For ages, women have felt the pressure of looking beautiful. Right from the figure to hair, complexion and eyes, women are seen taking efforts to enhance the way they look.

Eyes have always been a very important factor that adds to a woman’s beauty. However eye care is a vital factor that must not be neglected.

Women all over the world use kohl (kajal), eyeliner and eye shadow to make their eyes look more beautiful. However as Dr. Kelkar of NIO Eyes urges, it is time to be aware of the truth behind these cosmetic products before blindly using them.

Dr. Kelkar discourages the use of Kajal or Kohl as it is known to contain the salts of heavy metals such as antimony and lead. Reports have linked the use of kohl to lead poisoning in children! Ensure that all traces of make-up especially kajal are completely wiped off before going to bed.

Those who use contact lenses must be very careful while using eye makeup and should follow strict lens and eye hygiene.

The most serious problem related to eye makeup involves injury to cornea often during application of the cosmetics. Eyeliner, mascara or a fingernail often scratches the cornea leading to corneal abrasion which in turn may get infected leading to potentially blinding corneal ulcer.

All eye cosmetics contain preservatives that retard the growth of the bacteria in the makeup. However, the use of old cosmetics may lead to conjunctivitis. NIO Eyes often comes across patients who suffer from itching, burning, tearing, swelling and flaking of the eyelids because of allergies to cosmetics. Dr. Kelkar suggests that hypoallergic substances must be sought to check the safety factor. For example pencil eyeliner and powder eye shadows may cause less irritation than liquid liner and liquid shadows. However if the problem persists even after changing brands the user should consult a doctor immediately.

Often, companies claim to use vitamins and other micronutrients in their cosmetic products. However many reputed brands are known to harbour heavy metals like cadmium, beryllium, arsenic and lead in their products. Repeated use and inadequate care for cleaning up can lead to chronic poisoning.

Finally, Dr. Kelkar has a very pragmatic word of advice – “Use minimum or no cosmetics and accept that you are beautiful even without make-up!”

Dr. Kelkar’s blog