Eye Health Halloween Makeup and Eye Care By Eye Center, October 29, 2014 Costumes, masks, and makeup are all a part of the fun of creating a great Halloween costume. Using fright makeup to create a creepy or beautiful character can sometimes be more convincing than a mask. Yet, certain types of eye makeup, face paint, and even character contact lenses can irritate your eyes or cause problems for the wearer. Halloween is right around the corner, and while you’re planning for this year’s costume, Scott Drexler, OD, of the UPMC Eye Center has some suggestions for how to choose safe Halloween makeup and accessories to maintain your eye health. Nonprescription Contact Lenses Nonprescription contact lenses are a popular Halloween purchase used to enhance a person’s costume. Cosmetic contact lenses can be fun and used safely. However, if they are not properly fitted or handled appropriately they can cause serious damage to your eyes. Decorative contacts can be purchased at Halloween stores, drug stores, or on the Internet. In the United States, however, it is illegal to sell contact lenses without a prescription. As a result, these lenses are typically sold by unlicensed manufacturers, and they are sometimes not compliant with FDA regulations. Usually, that means the material they’re made from is not suitable for the eyes. In addition, people who are not used to wearing contact lenses have the potential to cause damage to their eyes because they’re unaware of the proper hygiene required, and they don’t know how to correctly put in or take out the contacts. If you or your child would like to wear any type of lenses, we recommend setting up an appointment with your eye doctor to order properly fitted lenses and to learn how to maintain hygiene. Any time you are wearing lenses and you experience blurred vision, redness, or discomfort, remove the lenses and contact your eye doctor. Halloween Face Makeup Makeup is another popular element of a great Halloween costume. Many people choose makeup because it is much less restrictive for your face and vision than a mask. When selecting makeup products for your face or around the eyes, make sure your selections are hypoallergenic and intended for your face. Stay away from any product that can also be used on your hair or nails, because this may cause eye irritation. When applying makeup, make sure to leave room around the eyes. It’s best to stay above the eyebrow. Any makeup that covers your eyelid should be made specifically for this area. At the end of the night, it’s important to completely remove makeup and wash your face thoroughly with face wash. If makeup gets into your eyes, rinse it out with cool water. If any redness or irritation appears on or around the eyes, contact your doctor. Halloween Eye Makeup Any makeup used should be hypoallergenic and kept away from the eyes. Products generally used as eye liners or shadows are usually appropriate. It’s a good idea to carry a wet towel or baby wipe in case the makeup begins to run while you are trick-or-treating. Rain and perspiration can cause makeup to run, so a quick cleanup around the eye area may be necessary before the night is over. Toy Accessories Many popular costumes come with toy accessories such as swords, guns, and wands. While these make for great costume pieces, it’s important to exercise care with these items, because they could potentially result in someone getting poked in the eye. Be cautious with any sharp accessories and do not use props that might limit your field of vision and block you from seeing obstacles like cars and other people. Any time an injury or aggravation to the eye occurs, contact your eye doctor immediately. To learn more about good eye health, visit the UPMC Eye Center online or call 1-800-446-3797 to schedule an appointment.