Some women refuse to step outside unless they put on their “face.” Makeup can be an essential part of a person’s routine. And if it makes them feel good about themselves, I say go for it! But when done to the extreme, like Sydney, Australia mom Theresa Lynch did, it can put your health in jeopardy. After she wore mascara for 25 years straight without ever removing the makeup product, she left her eyes with some severe damage that nearly caused her to go blind.
Warning: This post contains graphic images!
Now the 50-year-old mother of two is sharing her story to help other people understand the importance of personal hygiene, especially when it comes to makeup removal. While most people know that leaving makeup on overnight can cause blockages in pores, Lynch wants you to know that it can get so much worse than breakouts.
Because she continued to wear mascara on her face for half her life without ever taking it off, Lynch now has solid black lumps embedded beneath her eyelids. And they put her at risk of blindness.
When the eye irritation got to be too intense, Lynch went to her doctor. She tried eye drops, but they could not ease the intense symptoms. Lynch, who hails from Maryland and now lives in Australia, was horrified when doctors told her about the calcified makeup bumps that were under her eyelids. They are called concretions.
Because the lumps put her at risk of blindness, she needed emergency surgery. She underwent a 90-minute surgery to get them taken away from her eyes.
Dr. Dana Robaei has released the nightmarish images of Lynch’s eyes to scare other people away from decades of mascara use. Don’t leave your makeup on overnight – especially not your mascara.
“(The lumps) were embedded so deep that particles were building up on top of each other,” Lynch explained. “I was so uncomfortable. My eyelids were swollen and heavy because I left it for so long. When Dr. Robaei pulled my eyelid back, she said, ‘Oh my god. In my whole career, I have never seen anything like this.’ She could see the whites of my eyes were glassy and bloodshot.”
When Lynch first learned that she had mascara buildup in her eyelids, she was horrified. Her mind started racing as she contemplated the possibility of permanent damage.
“I had fallen into a bad habit of wearing a lot of makeup and not washing it off. I should never have let it get this far,” Lynch said. “It’s so important to properly take your makeup off every single night. You can’t miss a single day.”
Now she knows the dangers of overnight mascara and wants you to know it too.
Because many people ignore the dangers of not washing off their makeup every night, Dr. Robaei has used Lynch’s case to raise awareness about the dangers. She published a study on the mother’s injuries and indicated that Lynch could have gone blind.
“Every time Theresa was blinking, these a scratch the surface of the eye got infected, there is a risk this could be potentially blinding.”
The lesson: Wash off your makeup every night.