When we’re applying eye makeup, we don’t think about the bacteria crawling on our pencils, wands and powdery colors. Yet, these applicators can become dirty in ways our eyes can’t see and lead to eye infection or irritation.
Luckily, making a habit of these five easy tips can help you reduce the chance of harming your health while keeping your eyes radiant and sparkling.
1. Throw Out Eye Makeup That is More Than Three Months Old
Cosmetics do have a shelf life, and it’s easy for us to lose track of how long you’ve had that favorite eye shadow color. Opthamologist Dr. Shalini Sood-Menditatta advises against keeping eye products for longer than about three months.
“If the mascara or eyeliner itself is old, this increases chances that bacteria or fungus have contaminated it. If any of this gets introduced directly into the eye, you could end up with a serious eye infection,” she says.
An easy way to remind yourself to throw out old makeup products is to use a permanent marker or sticker label with the date you need to discard them.
2. Wash Off Your Make-Up Every Night- With the Right Product! Here
It’s important to keep your eyes healthy and clean by removing all eye makeup at night before sleeping. But keep in mind that the product you use to take off your makeup is just as important as taking it off in the first place!
Doctor Dan Reinstein, Medical Director of the London Vision Clinic notes, “If you don’t use the correct antiseptic wipes you’re only going to maneuver any bacteria back into your eye, leading to redness, irritation and potentially infection.”
For a great, natural eye makeup remover, try Blephadex eyelid wipes. They’re gentle on the eyes, and they contain coconut oil, a great all-natural ingredient that removes even waterproof mascara and eyeliner.
3. Just Say No to Glitter
Glitter in your make-up adds that sparkle to your eyes, but it can also flake off and add sparkles in your eyes, causing redness and irritation.
“Not only can glittery eye shadow exacerbate chronically dry eyes; glitter is another common cause of corneal irritation and infection,” Dr. Sood says.
The best solution? Just say no to glitter- your eyes will thank you!
4. Clean Your Eye Make-Up Brushes
Dr. Reinstein advises that make-up brushes in particular gather bacteria and dirt over time. That means every time you go to apply make-up using a dirty brush, you may be spreading that bacteria and dirt onto your eyelashes.
The best way to avoid getting that harmful bacteria into your eyes is to make a habit of washing your make-up brushes every couple of days.
5. Read Labels and Avoid Harmful Ingredients
Just because a product is labeled “hypoallergenic” or “natural,” doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Janet Nudelman, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, notes “There’s no legal definition of the word ‘natural;’” Additionally, “organic” may only refer to the ingredients that are certified organic, not the entire product itself. “One simple word can hide dozens and dozens of ingredients, some of which can be toxic,” Nudelman advises.
The solution? When buying your makeup, choose brands with a few recognizable ingredients.