This Is What Can Happen if You Don’t Properly Remove Mascara

This Is What Can Happen if You Don’t Properly Remove Mascara
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It’s easy to fall asleep with makeup on. You’ll wake up looking like a mess in the morning, but you might not think much of it, otherwise. Once you hear Theresa Lynch’s story, however, you’ll probably never forget to wash off your eye makeup again.

Lynch, a 50-year-old housekeeper from Sydney, Australia, neglected to remove her eye makeup for 25 years. She, too, didn’t think much of it … until she noticed painful, black lumps under her eyelids. [1]

She explains:

“They were embedded so deep that particles were building up on top of each other. I was so uncomfortable. My eyelids were swollen and heavy because I left it for so long.”


Lynch visited a doctor after regular eyedrops failed to alleviate the problem. That’s when she learned she had calcifications deep within her eyelids, caused by mascara buildup. A 90-minute surgical procedure was needed to remove them.

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Source: New York Post

Unfortunately, some of the damage done by the years of mascara buildup left the woman with permanent damage.

Dr. Dana Robaei, Lynch’s surgeon, said:

“It was certainly disabling. She has suffered permanent scarring on her eyelid and the surface of her cornea. This was an amazing case, I’d never seen anything like it. But this is a risk not many people are aware of.”

She added:

“Every time Theresa was blinking, these bumps were rubbing on the surface of the eye and they pose a risk to her vision.” [2]

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Calcified lumps under Theresa Lynch’s eyelid. Caters News Agency. Click for larger version.

The lesions, composed of cell debris and calcium, eroded through her conjunctival surface. If she hadn’t gotten the calcifications removed, she could have gone blind.

Needless to say, Lynch always removes her makeup at the end of the day now. [1]

She said:

“I had fallen into a bad habit. I should never have let it get this far.”

How to Properly Remove Mascara

This is the best way to remove mascara, according to Optometrist Kambiz Silani, OD. [2]

  • 1. Soak a thin cotton pad or toning cloth with eye makeup remover (preferably oil-free) and gently press down on the eye for 20 seconds. This gives the makeup remover a chance to melt and dissolve the eye makeup.
  • 2. Swipe down to wipe off the makeup.
  • 3. Flip the pad or cloth and move upward to get underneath your lashes.

You might lose a few minutes of sleep, but your vision is worth the minimal sacrifice.


[1] New York Post

[2] Refinery29