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Can I Wear Makeup When I Have LASIK?

When considering LASIK to correct your vision, there are many questions that we get asked regularly regarding what to expect and what are the suggested dos and don’ts. Not surprisingly, many questions arise about cosmetics. Specifically, what’s the best advice related to wearing face and eye makeup after having LASIK? 

When you have LASIK, your doctor’s primary areas of concern are inflammation and infection during your healing and recovery period (usually 1-2 weeks). During this time, you will be prescribed prescription eye drops. The vast majority of the time, those drops, if taken correctly, will successfully manage these two areas of healing and recovery. 

General Tips

Makeup, especially old makeup, can harbor bacteria, which can increase risk for infection after a LASIK procedure. So, to minimize that risk, waiting some time before wearing makeup again and/or throwing out old makeup and starting with new makeup after your LASIK procedure, is usually the safest path. That said, if healing and recovery goes well, most patients can return to wearing makeup 48 to 72 hours after the LASIK procedure. 

Day of Surgery

On the day of LASIK surgery, no makeup should be worn. Not only does this include mascara and face makeup, but it also includes any kind of lotion, serum, or perfume. The vapor from these products can interfere with the laser energy and potentially affect the outcome. Keep your face clean and free of any products the day of LASIK surgery. And don’t worry, you’re beautiful without makeup!

Mascara, Face Makeup & Cosmetics

If you do not wear eyelash extensions and typically just wear mascara, we recommend purchasing new mascara and waiting at least 48 to 72 hours after LASIK to apply it again. During that 48 to 72 -hour window, patients should avoid any kind of makeup that can flake off into the eyes. This might include eye shadows, eyebrow pencils, and eyeliners. 

For those who wear waterproof mascara, we recommend that you wait at least two weeks after LASIK to begin wearing waterproof mascara again. As you know, waterproof mascara is a little bit tougher to remove. After your LASIK, you want to be extra careful around your eyes and refrain from any kind of hard rubbing for at least two weeks. 

Any kind of cosmetic eye procedure such as Botox, fillers, facials, and eyebrow waxing should be avoided for at least 4 to 6 weeks after LASIK.

Eyelash Extensions

“Can I have LASIK if I have eyelash extensions?” We get asked this question all the time. Maybe you have been getting eyelash extensions for years, and the thought of having them removed to get LASIK terrifies you. We get it, beauty is important! Luckily, if you have eyelash extensions, we encourage you to keep them on throughout the LASIK process.

The chemical used to remove the eyelash extensions can irritate the eyes, and we don’t want the eyes to become irritated before LASIK. Keep those eyelashes on for your surgery, but keep in mind that your eyelashes will be taped down during the surgery, and some lashes may fall out. 

If you do not have eyelash extensions before LASIK and are considering getting them, we recommend waiting at least 4 to 6 weeks before having them applied. 

Removing Makeup

Once you can begin wearing makeup again, be extra cautious when removing it. A side-to-side motion over a closed upper eyelid puts a patient’s recovery at risk when removing makeup. Instead, use a light downward motion to remove makeup. Do not rub or use aggressive force when removing makeup around the eyes for the first month after the LASIK procedure. Be careful with soaps and makeup remover as well. The more cautious you are around the eyes the better.

Remember, going a few days without your regular makeup regiment is totally worth the life-changing event of LASIK!

If you have other questions about wearing makeup and the LASIK procedure, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced LASIK counselors for a complimentary consultation at 303-202-0669.

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