KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A cringeworthy picture from an Australian woman went viral after she said she developed serious eye problems from chronically not washing off her mascara. Now, it's raising questions about the safety of eye makeup.
"What they found is that the mascara stayed on her eye's surface and caused some irritation under the eyelid which her body reacted to and caused that horrible looking picture," said Dr. Jordan Masters, an ophthalmologist with University Eye Specialists in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Masters said this case is extremely rare, but it does provide a good reminder to be careful with how you put on and take off eye makeup.
"Anytime you put anything around the eyes you are going to be careful of how you do it and what you use. There are hypoallergenic mascaras and you want to make sure you are cleaning it off. You can use soft soaps, Q-tips, just make sure you are taking it off, because anything you put around the eyes can cause issues," he said.
Gray-TV affiliate WVLT also asked makeup expert Amanda McIntyre to weigh in on the picture.
"My first reaction is that's 100 percent true. That could happen," she said.
McIntyre has three points she said anyone wearing makeup should follow: use clean materials, buy new products often and don't share.
"It's important to keep your products clean. So, you can use commercial grade alcohol to spritz on a powered eye shadow pallet. If it's 90% or above, it's not going to mess it up," she said.
"I love a good oil-free makeup remover and a cotton swab is good for me because it's gentle and I don't have to be vigorously rubbing my eyes," she said.
WVLT asked about fake eyelashes and both the doctor and makeup artist agree: they're okay sometimes, but you need to be careful.
"You're putting those on with basically superglue and superglue is rock hard. So, if you get that in the eye it's going to scratch the eye and can definitely cause irritations, scratches, infections, scrapes," said Masters.
"You can test it on a different part of your skin and you're going to want to put it above your eye and then get it closer to your eyelash, but squeezing it together because you don't want to head straight for it and get it on your eyeball," said McIntyre.
As far as viral internet health searches, this one you have to see to believe. But as long as you see the risks, you can still feel comfortable looking your best.
"But, I don't think this one case should scare you away from eye makeup, as long as you are doing it the right way," said Masters.
"I don't leave the house in the morning without mascara on, just to look awake. So, I'm not saying to stop using eye makeup, but just be careful about what you use and replace things often," said McIntyre.