Make-up, false lashes, costume contact lenses, and props. These are only some of the products you might use to perfect your costume this Halloween. But not everything sold at your favorite costume shops is harmless — especially when it comes to protecting your sensitive eyes.
Below are some Halloween eye safety tips to follow to ensure your costume doesn’t haunt your eyes long after Halloween has passed.
By: Dr. Annie Nguyen
Makeup completes many Halloween costumes or may even be a quick last-minute solution. But eye makeup with large, flaky, and chunky glitter may fall loose into your eyes, which can cause irritation and abrasions. Certain ingredients, fragrances, dyes, and preservatives may irritate or cause allergic reactions as well. Consider patch testing a small area of the skin of your arm in advance to avoid puffy eyelids on Halloween.
Don’t keep used eyeliners and mascaras for more than 3 months due to bacteria growth and risk of infections. Be sure to take off all your makeup with a good makeup remover at the end of the night.
Eyelash Extensions and False Eyelashes
The drama that longer eyelashes add to a costume may seem like a fun idea, but worn incorrectly, eyelash extensions and false eyelashes can damage your natural lashes, eyelids, or even your eyes. Just like makeup, certain ingredients may irritate or cause allergic reactions. Eyelash extensions should be applied by a licensed professional aesthetician.
Costume Contact Lenses
Decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription, proper fitting and education from an eye doctor can cause serious damage to your eyes, including irritation, scratches, infections, corneal ulcers, corneal scarring, and even blindness. Avoid buying contact lenses from costume shops, thrift stores, beauty salons, or anywhere else that doesn’t require a prescription.
Always remove your contact lenses before sleeping. Use contact lens solution and never water to clean your lenses. Don’t let your vampire red contact lenses leave you with bloodshot eyes after the sun rises!
Those round spectacles may complete your Harry Potter costume, but just borrowing a pair from a nearsighted friend can cause eye strain, blurry vision, dizziness, and headaches if the prescription of the glasses does not match the needs of your eyes. Prop glasses without prescription lenses should be considered.
A costume may be incomplete without a mask. If you or your little ones need a mask to complete the costume, be sure to pick one out that does not obstruct vision, including peripheral vision, which can lead to injury from tripping and falling. Also, avoid masks with pointy edges, which can cause injury to the eyelids and eyes.
Sharp or Pointy Costume Props
En garde! Who is Zorro without his sword? However, sharp and pointy props can lead to eye injuries, especially in crowded areas, parties and dimly lit spaces. Consider using foam or other flexible soft props instead.
Other Eye Safety Tips:
- Bring a flashlight when trick-or-treating on a dark Halloween night to avoid tripping or running into branches and objects in poorly lit areas.
- Avoid sharing used make-up and contact lenses with your friends and loved ones to avoid possible infections. Eye make-up and contact lenses are like underwear — sharing is not caring.
- If your eyes become irritated and something may have gotten into them, flush your eyes copiously with water or eye wash.
- Avoid using eye drops with “redness relief” as they may mask the actual problem and worsen redness and irritation.
- If eye irritation does not feel better or if vision is affected, contact your doctor immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your eye doctor. Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween!