Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh recently suffered an eye infection thanks to his fascination for eye make-up. If you're one of those who is fond of enhancing your eyes with dramatic make-up but bothered by the constant itching and redness that it leaves, take care to apply it properly and keep a check on the product's validity, suggest experts.
Vishal Gulati, who runs a clinic in south Delhi, says improper and forceful application of kajal, mascara, eye liner and eye shadow can develop an allergic reaction or even cause an injury to the eye.
"A lot of patients suffering from redness and irritation in the eye visit us on daily basis. Eye make-up is one of the many reasons. Girls have a tendency of applying the kajal on the inner rim of the eye, which is not recommended," Gulati told IANS.
"The chemicals used in kajal come in contact with the eye, which cause infection and reactions. Stye, redness, conjunctivitis, blur vision, tearing of the eyes are the problems that people usually face. In extreme cases, it could even lead to blindness," he added.
Komal Gulati, a make-up artist by profession, listed the do's and don'ts, specially for eye make-up, and said: "The first and foremost thing that anybody should check before using the product is its validity. Most people take it for granted and do not check it. The eye products that get contaminated the most are eye shadows and mascaras."
Mascaras are the most dangerous.
"Mascara is most likely to be contaminated because it's wet; so chances of it getting infested with bacteria or fungus increase. You put the wand on your eyelashes, then back into the tube where bacteria can grow, then back into the eye...so it's not safe."
"Also, one should not apply eyeliner and kajal inside the lash line, because poking can damage the cornea. It is also very important to remove the eye make-up before sleeping," she added.
In fact, one of the key reasons why Ghosh, maker of films like "Chokher Bali" and "Antarmahal", developed an eye infection was due to "accumulated eye make-up at both corners (inside)" of his eyes, he had shared on Twitter.
"Anybody more or less obsessed than me with eye make-up, please take care to cleanse eye corners properly," he had suggested to his fans.
Shalini Singh, colour and make-up expert with cosmetic brand Colorbar recommends that eyeliner pencils should be kept sharpened, so that the rough wood casing doesn't scratch the eye or eyelid.
"Cosmetics should be replaced after every six months (more often if you wear contact lenses) to avoid excess contamination with skin bacteria. After any eye infection, such as conjunctivitis, one should go and buy fresh eye make-up," said Singh.
"Sharing your eye cosmetic products are a big no no. Each person has different skin bacteria. If you contaminate your cosmetics with another person's bacteria, you are likely to get an infection," she added.
The experts also suggest to make-up enthusiasts to safeguard themselves against trying cosmetics at stores.
"The common mistake that we women make is when we visit a cosmetics counter, we use the cosmetics demonstrators! Fresh applicators should be used every time and not the sample products," said Singh.
(Manpreet Kaur can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)