Eye Makeup Tips For Sensitive Eyes

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Having sensitive eyes doesn’t mean you will have to say goodbye to eye makeup forever. Instead, you can make them your canvas and indulge in creative and elegant eye art with a few eye makeup tips for sensitive eyes. By adopting the right tips and tricks, you can keep watery and itchy eyes at bay while rocking that dramatic smokey eye look. Are you excited to know more about these tips and tricks? Read on to find out!

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You can also use micellar water to remove your eye makeup as it can be safe on the sensitive skin around your eyes (1).

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  • Eyeliner: Pick a felt tip eyeliner with high pigmentation to be gentle on your eyes and get the desired depth with the slightest application.
  • Ingredients: Look for calming ingredients like green tea extract and aloe vera that can protect and calm the eyes; glycerin also helps to retain moisture.
  • Time It Right: Eyes are most sensitive and puffy in the morning, hence keep it simple with a primer, mascara, and eyeliner and reserve elaborate looks for the evening.
  • Cool It: Use a cold metal spoon under the eyes and over the eyelids to prevent inflammation and soothe the eyes before applying makeup.

Why Do My Eyes Get Irritated When I Wear Makeup?

Red eyes due to makeup irritation
Image: Shutterstock

People with sensitive eyes know that their eyes get irritated if any makeup or cosmetics touch the area around their eyes. However, there are also many people who develop sensitivity to eye makeup over time. This kind of reaction to eye makeup can be blamed on contact dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition in which a substance triggers your immune system, resulting in your skin becoming itchy and irritated.

Contact dermatitis caused due to eye makeup can be of two types – allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis:

  1. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: You may be allergic to one or more ingredients used in the makeup products. This triggers your immune system and results in your eyes becoming itchy and red. Other symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis are hives and swelling.
  2. Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This condition develops over time with constant and excessive exposure to makeup products. This is why you might find your skin reacting to certain makeup products that you had been using without any issues in the past. The common symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis are itching, burning, and stinging of the eyes. When it is severe, you might get blisters due to irritant dermatitis.
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The activation of allergen-specific T cells triggers allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) (1).

There are certain ingredients in eye makeup products that can cause allergies and are not good for your eye health. Let’s check out these ingredients below.

What Ingredients In Eye Makeup Products Cause Allergic Reactions?

  • Talc: If you look closely at the ingredient list of any eyeshadow, you will see the main ingredient is talcum powder. Overuse of talc around your eyes may cause irritation.
  • Preservatives: Almost all eye makeup products contain some kind of preservatives, like bronopol or dimethicone, which may cause skin and eye irritation.
  • Colorants: The dyes used in eyeshadows may also cause allergic reactions.
  • Fragrances: Most of the time, the fragrances that are used in makeup products are the primary reason behind an allergic reaction.

So, what can you do when you love makeup but have sensitive eyes? Well, there are some makeup tips that you can follow. Check them out in the next section!

Eye Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes

1. Opt For Hypoallergenic Makeup

The first rule of buying makeup when you have sensitive eyes is to go for products that are hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic products contain no ingredients that may cause any allergic reaction in and around your eyes. Additionally, you can go for unscented makeup products to reduce the chances of causing any other irritation to your eyes. Also, organic products with fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients are much less likely to cause irritation.

2. Cream Eyeshadow Over Powder Eyeshadow

Cream eyeshadows for sensitive eyes
Image: Shutterstock

Choosing a cream eyeshadow over powder eyeshadow can be a good choice to avoid any allergic reaction. Basically, powder eyeshadow contains talc, which is a known irritant. Powder eyeshadow can also spread and fall out around your eyes and cause an allergic reaction.

Related: How To Apply Eyeshadow Like A Pro: Tutorial With Pictures

3. Change The Way You Apply Eye Makeup

Apart from the makeup products, the way you apply makeup can also cause eye irritation. Using hard strokes to apply makeup on your eyelids can cause irritation. Hence, being gentle while applying eyeshadow should be your main goal. The best way to apply makeup on sensitive eyes is by using a patting motion and blending it out without applying too much pressure.

Smitha Deepak, a YouTuber, provides makeup tips for individuals with sensitive eyes. She advises, “With sensitive eyes, it’s better not to line your waterline with any kind of eyeliner to avoid irritation.” She also instructs that, “The best way to apply makeup on sensitive eyes is by using gentle patting motion and blending it out without applying too much pressure and rather than taking too much eye shadow at a time which makes blending a nightmare (i).”

Related: 26 Best Eye Makeup Tutorials

4. Opt For High-Quality Brushes

High-quality brushes for sensitive eyes
Image: Shutterstock

Another thing that you should keep in your mind is that using unclean brushes or brushes with rough bristles can also cause eye irritation. Instead, use brushes that have soft bristles and wash your brushes regularly to minimize any eye irritation.

5. Avoid Your Waterline

Wearing eyeliner on your waterline gives you a defined look while enhancing the beauty of your eyes. However, if you have sensitive eyes, it is better not to line your waterline with any kind of eyeliner to avoid irritation. If you still want a defined look, you may apply the liner under your waterline.

6. Keep It Simple

Woman with simple eye makeup for sensitive eyes
Image: Shutterstock

It’s best to avoid using too many eye makeup products if you have sensitive eyes. For example, if you are planning to wear eyeliner, you can go eyeshadow-free for that look. Using tons of eye makeup products at once may irritate your eyes and cause an allergic reaction.

7. Remove Your Makeup Thoroughly

Woman removing her eye makeup to protect her sensitive eyes
Image: Shutterstock

Removing eye makeup properly at the end of the day is one of the most important things you need to do to keep your sensitive eyes safe. Avoid going to sleep with makeup on. Use a good makeup remover or cleansing balm to gently remove all your eye makeup.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also use micellar water to remove your eye makeup as it can be safe on the sensitive skin around your eyes (2).

Related: 5 Best DIY Makeup Removers

Infographic: 5 Makeup Tips For Sensitive Eyes

Applying makeup can be a challenging task for those with sensitive eyes. The delicate nature of the eye area requires special care to avoid irritation or discomfort. In the infographic below, we have highlighted 5 makeup tips specifically tailored to address the needs of sensitive eyes. Check it out.

5 makeup tips for sensitive eyes (infographic)


Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic

Download Infographic in PDF version

It can be intimidating to do anything with your eyes when they are sensitive and tear up easily. Makeup application around them seems like too much of a stretch. But we would like to assure you that you do not have to give up on eye makeup owing to this fear. Using appropriate makeup tricks and the right products, you can use eye makeup without triggering the sensitivity of your eyes. Follow these steps from our eye makeup tips for sensitive eyes and follow some caution. You can have glammed-up eyes to suit various occasions and fresh looks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best eye makeup for very sensitive eyes?

If you have sensitive skin, opt for minimal makeup looks. If you want a heavy makeup look, use products from the same brand instead of multiple brands. Different brands may contain various ingredients that don’t go well together.

Can eyeshadow cause an allergic reaction?

Yes, eyeshadows may contain synthetic colors and harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin.

Why do my eyes burn when I use eyeliner?

The eyeliner may contain ingredients that don’t suit your skin.

Why are my eyes suddenly allergic to mascara?

You may be using a new brand of mascara, or the formulation of your regular mascara may have changed. The mascara may contain ingredients that are irritating the delicate skin around your eyes.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose hypoallergenic products. They do not contain ingredients that cause allergic reactions in and around your eyes.
  • Avoid lining your waterline with eyeliners to avoid irritation.
  • Remove your eye makeup properly at the end of the day and practice proper eye care.

Discover the struggles and triumphs of living with sensitive eyes from this informative video. Explore the world of eye makeup for those who are allergic to almost everything.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Allergic Contact Dermatitis
  2. Efficacy and safety results of micellar water
    cream and serum for rosacea in comparison to a control group

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