Can Makeup Cause Styes and Eye Infections? Here’s What You Need to Know


A few days ago, I woke up with a painful pink eye. It turned out that using an old eye pencil had caused a stye, as the makeup was contaminated with bacteria that had infected my lower eyelid. This is a common problem among women who frequently use eye makeup or even eyelash extensions. Therefore, I decided to create a blog post and video about this issue to help others.

Disclaimer: While I am not an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor specialized in eye diseases, I am a medical doctor who did some research on this topic to help solve my own problem and now to assist others.

This is the stye I woke up with… I am sure the eyelashes don’t help either, but what can I say? I love them!

What Is a Stye?

For your information: this is a picture I found on the internet and this is not my eye but I thought this one was more clear than my own to show what a stye looks like.

A stye is a small, painful bump that appears on the eyelid, usually caused by a bacterial infection. The bump can be filled with pus and may cause redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.

The Risks of Using Makeup

Makeup is a great way to enhance our appearance and express ourselves, but it’s important to keep in mind the potential risks associated with it. One of the most common risks of makeup use is the development of styes or eye infections.

How Makeup Can Cause Styes and Eye Infections

Makeup can cause styes and eye infections in a few ways. One way is through the transfer of bacteria from our hands to our makeup and then to our eyes. Similarly, if we use dirty makeup brushes or sponges, we could be spreading bacteria onto our skin and eyes. Another way makeup can cause styes and eye infections is through the use of expired products.

Prevention Tips to Reduce the Risk of Styes and Eye Infections

It’s important to frequently clean your make up brushes and sponges to avoid eye infections.

To prevent styes and eye infections from makeup, there are several things we can do. First, always wash your hands before applying makeup. Second, make sure your makeup brushes and sponges are clean by washing them regularly with soap and water. Third, avoid sharing makeup with others, as this can increase the risk of infection. Finally, check the expiration dates on your makeup and replace any products that are past their prime.

Treating a Stye at Home

If you develop a stye, it is generally recommended to try self-treatment first. Applying a warm compress to the affected area for 10-15 minutes, several times a day, can help to alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing. You can also gently clean the area with a mild, fragrance-free soap or baby shampoo. If the stye does not improve or if it becomes worse after a few days of self-treatment, you should seek medical attention.

When to See a Doctor

If a stye does not improve or if it becomes worse after a few days of self-treatment, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help clear up the infection. In addition, they may recommend additional self-care measures or procedures to help drain the stye if it does not go away on its own.


In conclusion, while makeup can be a great way to enhance our appearance, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with its use. By taking simple precautions and being mindful of how we use our makeup, we can reduce our risk of developing styes and eye infections, and enjoy all the benefits of looking our best. Remember to always prioritize your eye health and seek medical attention if you notice any symptoms of infection. Additionally, self-treatment with warm compresses and gentle cleansing can be an effective first step in treating a stye.


Hi there! I am Dr. Kim Detollenaere, aesthetic doctor and owner of 'Doctor Contour' aesthetic guide and clinic. I have been a content creator for several years, next to my busy medical life. Get to know more about me on Instagram, Youtube or check out the 'About me' page on this blog for more info!

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