Eye Makeup Safety: When to Toss Those Products

Are you an eye makeup collector?

That eyeshadow that shimmered like pearls on the store shelf, but looks more like chalk on your lids, or that eyeliner that promised a sleek cat-eye, but looks more like a tire skid mark? Are those still rolling around in your drawer? Or maybe you buy colors for all the seasons, and save them to use again next year. Cosmetics are costly and tough to discard, but it’s time to take stock and check dates.

Saving a product in order to save money may prove costly to your health and your wallet. Eye makeup is beautifying while it lasts, but once expired, its health risks aren’t pretty. Heeding a few eye makeup safety tips could help you avoid the irritations or infections that expired or otherwise unsanitary makeup could cause.


Eye Makeup Safety Tips: How to Use Common Products

Here are some of the most common types of eye makeup, and how to use them wisely.

  • Eyeliner – Liquid eyeliners are good for three months. Beyond that, bacteria proliferates. The small, damp environment is a breeding ground, so check dates and discard the eyeliner if necessary, even if some of the product remains. Pencil eyeliners can last up to two years, but the key is to regularly sharpen them. Sharpening exposes a clean surface, providing you clean your sharpener with alcohol.With any eyeliners, if they become hard and dry, discard them to avoid eye injury.


  • Eyeshadow – Cream eyeshadows are good for six months, but be sure to clean or replace your applicators.Powdered shadows can last for two years, although the packed nature can make them harder to use.With any shadow, clean your brushes at least weekly, more if you use them daily. Using lukewarm water, rinse brushes with a makeup remover or mild soap; even baby shampoo is safe. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely with the bristles hanging over the sink or counter edge. If the bristles are laid on a towel or surface, they run the risk of mildew.


  • Mascara – Though tempting, do not use mascara beyond three months, or you risk a serious infection. Also discard it if it becomes dry or clumpy, or you notice a change in the smell. Mascara is the quickest to expire, since each use forces air in the tube. A common culprit of bacterial eye infections is an expired tube of mascara.


  • Eye Cream – The skin under your eyes is quite thin and delicate, making it easy to irritate. Eye creams in tubes can last up to 12 months, but jar creams involve finger tips, brushes, and open air, and should be used within six months. If your cream begins to discolor or separate, it is time to replace it to avoid eye infections or irritation.


If You Have an Eye Infection

If you believe you might have an eye infection, make an appointment with your local Michigan eye doctor for treatment. If you do have an infection, discard all eye makeup you used. Brushes can easily retransmit bacteria, causing recurrences in that eye or spreading it to your other eye.

Follow these simple tips for eye makeup safety to keep batting those healthy lashes. If you’d like to know more about eye makeup safety, contact Michigan Eye Institute today.

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