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Old Mascara Can Be Harmful To Your Eyes

How old is that mascara? Do you know? Most of us don’t worry much about makeup expiration dates. But eye makeup is a notorious breeding-ground for potentially harmful bacteria.

Potential Bacterial Infections Like Styes or Pinkeye

Eyelashes naturally have bacteria on them. Your mascara wand is infected as soon as you use it! Bacteria thrives in the dark, moist environment of your mascara tube. Although many cosmetics contain preservatives that slow bacterial growth, over time bacteria will accumulate. This can lead to bacterial infections like styes or pinkeye. You also risk fungal infections and general irritation.

Most problems caused by makeup contamination are minor and temporary. However, these infections can progress into vision-threatening conditions.

Be Aware Of Expiration Dates

After three or four months of opening, mascara should be discarded and replaced, no matter how much is left in the tube! And remember, most safety rules for mascara also apply to your liquid liner.

7 Ways To Avoid Makeup-Related Eye Problems

  1. Replace mascara every 3–4 months, or earlier if you notice clumping, or any change in texture, color, or smell.
  2. Buy travel size options if you’re not using full-size tubes in 3–4 months.
  3. Don’t share mascara with others!
  4. Mark the date that you opened the tube with a marker.
  5. After any kind of eye infection, replace all your old eye makeup.
  6. Store your makeup in a cool, dry place.
  7. Only use one tube of mascara at a time.

Healthy Eyes Are Beautiful Eyes

Being makeup smart is important for your overall eye health. Have questions about your eye health and habits? Your healthy vision is important to us! Find a Vision Source® practice near you and talk with us about it. 

Top image by Flickr user mbtrama used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Author Vision Source — Published June 8, 2015