Eye line fever

You might have heard of “white line fever”, an affliction that strikes sports people who are otherwise calm, reasoned souls but who once they cross the white line onto the sporting arena become deranged psychopaths. Maybe it is something about “lines” that we need to learn here because according to a new study eye “liner” application presents some problems too.

In the new study researchers used video recordings to observe how and where participants applied their eyeliner. The aim was to determine how different application styles influenced how much eyeliner would migrate into the protective fluid coating of the eye (the tear film) and how this would influence eye health.

The results showed that when the eyeliner was put on the inner lid margin, inside the eyelash line, there was a significant increase in migration of eyeliner particles into the tear film. Indeed, within five minutes of application between 15 and 30 per cent more particles moved into the tear film when the eyeliner was applied inside the eyelash line compared to when it was applied outside the lash line. After two hours there was a negligible amount of eyeliner left but in the interim some damage could be done.

Eyeliners commonly include waxes, oils, silicones, and natural gums to help them stick to the eyes. Unfortunately, these substances can also adhere to contact lenses and potentially introduce bacteria (previous studies have shown that eye makeup can contain bacteria). People with contact lenses are more likely to notice problems but the researchers say that applying eyeliner behind the lash line increases your chance of irritation, redness, eye infections, and blurred vision.

In addition to applying your eyeliner outside the lash line the tips from these researchers are to sharpen your eyeliner pencil before each use to have a fresh tip and to fully remove eye make-up before bed.

It seems that it is true; you do need to know where to draw the line.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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