Clean Face or Contacts? Which Comes First?

When you are a contact lens wearer it’s easy to forget that you even have them on.  Most of the time they are so comfortable and it’s such a great feeling to be able to see without your glasses, that you can almost live as though you have nothing at all in your eyes!

But, when you take those lenses out…maybe to give your eyes a rest or when it’s time to sleep lens free before you open a new pair the next morning…how do you know when to put them back in?

Should you put your contact lenses in before you wash your face or afterwards?  Is it better to be able to see clearly when you are scrubbing away last night’s sleep sand…or is it best to clean your face and then insert your contacts.

This is a tricky one!

But, according to my optometrist, most doctors and contact lens manufacturers recommend washing your face before you put your lenses in. This ensures you don’t get water in your eyes (tap water isn’t great for contact lenses) and it also helps you not lose them accidentally when you throw that splash of water on to clean off all the soap.  Washing your face first can also help get your hands a little cleaner (assuming you are using a mild soap or cleansing product to wash your face).

Remember, even if your skincare regiment includes following a face wash with an immediate moisturizer, sun tan lotion, or astringent wait on this step until you have already put your contact lenses in.  You don’t want to handle any additional lotions, oils, or cleaners (or make up) until those contacts are safely and happily sitting on your eyeballs!

After you wash your face, and let the water run down the drain, you’ll want to do two more important things before you pop in those new or freshly cleaned contact lenses.

First, you’ll want to pull the drain plug.  You’ll want to make sure that all your soapy water from face cleaning is down the drain and your sink is free and clear and plugged.  If I had a dime for everytime I forgot to pull the plug and dropped a contact lens, with perfect precision, right down the drain….

The second thing you’ll want to do is thoroughly clean your hands, again.  Yes, I know you feel like they are clean…but one drop of a harsh facial soap (like the anti-acne kind) on your contact lenses may make you cry.  You’ll want all signs of cleaning agents other than mild soaps and cleansers gone without a trace from the crevices of your fingers!

I hope this helps take the mystery out of your morning contact lens routine!  Ask your closest America’s Best optometrist for any tips he or she may have for handling your contact lenses.



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