How Long After Cataract Surgery Can You Wear Makeup?

Mariah Brown

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Mariah Brown

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So, you’ve undergone cataract surgery and are excited about the new clarity of your vision. But perhaps you’re wondering when you can go back to your usual beauty routine, specifically when it’s safe to wear makeup again. Well, fear not! In this article, we will delve into the question that’s on your mind: how long after cataract surgery can you wear makeup?

If you’re picturing a makeup-free hiatus stretching weeks into the future, don’t worry. The good news is that most individuals can start wearing makeup relatively soon after cataract surgery. However, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s recommendations and take certain precautions to ensure a healthy recovery. Let’s dive in and find out all the details.

how long after cataract surgery can you wear makeup

Understanding the Recovery Process

Before we answer the burning question about makeup, it’s crucial to understand what happens during cataract surgery recovery. After the surgery, your eye will be delicate and vulnerable as it heals. The recovery timeline varies from person to person, but generally, it takes a few weeks for the eye to heal fully.

During the healing process, you may experience some discomfort, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions diligently to ensure a smooth recovery. These instructions may include avoiding activities that could strain your eyes, wearing protective eyewear, and using prescribed eye drops as directed.

Immediate Post-Operative Period

During the immediate post-operative period following cataract surgery, it’s best to avoid any activities that could increase the risk of infection or irritation. Your doctor will likely recommend refraining from wearing makeup, including eye makeup like mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow.

While it may be a bit disappointing for makeup enthusiasts, the temporary sacrifice is essential to protect your eyes and aid in a swift recovery. Remember, the health and well-being of your eyes should always take precedence over aesthetics.

When Can You Start Wearing Makeup Again?

The timeline for when you can resume wearing makeup after cataract surgery may vary slightly depending on individual healing rates and your doctor’s recommendations. In general, most surgeons advise waiting at least one to two weeks before reintroducing makeup into your routine.

It’s crucial to note that you should not rush the process and start wearing makeup earlier than recommended. Even if you feel comfortable and your eye appears to be healing well, it’s essential to give your eyes adequate time to recover fully.

Tips for Wearing Makeup after Cataract Surgery

Once your doctor gives you the green light to wear makeup again, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure the health and well-being of your eyes:

  • Choose makeup products that are specifically formulated for sensitive eyes or are hypoallergenic.
  • Replace old and expired makeup products to minimize the risk of eye infections.
  • Avoid applying makeup directly on the incision site or the eyelashes to prevent contamination.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing your face and hands thoroughly before applying makeup.
  • Remove your makeup gently and completely before going to bed to keep your eyes clean and free from potential irritants.
  • If you experience any discomfort, redness, or irritation, discontinue using makeup and consult your doctor.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your favorite makeup looks without compromising the health of your eyes.

Maintaining Overall Eye Health

Now that you know when it’s safe to wear makeup after cataract surgery let’s touch upon the importance of maintaining overall eye health. Cataract surgery is just one aspect of caring for your eyes, and there are several steps you can take to keep your eyes in optimal condition:

  • Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses that block out at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support eye health.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as these habits can negatively impact your eye health.
  • Visit your eye doctor regularly for comprehensive eye examinations to detect any potential issues early on.
  • Manage chronic health conditions like diabetes, as uncontrolled diabetes can increase the risk of eye complications.

Remember, while cataract surgery can significantly improve your vision, taking proactive steps towards maintaining overall eye health is essential for long-term eye care.


Can I wear any type of makeup after cataract surgery?

While you can start wearing makeup after cataract surgery, it’s crucial to choose products specifically formulated for sensitive eyes or are hypoallergenic. Avoid using old or expired makeup to prevent bacterial contamination.

When can I start applying makeup near the incision site or eyelashes?

It’s best to avoid applying makeup directly on the incision site or the eyelashes during the initial stages of your recovery. Consult with your doctor to get personalized guidelines based on your healing progress.

What if I experience discomfort after wearing makeup?

If you experience any discomfort, redness, or irritation after wearing makeup, remove it immediately and consult your doctor. They can provide you with further guidance and assess if any underlying issues need attention.

Can I wear waterproof mascara after cataract surgery?

While waterproof mascara may be tempting, it’s generally best to avoid it after cataract surgery. Waterproof mascaras can be more challenging to remove and may cause excessive rubbing, potentially irritating your eyes.

Is it okay to wear makeup while using prescribed eye drops?

Before introducing makeup into your routine, consult your doctor regarding the compatibility of your prescribed eye drops with makeup products. They can provide specific instructions based on the eye drops you are using.


Now that you know the answer to the question, “how long after cataract surgery can you wear makeup?” you can approach your recovery period with confidence. Remember to prioritize your eye health by following your doctor’s recommendations and giving yourself ample time to heal fully.

While makeup is undoubtedly a fun way to express yourself, it’s crucial to choose products carefully and practice good hygiene to avoid any potential complications. By taking proper care of your eyes, you can enjoy both the benefits of cataract surgery and your favorite makeup looks!

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