The Self-Inflicted Dry Eye

The Self-Inflicted Dry Eye

As any Dry Eye specialist will tell you, there are many different variations of dry eye disease.  The specific one we are going to discuss in this blog post is the one I term, “The Self-Inflicted Dry Eye”.

NoI don’t mean that folks are blow-drying their eyes as some new weird type of social media challenge, what I am talking about is Makeup, specifically, eye makeup, like, eye-liner and mascara.

Heavy Eyeliner is pretty popular these days across many age ranges. One thing that women, who are using eyeliner, don’t realize is that, when applied to the rim of the eyelid (see pic above) it blocks the openings of our oil-glands. Our oil glands are located inside our upper and lower eyelids and produce oil throughout one’s life.

What many of us don’t realize is that these oil glands are under constant attack by bacteria that commonly live on our skin throughout our lives. Bacteria species like Staph break up the oil released by our glands daily and release toxins that aid in creating a fine, clear, film that coats our oil glands and plugs up their openings. Adding eyeliner to the rim of our eyelids is bad because the ingredients in many makeup products have very harsh preservatives that can harm or destroy oil glands over time. More acutely, smearing eyeliner all over the openings of our oil glands, artificially plugs these delicate oil pumps.


So now what… Here We will list off a few options.


  • Avoid applying makeup to the eyelid rim.
  • Avoid ‘water-proof’ makeup completely.
  • After applying makeup, run a wet Q-Tip along the eyelid margin to remove the excess eyeliner.