Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Prevent Makeup-related Eye Infections

With the price of cosmetics, it may be tempting to keep using eye makeup, such as mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner, once it’s past its prime. However, research shows that it’s best not to give in to this idea. Although makeup that is several months old may look fine, microscopic bacteria may breed on it, making it dangerous for the eyes.

Old eye makeup can cause problems much bigger than eye discomfort and irritation. Eye cosmetics or applicators that are contaminated with bacteria can cause serious eye infections that may result in permanent damage, including blindness. Experts recommend replacing cosmetics after three or four months of use to reduce the risk of eye infections. 

Below are some more tips to help prevent eye infections related to makeup:

  • It’s the golden rule when it comes to prevention of spreading any type of germs: Wash your hands. Hand washing before applying makeup keeps bacteria on your hands from making it to your eyes.
  • Never apply makeup on the inner eye lids, where it can come into contact with your eyes.
  • Use clean cosmetic applicators.
  • Never share your makeup or applicators.
  • Always store cosmetics at temperatures cooler than 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Be careful not to scratch the eye when applying or removing makeup.
  • If you’re experiencing eye irritation, don’t wear makeup until you’re feeling better.
  • Avoid spitting into cosmetics.
  • Remove makeup before bed.
  • Contact lens wearers should put their lenses in before applying makeup and take them out before removing makeup.

In honor of Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, GBMC encourages women to reassess what’s currently in their makeup bags and throw out anything that is several months old or looks dusty or dirty. Beware of eye infection symptoms, including discharge, swelling of the eyelids, or inflammation of the white of the eye. Any of these signs warrants a trip to the doctor.

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