How to put in contacts

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Reader Question:

Hi! I am fairly new to wearing contact lenses and I love wearing them. I have read that it’s always best to put your lenses in before applying makeup. But, sometimes I rush out the door to work wearing my glasses and want to switch to my contact lenses when I go out at night. Do I have to take off my makeup, put on my contact lenses, and then re-apply it? Or, is it okay to just pop my lenses in with my face already done? Thanks for your help.

Cassidy, Georgia

Dear Cassidy,

I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying your contact lenses, and that you are giving your eyes a break every now and then by wearing your eyeglasses. It sounds like you are adapting quite well.

The reason most opticians and optometric doctors recommend putting your contact lenses in before putting your makeup on is two-fold:

First: It has to do with the skin your hands. The same elements of the skin on your face that get that foundation or concealer to stick all day long can also cause makeup to stick to your finger tips. So, if you attempt to rinse the makeup off and then touch your contact lenses, there is a great chance that some of that cream or liquid will get on your lenses. This could hurt your eyes.

Second: It has to do with eye makeup. When you’re putting your contact lenses in, especially as a new user, your eyelids, eyelashes, and other parts of your eyes can come into brief contact with your lenses. When you have makeup on, you run the risk of transferring mascara, eye shadow, or eye liner to your lens and then your eye. Have you ever accidentally gotten a glob of makeup stuck in your eye? Imagine not being able to get it out because it’s on your contact lens, and to get it out you would have to clean and sterilize your lenses.

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So, the short answer to your question is: Yes, it’s okay to put your contacts in after you’ve applied your makeup. But be careful.

Chances are, if you are waiting hours after your initial make-up application to stick the lenses in, your hands may have been washed enough times to get all the oils and other cosmetic particles off. Make sure you wash them again, well. Then, simply be careful around your eyes. Gently lift your lids so you don’t get mascara on the lenses and blink carefully after inserting them.

I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying and taking care of your new eyewear. And remember, if you have any trouble with your lenses, America’s Best is here to help!

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