Use of make-up on the face and eyes is important to many of our patients. Their professional or personal demands impose on them this need and desire to apply make-up. During Lasik surgery we use laser to change the curvature of the cornea. Depending on the type of Lasik, the size of the cut on cornea can vary from 27-2mm. In conventional blade Lasik and the bladeless femto Lasik, a corneal flap is created in which the average circumference of the flap opening is around 27 mm.

On the other hand in ReLEx Smile Lasik, no flap is created and the size of a small laser cut on cornea is only 2-4 mm.

These cuts have a healing and recovery period and it is important to not expose the eye to anything dirty during that period to reduce the risk of complications. It is a minimum of a week to two depending on the type of procedure. With Lasik and Femto Lasik it may vary from 2-3 weeks and after Smile Lasik one week is enough.


Smita, a resident of Vashi, is a model and she has to dress-up and apply heavy make-up on her face and eyes on a daily basis as a part of her work profile. She was declared suitable for Lasik after her detailed pre-Lasik evaluation at Centre for Lasik surgery at Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai. Her first question was when she can start with her make-up again. Naturally for her it is a professional requirement. But for many others it could be just a personal desire or a party that they need to attend. I advised Smita to undergo Smile Lasik surgery. She was advised to wait for 7 days after her procedure for eye make-up. However we gave her a go ahead for face makeup after one day itself.

The reason we restrict the use of eye makeup after Lasik surgery is to protect anything dirty from entering the eye and to prevent eye infections. Lid infection can occur due to use of eye make-up and this in turn can lead to eye infection. Any form of eye infection can be damaging after Lasik surgery.

There are many dos and the don’ts related to eye make-up after Lasik surgery-

Avoid Eye make-up for one week after Lasik surgery

Even after one week, people need to be very careful. Be gentle as it is also possible for a mascara brush or eyeliner pencil to scratch or irritate your eyes. It is better to not use any eye makeup that could flake off in your eyes and cause irritation or give you the urge to rub your eyes. Flaky products include powder shadows with glitter or sparkle and mascaras that lengthen or strengthen lashes

Face make-up

It is fine to apply cream or make-up on the face away from the eye after 2-3 days. Again the precaution is to use non-powdery makeup on the face and keep all the products away from the eyes.

Throw all your old eye makeup and the applicators and buy new ones

The makeup and the brushes may contain bacteria, even after just a few previous uses and that can lead to an eye infection. Just washing the brushes and other applicators is not enough. If you need to apply make-up within a few weeks of LASIK then it is just better to use new eye make-up products and applicator brushes. This ensures safety and reduces the chances of eye infection.

Eye make-up removal needs to be very careful

A person after a Lasik surgery needs to be very careful while removing the eye make-up. It needs to be removed gingerly. No rubbing or excessive force should be applied. Any of the gentle eye make-up removers can be used or home based olive oil etc can be used. The aim is to not cause any flap displacement which can happen if excessive force is applied to remove eye make-up. This is what happened with Nina! Nina lives in Nerul and she had gone to attend a wedding 7 days after her Lasik surgery. She wore some shimmer eye shadow and was unable to remove it with her routine eye make-up remover. She tried to gently rub her eye lids to remove the eye make-up. But while she was doing it her son came running towards her and her finger hit her eye. She noticed blurring of vision and immediately came to the centre for Lasik surgery at Advanced Eye Hospital. Her flap had displaced due to the force of the finger. We quickly repositioned the flap and she was fine after that. Any excessive force on the eye within a few weeks of Lasik can lead to flap displacement and hence all care is needed.


No just after the Lasik; it is recommended that all traces of any make up, including lipstick and any facial lotions be completely removed even before the Lasik surgery. In order to make sure that no make is present during surgery, it is recommended to not wear makeup three days before Lasik surgery. So people like Smita who need to wear eye make-up as a part of the profession have to plan their Lasik surgery well. Eye make-up should not be done for almost ten days; starting 3 days prior to the surgery to one week after the Lasik surgery. Additionally ReLEx Smile is better in these cases as the size of incision on the cornea is just 2 mm and hence the risk of infection to the eye due to the use of eye make-up or face make-up is lesser. Also the risk of injury to the eye while applying or removing eye makeup is lesser as with Smile Lasik there is no flap on the cornea and hence there is no risk of flap displacement.