3 Worst Things You Do with Your Mascara

Although, I (Debbie Stokes) don’t use mascara, I do suffer with dry eye issues. With that in mind, I thought about the book I read in November 2018 that really opened my eyes about how important it is to take care of your eyes. It was so good, I left a review back then on Amazon, and have shared it with you at the bottom. So, I contacted the author to see if she was willing to give you empowering information about taking care of your eyes, and she agreed. She informed me of some mistakes people make when they use mascara that nobody was talking about.

Now, I introduce to you Pam Theriot, an eye doctor who will share with you important information about your eyes and mascara.

Pamela Theriot, OD, FAAO, currently works as the clinical director of the Dry Eye Center at Lusk Eye Specialists in Shreveport, LA. She received her undergraduate degree from Rice University, her doctorate in optometry from the University of California at Berkeley, and finished her residency program at State University of New York, College of Optometry.

Dr. Theriot has also obtained a fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry and completed Dry Eye University. Since obtaining her degrees, she has acted as a consultant to several pharmaceutical companies and has served as an educator at optometry events. She has also lectured at optometry events in New Mexico, Arizona, New York, and Louisiana.

Over her years of practicing in many different climates, Dr. Theriot has treated hundreds of patients with dry eye symptoms. Often times these patients have seen practitioner after practitioner with no resolution. They have usually been given a handful of over-the-counter drops, but never a plan on how to relieve their tired, dry eyes. Believing that our vision is a precious gift, Dr. Theriot set out to write a book to make dry eye treatment more accessible and easier to understand.

When she isn’t working in the office, she likes to run, swim, camp, and spend time with her Air Force husband, Gregory, and their two daughters, Emma and Alexandra. She currently lives in Benton, LA. She hopes the readers will find hope and healing as they learn how to better care for their eyes.

Article Written and Contributed by: Dr. Pamela Theriot

On YouTube, you can learn a dozen different ways to apply mascara and makeup to make your eyes look “sultry or smoky,” but you never learn how to care for those tubes and brushes. Not to mention, when to throw out that tube of mascara.

That very same makeup, which makes you look so cool, will eventually irritate your eyes, if not taken care of properly. As a woman, I feel if we knew better, we would do better. The topic I will discuss is how to take care of your mascara, and why it is so important.

As an eye doctor, I get up close and personal with women’s eye makeup using a microscope every day. This can make the eyelashes about 20 times bigger than the way you see them in a mirror.

The horrors I see on people’s eyelids are incredible… makeup caked into the lashes and in the corner of the eyes are only the tip of the iceberg. That built-up gunk leads to inflammation, irritation, and infection over time.

Here are the 3 worst things to do with your mascara:

1. Sleep with It

Not removing your eye makeup at the end of the day is one of the worst things you can do for your sensitive eyes. After all, you wouldn’t go to bed without brushing your teeth, right? The same risk of cavities applies to the eyes, as well, except they are called ulcers.

The leftover mascara becomes the perfect habitat for bacteria to flourish. There are bacteria that normally live on our lids and lashes, and are needed for normal function. However, when bacteria gets overpopulated, we begin to see problems like Blepharitis.

Let’s face it, most of the eye makeup you purchase at the drugstore is full of toxins. Chemicals are used in eye makeup to help preserve them, and make the colors and creams stick to your lids. However, lots of these ingredients are toxic to the glands in your lids.

If you have not already done so, Download the guide to eye makeup remover here.

My personal favorite eye makeup remover is the Eye Makeup Remover Oil from We Love Eyes.  This is the remover kit, which also contains the Eyelid and Eyelash Foaming Cleanser.  It has made my eyelashes grow longer and stronger.

2. Use Waterproof Mascara

Waterproof mascara generally contains waxes, which help mascara stick to your lashes. These ingredients help bacteria to stick to your lashes, too. Having bacteria close to our eyes causes many problems.

Ethanolamines, also known as, MEA, DEA, and TEA, are used as pH adjusters. These are linked to allergies, skin toxicity, and hormone disruption. Download the list of toxic ingredients to avoid in your personal care products here.

In order to remove waterproof mascara from eyelashes, extra rubbing is required. Rubbing your eyelids can cause additional problems with changing the shape of your corneas. This can lead to an eye disease called keratoconus. This disease can cause significant problems with your eyesight in the long run.

It is important to gently remove your eye make up every night. You should not need to scrub it to get all the traces of mascara off of your lids. If you feel the need to scrub your eye makeup to remove it, look for an oil-based eye makeup remover which will soften the mascara first.

3. Not Discard your Mascara On-time

Mascara should be discarded at least every three months. Keeping your mascara longer allows bacteria to grow inside the tube. Bacteria normally live on your lids and lashes. After you swipe your mascara on your lashes, you place the wand back in the tube. Now, the bacteria have the opportunity to take up housing in your mascara tube.

When bacteria take up residence on your lids, they create crusty homes to protect themselves. These crusts form at the base of the eyelash on your eyelid. This is known as Blepharitis.

Waste products and excretions from the bacteria are toxic to your eyelids and the front surface of your eyes. Your eyelids become red and irritated. Over time, this irritation will lead to a thickening of the eyelid margin.

My favorite mascara hands-down is the Volumizing mascara from BeautyCounter. Other dry eye experts, like the founder of We Love Eyes, Dr. Tanya Gill, love Lily Lolo Black Vegan Mascara.


Your eye makeup could be the root cause of many of your dry eye symptoms. Redness, watering, and irritation are common symptoms in women who do not properly care for their mascara. Three of the best tips to remember with mascara are: always remove it before bed, do not use water-proof brands, and throw out your mascara every 3 months.

Keeping your makeup routine clean is imperative to keeping your eyes healthy. Remove your makeup nightly by using the best eye makeup remover for your lifestyle.  If you would like more information on using clean eye makeup, check out the CLEAN Makeup Manual here.

Contact Information: 

Website: www.pamtheriot.com  Facebook: @ Pamtheriotpage

Book: “Alleviate Dry Eye” is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QVBzmJ

*** This was the review I left on Amazon when I read her book back in November 2018.  


November 16, 2018

Being a person that suffers from dry eye, this book is just what I needed to read. It taught me so much about eyes and how they are affected by the things we use and do. It spoke of actionable steps that are easy to read, understand and follow, and that can be accomplished at home if you are serious about getting rid of your dry eye disease. In fact, I intend to use the 8-week plan workbook as a guide to rid myself of my dry eyes because I learned just how important and serious I need to be about the health of my eyes.

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