Can I wear make-up before and after laser eye surgery?

Did you know that 74% of the UK population either wear corrective eyewear or have had laser eye surgery to gain better vision? Chances are, you’re one of the majority that wears glasses or contacts.

If you’re interested in laser eye surgery, then you probably have some questions. For example, you might be wondering if it’s safe to wear makeup before and after LASIK, SMILE, or PRK surgery.

Makeup before laser eye surgery

We highly suggest that even for your initial consultation, you don’t wear makeup. At the very most, you should only have light makeup that avoids the area around your eyes. This is because the doctor will perform a variety of tests on your eyes. Any residue (such as flakes of powder) that comes off from your makeup can affect your test results.

At this point, you might’ve already guessed that you shouldn’t wear makeup for your surgery either. In fact, you shouldn’t wear makeup for at least 24 hours before your laser eye surgery. This includes eyelash extensions. You should remove any eyelash extensions beforehand.

Suppose you feel very insecure without mascara on. In that case, a great alternative is to have your eyelashes tinted a week before your scheduled surgery. That way, you can still have some aesthetic enhancements without it interfering with your surgery.

If you wear perfume, aftershave, lotion, or moisturiser, avoid wearing this on the day of your consultation. You should also stop use 24 hours before your laser eye surgery.

Makeup after laser eye surgery

You might want to wear makeup after you’ve gotten out of surgery. But you should avoid wearing makeup for as long as possible while your eyes heal.

In general, you’ll want to avoid wearing makeup that can flake for a week.

You need to avoid wearing mascara for two weeks, even if you opt for the waterproof type. This is because while removing it, it can irritate your eyes. You should also avoid using eye creams and moisturisers for two weeks.

If you had to remove your false eyelashes for the surgery, don’t put them back on straight after. Make sure you wait for at least two months before doing so.

For those of you who are worried about your beauty regimen, there are some products you can use a few days after surgery. You can start using lotion, light foundation, and even some eyeshadows and eyeliners if they’re not flaky. Just make sure that you don’t apply any of the above to the area around your eyes.

To prevent infection, make sure you use completely new makeup tools and products after surgery. Used tools can harbour a variety of harmful bacteria.

Look after your eyes for laser eye surgery

We hope that this article has answered your questions about makeup before and after laser eye surgery. Avoiding makeup and other beauty products, before, during and after your procedure will help you get the best result.

Are you interested in getting laser eye surgery? Then book a free consultation with us now. We also have a free information pack you can download for more information.

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About the author

Mr Alex J. Shortt | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB BCh MSc PhD FRCOphth PGDipCatRef

I’m Alex Shortt, a highly trained academic researcher and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based in London’s famous Harley Street medical district. I trained and worked as a consultant for 14 years at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. I specialise in advanced technologies for correcting vision, including cataract surgery, implantable contact lenses and laser vision correction.