Summer Essentials 2023

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Beauty and the sight: Eye expert reveals six beauty habits that harm your eyes

It’s easy to disregard bad habits that affect you cosmetically, but what if you knew they could be impacting your eye heath and potentially your vision too? You might not realise it now, but some of your everyday beauty habits could be damaging your eyes.

Nimmi Mistry, professional services optician at Vision Direct (, shares six common beauty habits that could be damaging your eyes and how to break them.

1. Sharing makeup
Your eyes are the most sensitive part of your face which contains a lot of personalised bacteria so by sharing makeup you’re essentially trading germs. Cross-contamination occurs when you use the same brushes, mascara, eye-shadow and eyeliner with someone else.  A 2020 study ( found that make-up brushes were found to have staphylococcus aureus present. This is a major pathogen of the eye able to infect the tear duct, eyelid, conjunctiva, cornea, anterior and posterior chambers, and the vitreous chamber. One infection this could lead to is bacterial conjunctivitis.
The person you are sharing makeup with may not even know they have an infection, but this won’t stop it spreading through sharing makeup. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with eye drops to help with your symptoms. If symptoms persist after two weeks of treatments speak to your doctor. Wearing contact lenses whilst having an eye infection can slow down the recovery and aggravate your eyes, so stop wearing your contact lenses until the infection has completely cleared and be sure to throw away any eye makeup used from the moment symptoms were experienced.

2. Not removing makeup before bed
As tired as you may feel after a long day it’s important that you remove your makeup before you go to bed. Trapped make-up particles can irritate the surface of the eye and cause a foreign body sensation, which is having the feeling like you’ve got something in your eye.
Before you remove your makeup be sure to wash your hands as they carry a lot of bacteria. You should consider using cleansing water and cotton pads to remove the first layer of makeup and then use a cleanser to wash away the oil and stubborn build-up. Ensure you indulge in a good skincare routine before sleeping and make a habit of moisturising the skin around your eyes, with an eye appropriate moisturiser. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser for eye makeup to ensure you don’t irritate the delicate skin around your eyes.

3. Using expired products
In the same way that dirty makeup brushes can have bacteria build up on them, so can the makeup products themselves. Even though makeup contains preservatives that help prevent bacteria from living in the products, they can still be contaminated with regular use. Take mascara for example, the spool touches the eyelashes and then is placed back inside the product. This happens repeatedly, often without the spool being cleaned, leading to the spread of bacteria to the eyes.
Here are some general replacement guidelines for eye makeup products:
• Mascara and liquid eyeliner typically are considered safe to use for three months, six months maximum. Liquid products used near the eye have an increased risk of spreading bacteria.
• Pencil-style eyeliners and gel eyeliners can be used for up to a year.
• Powder products, such as eye shadows, if stored properly, free from moisture and used with clean brushes/applicators, are good for up to two years.
Ensure that you check the dates on cosmetics and check the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging so you know how long products should be kept for safe use.

4. Applying harsh chemicals
Avoid applying products that contain harsh chemicals around your eyes. These can irritate the skin and, if yours is particularly sensitive, it could also cause an allergic reaction. If in doubt, check the ingredients and pay close attention to the packaging, but bear in mind some packaging will not explicitly state if the product is suitable for use around the eyes.
When trying a new skincare product, it is recommended that you do a patch test, trying a small amount applied to a small area daily for three to five days and monitoring for any unwanted reactions.

5. Not wearing sunglasses
Protecting your eyes from the sun is a must. Prolonged exposure to UV rays from the sun modifies lens proteins of the eyes, this can lead to cataract formation and worsening eyesight. Over time, cataracts can make vision blurry, hazy, or less colorful. There is also the added risk of increased chances of developing cancers of the eyelid, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, both of which are linked to UV exposure.
To protect your eyes consider wearing sunglasses with UV protection, and don’t be fooled by overcast days. The UV levels may still be high even when it is cloudy, for this reason, it is recommended that you use an SPF face cream every day. It’ll protect your skin from harmful UV exposure. Even with sunglasses Doctors advise a thin application of SPF around the eyes as additional protection. But always take care when applying any product around the eye. If you wear contact lenses, you can also opt for those which have added layers of UV protection.

6. Following dangerous TikTok “hacks” and trends
There are thousands of new beauty trends emerging with some going viral, but this does not mean you should jump on the bandwagon and be quick to try them all. Sometimes there is no scientific evidence or expert opinion backing these quick fixes, and while some may be considered harmless, there are often one or two that are potentially dangerous.
For example, heating up eyelash curlers with a lighter for an extra long-lasting lift is extremely dangerous and can lead to burns, cause your lashes to fall out, and cause potential injury.
Another example of this is the bleached brows trend. To cut down on costs many opt to bleach their eyebrows at home, but you need to be careful. Bleaching involves using a milder formulation of hydrogen peroxide. Even in its lowest formulation, it has the potential to cause injury to the eye, and blindness in extreme cases. Many hair dye products state that they are not to be used near the eyes, so it’s best practice to seek professional help from salon experts who should do a patch test and use the appropriate dyes, before proceeding with your brow bleaching.

Quick beauty tips for healthier eyes:
• Wash your makeup brushes regularly with a gentle soap or makeup cleanser. Failure to do so increases the potential for spreading bacteria to your eyes.
• Throw away eye makeup after an eye infection. If you go back to using the products, you are putting your eyes at risk of becoming infected again. Avoid using any eye makeup until the infection has completely cleared.
• If your mascara becomes dry you should throw it away and buy a new one. Do not add water or saliva to the mascara as saliva is full of bacteria.
• Ensure you store your makeup in a cool dry place to prevent the make-up from degrading.
• Take extra care when using glitter eye shadows as small pieces of glitter can irritate the eye

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With a heatwave predicted to hit the UK this week, homeowners are moving quickly to lock out warm temperatures from the home to encourage a more comfortable indoor temperature. Searches for ‘how to keep my home cool’ peaked last July in the wake of uncharacteristically warm weather across the country.

Credit BlindsbyPost- Solo Blackout Roller

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Oliver Hudson, blinds expert at BlindsbyPost, says: “You can check how much you can save by installing thermal blinds with our online calculator as it makes a huge difference to household bills – potentially up to £288 a year depending on the blind type and fit.

“Thermally backed blinds are just as important in summer as in the winter, but many people overlook this benefit and believe they are only an effective way of maintaining a comfortable temperature in the winter time. This is not true, and as we head into summer we expect to see more people enjoying the benefits of these kinds of products to avoid using energy to power products like fans and air conditioning units which will now prove to be astronomically expensive.”

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