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Alison Ng, Katharine Evans, Rachel North, Christine Purslow; The Effects of Cosmetic Eye Pencil Application on the Tear Film and Ocular Surface. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):952.
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To investigate and compare the effects of cosmetic eye pencil on the ocular surface and tear film when applied to periorbital skin (ELO) or the mucocutaneous junction (ELI).
24 healthy female subjects (mean±SD age: 24±5 years) underwent a 5 day washout period, refraining from all eye cosmetic use and contact lens wear, prior to study commencement. Subjects were supplied with pencil eyeliner (MaxFactor Kohl pencil 020 Black, Procter & Gamble, UK) and randomised to either applying ELO or ELI daily for 7 consecutive days. Subjects crossed over following a 1 week washout period and applied eyeliner with the alternative method. On day 1 and 7 of each method of eyeliner application, the following clinical parameters were assessed: non-invasive tear break-up time (NITBUT) and lipid layer thickness (LLT) using a Tearscope (Keeler, Windsor, UK); bulbar redness, conjunctival and corneal staining were graded to 0.1 increments on the Efron Grading Scale and ocular comfort on a scale from 0 to 10 (where 10 indicated maximal comfort). Additionally, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores were compared after 7 days of each intervention.
There were no significant differences between the clinical parameters after 1 day of ELO and ELI application. However, after 7 days of eyeliner use, there was a clinical and statistically significant improvement in LLT with ELI compared with ELO (wave→amorphous, p=0.032). Other values for bulbar redness, NITBUT and conjunctival staining were similar between eyeliner applications. Subjects reported a slight decrease in comfort scores after 7 days of ELI compared with ELO (7.8±1.7 vs. 8.3±1.7 respectively), but it was not significant (p=0.162). OSDI scores were significantly worse after 7 days of ELI compared with ELO (8.27±8.48 vs. 6.07±7.59 respectively, p=0.046).
The short-term application of eye cosmetic pencils close to the ocular surface does not appear to be detectable clinically, but 7 consecutive days of ELI application appears to increase LLT and dry eye symptomology compared to ELO application. ELI application is likely to increase the contact of waxes, lipids and other ingredients from the pencil to the ocular surface compared to ELO, which may increase the lipid content of the tear film but also disrupt ocular surface homeostasis, accounting for the changes in symptoms.
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