Are Your Eyes At Risk?

Tests have revealed that out-of-date eye makeup can lead to some pretty nasty problems.

According to a study published by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the mascara you’re using right now may be riddled with infection-causing bacteria.

The researchers tested 40 mascara samples from a random selection of women and found that 79 percent were contaminated with staph bacteria.

Our bodies inside and out are host to thousands of bacteria including a number of staphylococcal types.  Many are beneficial some are bad and some are both.

The key here is balance.   When the harmful bacteria are present in small quantities they are kept in check by the beneficial ones.  Problems arise when the harmful bacteria numbers become excessive and or enter your body.

Here is the problem: the dark moist environment inside a mascara tube is the perfect place for those nasty bacteria to proliferate. A preservative may keep them at bay for the first three-months but after that…

The researchers also found that nearly 90 percent of the women who participated in the study used their mascara well past the expiry date in many cases months and years after it should have been discarded.

The soft tissue around our eyes is very vulnerable to infection. There are lots of open pores where the eyelashes come out along with oil glands and tear ducts. So that mascara wand laden with bacteria has a high probability of causing an infection such as acute staphylococcal blepharitis.

Consequently, over 80 percent of people diagnosed with this staphylococcal eye infections are women.

While using out of date mascara is by far the worst offender the same applies to most other forms of makeup as well.

How can you protect your eyes from bacteria and enjoy awesome lashes?

Sharing Is Not Caring for your eyes. We all have our own individual colonies of bacteria. Your best friend may have bacteria on their skin and eyelashes that does cause her infection, this same bacteria could cause a nasty infection in your eyes. Sharing makeup is a frequent cause of eye and skin infections so keep your mascara and makeup where your friends can not casually use it and don’t share theirs.

Time Out time.  Its’ easy to forget use-by dates and many cosmetic products are not required to display them. So particularly with mascara, it is wise to track this yourself.  As soon as you open a new tube, enter a “toss my mascara” reminder onto your smartphone for three months if you are in a hot climate and up to 6 months during winter or in a cold climate. Then do it—its’ Time to throw it out even if it hasn’t dried up yet.

Think Small. It’s tough to throw out a tube that still delivering great lashes. So make sure your mascara runs out faster. Buy Travel-Size Tubes.

Change the order of business.  Don’t apply your mascara before slipping in your contact lenses.  If bacteria from your makeup gets in your eye, then you cover it with a contact lens, the bacteria can grow more rapidly.   Also, it’s much easier to see where you’re applying your mascara if you put on your lenses before grabbing your wand.