Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Eyeliner On Your Waterline

Eyeliner is a staple of many people's makeup routines. But as it turns out, where you choose to apply your eyeliner could be damaging to your eye health. That's why one doctor on TikTok is urging people not to put eyeliner directly on their waterline (via Newsweek). In a now-viral TikTok video, Dr. Brittani Carver-Schemper, an optometrist from North Carolina, warned viewers of the potential dangers of repeatedly applying eyeliner to the waterline of your eye.

"The reasons eye doctors do not recommend wearing eyeliner on the waterline of your eye is because there are specialized glands there that produce and excrete oil," Carver-Schemper said in the video. When the oil loses its typical texture, however, this means that the glands are clogged and can no longer produce "healthy tears." This is known as meibomian gland dysfunction, which is actually one of the most common eye conditions in the world.

Contaminating your tear film could lead to dry-eye disease

However, there may be long-term consequences to having your meibomian glands obstructed. According to Carver-Schemper, the waterline of your eye helps protect the oily layer of your tear film, which is what helps keep your eyes healthy. Without this, your eyes can become more susceptible to developing dry-eye disease, which can potentially affect your vision and cause discomfort in your eyes (via Insider).

Although this is certainly a possibility, Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist from New York, told Insider that there are certain types of eyeliners and other similar cosmetic products that are actually "formulated with waterline application in mind." This can help prevent your glands from getting clogged — or at least reduce the overall obstruction. In addition, Garshick says that your tear film is more likely to be contaminated by applying eyeliner to your lower lash line than by applying it to your waterline. And even then, any contamination that does occur is only temporary.