Everyone knows that eye infections can be caused by sharing eye cosmetics, but did you know that bacteria develops in your eye makeup over time just from exposure to moisture and air?
Take mascara, for instance: Each application introduces bacteria not only to the wand, but pushes it inside the tube. As you push the wand inside the tube, you increase the amount of air, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. From the moment makeup is opened, this cycle begins, and the clock is ticking.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that powders and eye shadows be discarded after two years and eyeliner, lip liner, lipstick, concealer and foundations be replaced after one year. Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all makeup -- dermatologists suggest discarding within three months.
Also, pay attention to your applicators, such as brushes and sponges, which can harbor unsafe bacteria. Brushes and sponges should be washed with mild soap every week, and disposable applicators should be discarded within one month.
The Food and Drug Administration cautions us to be wary of all-natural products, which have a quicker expiration date due to their plant-derived ingredients. These natural ingredients are more likely to become breeding grounds for microbes. All-natural products also contain little to no preservatives, which can lead to a shorter shelf life and higher bacteria count, so these products should be discarded even sooner than their preservative-packed counterparts.
Some additional pointers for keeping your makeup fresh includenever adding water or saliva to your products. Liquid increases thebacteria content of your products. Also, make sure your hands arethoroughly washed with soap and dried before applying. The bacteriapresent on your hands can easily transfer to your makeup. This is evenmore important when you are applying makeup such as foundation or eyeshadow with your fingers.Although many cosmetics have expiration dates printed right onthe box or the tube, cosmetic companies are not required to providethem. When you purchase a new product, make a note in your planner orcalendar for when it's due to be discarded.There are a few steps you can take to preventmakeup from spoiling before its expiration date. One way is to keepcosmetics out of the sun and heat, such as your car, which can kill thepreservatives that fight off bacteria. Another way is to make sure thatall products are tightly sealed. Properly sealed containers protectyour cosmetics from damp environments and airborne microbes, whichdwell in humid locales such as your bathroom. Keeping your makeup outof the bathroom altogether can also extend shelf life.You know makeup is past its expiration date if it has anirregular odor to it, or if the product's consistency thickens,settles, separates or the color has changed altogether. After acosmetic expires, continued use may cause serious infection orirritation. Remember, having pink eye will do nothing to play up yourlong eyelashes.Paige Herman and Marie Kuechel are editors of New Beauty, a semi-annual magazine about cosmetic enhancement. Source: Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Powered by Yellowbrix.