.
I’m sure any professional makeup artist would tell you the same, so don’t take my advice as a no-go. Wearing makeup is great, it can be extremely healthy, just go on about it with care!