Yesterday I told you that a component of your tears might be contaminated by your makeup products and makeup removal technique. If you suffer from irritated eyes for any reason, you need to know how to avoid aggravating the condition with poor makeup application or hygiene.
The easily contaminated fluid I'm referring to is an oil called meibum. It is the outermost of three layers which form tears. Meibum flows from healthy unblocked meibomian (or tarsal) glands which rim the inside of the eyelid. There are approximately 50 meibomian glands along the upper lid and 25 along the lower.
A healthy layer of meibum oil:
1. Prevents evaporation of the aqueous layer of tears;
2. Regulates the level of tears retained in the eye like a float valve in your toilet (sorry for the icky analogy); and
3. Seals the eye tightly when closed like the gasket on your toilet's float valve assembly (hey, the analogy works).
I had often wondered how my eyes could still feel dry when rivulets of allergy-caused tears were streaming down my cheeks. Obviously my tear production plant works fine. So I was personally very motivated to learn why my meibomian float valve and gaskets might not be working properly.
According to the optometrists at DC Area Eyecare,
"Make up removers, baby oil or Vaseline all remove makeup from the skin around the eye but they will often leave behind a 'sludge' that consists of a combination of makeup remover and makeup on the eyelid rim ...Did you just have an "aha" moment? Starting today, be sure to cleanse your face AFTER you cleanse your face ...
We hope that the only fluid on the lower lid margin is the clear fluid produced by healthy meibomian glands.
But, if there is makeup or make up removal residue on this lower rim, then the 'windshield wiper effect' is spreading particles and oily matter across the tear film.
Worse yet, the makeup and makeup removal products can block the meibomian gland 'good fluid'. This can contribute to dry, itchy and uncomfortable eyes."
And tomorrow, come back for the conclusion of Are You Harming Your Eyes with Eye Makeup?