If you don’t invest in a high-quality waterproof mascara, even shedding the tiniest tear can result in a not-so-cute, smudged-up panda bear look. (No offense, pandas.) The only problem with the products that do stay on through it all, though, is that it can be tricky to wash them off at night.
But if you don’t give your lashes a break while you’re sleeping, you could wake up with a serious problem. As in, calcified-masses-scratching-your-eyeballs serious.
According to The Sun, after an Australian woman’s eyelids started to become heavy and irritated, she saw a doctor and found out she had calcified black bumps under her eyelids—called concretions—that needed to be removed during a 90-minute procedure. And, you guessed it: they were due to 25 years of leaving her mascara on overnight.
Luckily, the concretions were removed before they caused permanent damage, but the ophthalmic surgeon who treated her said every time she blinked, the bumps were rubbing on the surface of her eyes, putting her vision at risk. Even worse, if a scratch got infected, there’s the rare risk of blinding.
“Eyelids are so so sensitive. The thin skin and thin barrier make it a very susceptible area to irritation, and both mascara and the wand can be prime culprits of inflammation.” —Mona Gohara, MD
How common is this, really? “Eyelids are so so sensitive. The thin skin and thin barrier make it a very susceptible area to irritation, and both mascara and the wand can be prime culprits of inflammation,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a Danbury, CT-based dermatologist. “I’ve even gotten styes from mascara!”
Aside from making you more susceptible to mascara calcification, Dr. Gohara says leaving your mascara on at night can also lead to infections—plus, it can make your dark circles darker. Something no one wants. So, when you’re so tired you could fall into bed, what’s the easiest way to take the mascara off? Try dousing a cotton pad with micellar water, such as the C. Lavie Lotion Micellaire ($40). This works because the formula is made up of micelles, which have an oil-loving end that acts like a magnet for your makeup and water loving end that helps wipe it away. You’ll wake up looking bright-eyed—and your lashes will be totally ready for a fresh coat.
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