Your Guide to Wearing Makeup After Blepharoplasty

posted on:
December 30th, 2021
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a wonderful procedure that helps to turn back the clock, undoing the signs of aging on the eye region. The procedure is able to help remove fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, drooping eyelids, and more from the eye, resulting in a more alert and refreshed look that is immediately noticeable.

For some, though, the real result of blepharoplasty in Toronto begins to present itself once the patient is once again able to apply makeup to their face. It can be a transformative experience, especially after years of creases in the eyelids, sagging skin, wrinkles, and undereye bags, all working against the powers of makeup. For those with drooping eyelids, applying mascara may have previously been a frustrating experience, while those who had wrinkles and creases may have found the makeup experiencing smudging and fallout more easily on the eyelid.

After eyelid surgery, the canvas of the skin is smoother, tighter, and stronger, allowing for a far easier application for cosmetics.

Due to this, one of the most popular questions our experienced Toronto plastic surgeons receive during the consultations for eyelid surgery is “how long after blepharoplasty can I wear makeup?”. It’s a fair and important question, as makeup can directly impact the recovery process after eyelids, including ones like double eyelid surgery.

Today we’re going to cover all things related to eyelid surgery and makeup usage following the procedure. This is your guide to wearing makeup after blepharoplasty.

How Does the Eye Region Age?

Before we can delve into post-operative tips, it’s first good to break down how the eye ages to begin with and how blepharoplasty can help correct these signs.

Multiple changes occur to your face as you age, and the visible signs of aging set in. the skin around our eyes begins to lose elasticity, and the underlying muscles begin to weaken. Additionally, other aging conditions begin to occur, such as fat cells under the skin drying up, resulting in empty space under the skin and fine lines and wrinkles. One doesn’t have to be considered old for these signs to occur, or many people by their mid 20’s begin to notice different types of wrinkles forming around their face.

When the eyelid muscles weaken, and the skin loses elasticity, the eyelids can droop down and give a person a to be looking tired on a consistent basis, even when they are not feeling so.

In some more severe cases, drooping eyelids can become more than a cosmetic problem. When the upper eyelid droops too low in front of the eye, it can block and impair a person’s vision, causing everyday tasks such as driving, reading, and working at a screen troublesome. This condition is sometimes referred to as ptosis.

The lower lid also sags down, lowering itself and occasionally curling outwards. This prevents the eyelids from closing correctly and can result in the eyeball infrequently becoming irritated, dry, and more prone to external dirt and debris entering the eye.

As for the under-eye area, dark circles appear when the fat under the eye is thin, allowing for emptiness beneath the skin and allowing the blood vessels to be seen more quickly. Meanwhile, puffy bags form when fluid begins to collect in this empty space under the eye, swelling the area like water in a balloon over time.

How Makeup Can Stress the Eye

While makeup can help conceal some of the concerns people have about their appearance, it can also have adverse and counterproductive effects on the skin.

Excessively rubbing and pulling the eyelid region can cause the eyelids to lose elasticity and become wrinkled and sag at an accelerated rate. The eyelid skin is much thinner than other areas of your face, so even gentle tugging can break down the collagen in the area.

Pulling the eyelids taut to apply eyeliner, pressing too firmly with a brush or sponge, or rubbing your fingers can all contribute to this. Makeup removal contributes as well when rubbing away the makeup, especially if the makeup contains alcohol which is damaging to the skin.

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that helps to reduce the number of different signs of aging around the eyes. In general, blepharoplasty can take 10 years off of your face. While the methods will slightly vary depending on the issue looking to be treated, but in general, the process goes something like this.

First, the patient is placed under a general anesthetic. Then incisions are made along the natural creases of the eyelids to mask any scarring to the area. Then any fatty tissues are removed, muscles are rightened, and the skin is smoothed out to remove the sign of wrinkles. Any excess skin is then removed.

Under-eye blepharoplasty solves other issues such as dark circles and puffy bags by removing the excess skin and redistributing fat to restore a youthful fullness under the eye.

In general, the procedure takes 2-3 hours and starts at $6,999. This includes our comprehensive post-op skin Anti-Aging Skin Rejuvenation program. It typically takes around 7-10 days to recover from a blepharoplasty procedure.

What is Double Eyelid Surgery?

Double eyelid surgery is another cosmetic eyelid procedure that specifically treats eyelids without any creases, known as a monolid or single lid. While this is not a medical condition, some wish to treat it to allow their eyes to look larger or improve symmetry if only one eyelid is monolid while the other is double. One of the common desired outcomes of this surgery is for an easier application of makeup.

How Long After Eyelid Surgery Can I Wear Makeup?

While it can be tempting to want to apply makeup after double eyelid surgery or other eyelid procedures, it is imperative to wait a proper amount of time.

While most eyelid surgeries recover within a week, the region will still be sensitive for several weeks following the procedure. In general, contacts should not be worn until the second week of recovery, and makeup should not be applied for a minimum of ten days following the procedure. However, waiting a few weeks following the surgery is still preferable. Here are some reasons why it’s important to wait for sufficient healing before applying makeup after eyelid surgery.


Invisible to the eye, but very much there, your hands, makeup brushes, and the makeup itself host bacteria. With proper brush cleaning and hand washing, these bacteria generally do cause any issues to the eye; however, following eyelid surgery like blepharoplasty, the eye region is sensitive and prone to infection, especially if any incisions are still healing. These bacteria can slow down your healing and even cause infection to the surgical area.

It is advised not apply to apply makeup with your fingers during the time of recovery. Additionally, bacteria thrive in makeup containers like mascara brushes and eyeliner tubes, and it is advised to toss these products every few months.


The pressing and pulling of makeup applications, from eyeliner to brushes, can apply pressure to the skin. This can cause incisions to become stretched and re-open, causing wound weeping, infection, delayed healing, and more noticeable scarring.


With the skin being sensitive during recovery, applying makeup after eyelid surgery too quickly can irritate the area, causing physical discomfort like itchiness, tenderness, and burning on the eyes.

Post-Surgical Makeup Tips

Ideally, a patient will wait 2-3 weeks following the procedure and get approval from their surgeon before applying makeup after blepharoplasty. When you begin to apply makeup again, there are some tips to make the transition as gentle as possible.

Start Gentle 

With the eye region being more sensitive post-surgery, using gentler, non-comedogenic and water-based cosmetics to start will help you transition back to skincare and makeup. Avoid products with strong pigmentation as these products can stain the skin and require a harsher makeup removal process. Likewise, avoid makeup with glitters, as the residual fallout can cause irritations in the eye and get stuck in the recovering incision.

Once you confidently feel that using gentler products does not cause you any issues, the transition can be slowly made back to standard cosmetics.

Keep Things Sterile and Clean

As previously mentioned, your recovery eyes will be more prone to infection by bacteria, so you might want to either use new; or thoroughly cleaned applicators like brushes and sponges when applying makeup after double eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty. Bacteria can resonate in the makeup pans itself as well from residual brush dipping and finger swatching, so avoiding older and thoroughly used makeup while recovering is a good idea.

Take Care When Removing

Prolonged makeup wearing and especially sleeping with makeup is not recommended even to any eyes, let alone those recovering from a procedure. Thus, removal of makeup after double eyelid surgery is important, but fresh or sensitive incisions and skin can make the process difficult. Using the gentler water-based makeup will help with easier removal; thus, using a gentler makeup remover is also advised to avoid harsher chemicals, skin drying, and harsher rubbing.

Re-Learn your Technique 

As is the goal for the procedure, following your eyelid procedure, your eyes will be smoother, tighter, and shaped differently from their previous form. For example, makeup after double eyelid surgery will now utilize an entirely new crease on the eye.

This may cause the ways you apply makeup to alter slightly, allowing you to discover new looks, techniques, and processes to makeup application.

Other Recovery Tips

Besides the recovery tips for cosmetics and makeup, there are other tips to help your eyelid surgery to recover easier and more quickly. Firstly, it is very important to allow your eyes proper rest and keep them free of strain during recovery. This means reducing activity that more actively uses the eyes, such as watching television, extensive use of computer and cellular screens, or reading pages with small print. While this can make for a bit of a boring recovery, it is an important part of the process and typically only lasts a few days.

When it comes to sleeping, it’s important to keep your head elevated with pillows for at least two weeks following your eyelid surgery. This will help prevent swelling, pressure, and fluid collection in the eye area. Additionally, side-sleeping is strongly advised against to prevent direct pressure into the recovery area. If you are a side-sleeper, using airline pillows, a “husband” pillow, or other means to prevent rolling in your sleep is advisable.

Can I Get Blepharoplasty Again?

One question we get at our clinic is if blepharoplasty can be performed more than once.

In general, eyelid surgeries last for five to seven years before the natural signs of aging begin to show once more in the region. Blepharoplasty can absolutely be performed again as needed; however, it is important to consult with your surgeon, as alternate procedures may need to be performed in addition to; or instead of eyelid surgery. For example, the cause of the drooping eyelid may, in fact, be a drooping brow rather than the eyelid itself, and thus a forehead lift/brow lift may be the more appropriate surgical course of action rather than further blepharoplasty.

When it comes to lower eyelid surgery, the procedure generally lasts much longer and rarely ever needs to be repeated.

Interested in Eyelid Surgery?

If you have concerns about your eyes, whether it’s the shape, size, drooping, or wrinkles, our clinic and skilled team of surgeons can help treat you. Dr. Bell is well-known for his careful and pristine work in blepharoplasty and double-eyelid surgery and has preformed thousands of procedures within his 25+ years of practice.

When you choose Toronto Plastic Surgeons, you’re putting yourself into the hands of a clinic that prides itself in high expertise, professional conduct, and the utmost concern and care for our patients.

If you want to know more about eyelid surgery or have any questions about makeup application during the recovery period, feel free to schedule a consultation with us today or call us at 647-723-3739 and speak with a member of our team.

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

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