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For many of my patients, wearing make-up is part of their day-to-day routine. I am often asked is:

“When can I wear make-up again after cataract surgery/ or RLE?”

You should wait at least four days before using powder based make-up products such as blushers, and two weeks before wearing any eye makeup such as mascara – this is because small particles or liquids from the makeup could come into contact with your eye and increase the risk of you developing an infection or eye irritation. Additionally, I recommend that patients do not have any form of eyebrow or eyelash treatments for at least 4 weeks after surgery. This is to avoid putting any pressure on the eyes as almost all modern eye surgery is done without stitches.

Moreover, I strongly encourage my patients to throw away all used eye cosmetics and tools following surgery and to start again with new products wherever possible. This is to reduce the risk of any eye infection. While your eye is healing from surgery, it is important to be cautious, ensuring that you get the optimal results from your surgery. Irrespective of having eye surgery, as a rule of thumb, you should discard your eye make-up within two to three months of opening to avoid spreading bacteria to your eyes.

By protecting your eyes, you will reduce the risk of any complications post-surgery while also controlling eye conditions such as blepharitis. Your eye hygiene post-surgery should not be overlooked: your eyes deliver 80 percent of the information you need to perceive the world. 

Best products to use after cataract or RLE surgery:

  • Eye-make up remover

When you are ready to start using cosmetics again, I advise patients to be as gentle as possible when removing make-up. You can use cotton pads with a make-up remover over the closed eye to gently and effectively remove eye-make up.

  • Magnifying mirror

Some patients still require reading glasses after surgery for the clearest near vision- even after a premium lens (multi-focal lens and extended depth of focus lens), and applying most make up with reading glasses is obviously not really possible. With pretty much any magnifying mirror you will be able to see closely enough to apply make up.

  • Lubricating eye drops

Lubricating eye drops will help make the eyes more comfortable, relieving any dry eye symptoms. These drops typically contain sodium hyaluranate which is the sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid (HA) which is a substance that naturally occurs in your body, including your skin and joint fluid. Lubricating eye drops can be bought over-the-counter or online (so no prescription is needed), and can safely be used as often as needed to keep your eyes comfortable.