When BeautyDesk’s Editor-in-Chief, Bahar Niramwalla, told me that she thought her contact lenses were drying out the skin around her eyes, I was truly shocked. How is that even possible?! Can contact lens dry out your skin? As a devout contact lens-wearer for approximately 14 years (that number is slightly alarming), I had to dig a little deeper into this. Over the past few months, I’ve been going to get Dermalogica skin treatments (if you haven’t tried one, do it!) and my skin therapist told me that my skin is severely dehydrated and I couldn’t help but wonder if my constant lens-wearing was the culprit.
After doing a quick google search on contact lenses drying out your skin, it didn’t yield a lot of results, but it totally makes sense. If you’re wearing your lenses for over eight hours a day (the recommended maximum–we won’t even go there) and you’re staring at a screen all day long and your eyes are dry, they need to try and get moisture from somewhere, right? I asked my skin therapist if my contacts could be contributing to my excessively parched skin and she said it wasn’t likely–a lot of people are just pre-programmed to have dry or oily or combination skin. I asked my eye doctor when I went in for a prescription upgrade and while she said my eyes were also severely dehydrated (thanks to my coffee addiction and constant over-eight-hours-a-day-wearing), she said she had never heard of that either.
Bottom line: if you wear your contact lenses a lot and you’re noticing that your skin is getting really dry, try to stop wearing them and see if that helps the situation. There may not be too much proof that suggests a direct link, but if you’re having issues it’s never a bad idea to get it checked out, either by your trusty Dermalogica skin expert (seriously–they’re magicians) or your eye doctor and look at some other dehydrating factors in your lifestyle? Do you drink a lot of coffee (guilty!)? Try cutting back (if you figure out how, please let me know your secret) and upping your water intake, too. You can also invest in some really great dry-skin beauty products like this, this and this.