Whether you’re stumbling through the door after a night on the Negronis or you’re Just. Too. Tired after a Netflix binge, taking your make-up off before bed can often slip down the must-do list.
Of course we know that going to bed in a full-face is not going to be great for your skin health (or your sheets!) but if you need further proof that you really shouldn’t go to bed in your mascara, you’ll do well to listen to the warning issued by Theresa Lynch.
Documented in a recent article, published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the 50-year-old housekeeper, from Sydney, revealed she was almost left blind after failing to remove her mascara properly for a period of 25 years.
After seeking medical advice for eye irritation, discharge and an uncomfortable sensation beneath her eyelids, the mum-of-two was horrified when doctors discovered she had hard calcified bumps, known as concretions, under her eyelids caused by years of mascara build-up.
These were consistent with years of mascara use, with fragments of unwashed mascara depositing under her eyelids over the years. Gross!
The lumps posed a serious risk to her vision and it took general anaesthetic and a 90-minute procedure to remove them.
Now, Theresa and her ophthalmic surgeon, Dana Robaei, want to raise awareness about the dangers of sleeping in your make-up by releasing the gruesome images of her infected eyes.
“The lumps] were embedded so deep that particles were building up on top of each other,” Theresa explained.
“I was so uncomfortable. My eyelids were swollen and heavy because I left it for so long.”
Like many women, Theresa had fallen into a bad habit of wearing makeup and not washing it off properly before bed.
“I should never have let it get this far,” she explained.
“It’s so important to properly take your make-up off every single night. You can’t miss a single day.”
Dr Robaei, who is Consultant Ophthalmologist at Forest Eye Surgery, said the case should serve as a warning to other women about the importance of removing your make-ups every evening before bed.
“Every time Theresa was blinking, these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision,” Dr. Robaei told the Daily Mail.
“If the scratch on the surface of the eye got infected, there is a risk this could be potentially blinding but that would be rare.”
And even though the surgery was successful, Theresa’s eyes could continue to cause her discomfort.
“She has suffered permanent scarring on her eyelid and the surface of her cornea,” Dr Robaei continued. “The symptoms are like somebody throwing a handful of sand in your eye — it’s constantly irritating.”
Dr Nabili, a leading Ophthalmologist at City of Glasgow, BMI Ross Hall Hospital who sub-specialises in Oculoplastics (eyelid surgery) tells Yahoo Style UK that mascara and eyeliner can cause irritations and infections to patients.
“In some patients makeup on the eyelid can cause problems such as irritation and infection of the surface of the eye and also damage to eyelashes,” he explains. “Some patients can also develop problems with the tear duct and watery eye.”
Dr Nabili says that removing make-up properly is vital to help maintain good eye health.
“The best way to prevent such problems is to clean off the make up from the eyelids before going to bed,” he says.
“I would also advise against eyelash extensions as these can damage the eyelids and eyelashes,” he adds.
Before going to bed isn’t the only time you should be taking off your make-up, you should also be removing all traces before you hit the treadmill.
“Exercise promotes circulation,” Dr Preethi Daniel, Medical Director of London Doctors Clinic told Yahoo Style UK.
“It opens the blood vessels near the surface of your skin and causes you to sweat. This not only helps you cool down but it also helps push impurities out of your skin. Now imagine some foundation, setting powder, blush and some contour is covering all of these sweat glands?”
“Sweat and natural skin oils can clog these pores and cause overgrowth of bugs such as Propionibacterium acne, which can cause spots,” she continues.
And turns out make-up isn’t the only thing we shouldn’t be wearing in the sack, we should also be ditching our underwear too.
According to Gynaecologist Dr Alyssa Dweck, who wrote V for Vagina, sleeping in our smalls can cause bacteria to collect, particularly if you’re a bit of a night time sweaty Betty.
Speaking to Shape, Dr Dweck explained “If [the area] is constantly covered, especially by a fabric that’s not moisture-wicking or absorbent, moisture collects. That’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria or yeast.”
Which means keeping it covered down-there at all times, makes you more prone to yeast infections like thrush and other unpleasantries. Nice!
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