Tag Archives: MRSA

Is Your Eye Makeup Dangerous?


Did you know all those mascaras you’ve been accumulating in your makeup bag can be hazardous to your health? Various dangerous bacteria thrive in those little tubes if they are kept and used for too long. There are other reported health risks associated with eye make up as well, such as controversial ingredients that can easily irritate the eye. Let’s take a closer look:

What’s In Your Mascara?

Mascara dates back to the Ancient Egyptians who used a mixture containing charcoal and crocodile excrement. Eww! While there may not be any poo in our modernized mascaras, many do contain a harsh cocktail of unpronounceable ingredients such as propylene glycol, which has been known to cause skin irritations in those with sensitive skin. Many mascaras also contain aluminum powder, a potentially hazardous neurotoxin that remains on the radars of different skin safety groups such as the EWG.

How Can Old Mascara Hurt Your Health?

Old mascara tubes are the front-running culprits when it comes to make up danger. Most people don’t even notice the expiry dates on their mascaras, often keeping and using them months (or even years!) after they should have been disposed of. Big deal, right? It actually is a big deal. These little tubes provide the perfect moist little microcosm for harmful bacteria to flourish, especially since every time you use that little wand, more and more bacteria make their way back into the tube. Also, being that the eye is one of the most delicate areas of the body, its thin tissue can easily tear, allowing these infectious bacteria easy passage.

What Kind of Harmful Bacteria Live In Mascara Tubes?

Old mascara tubes can easily accumulate harmful little crawlies like pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can causes skin irritation, inflammation or potentially even sepsis! An even worse offender, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (more commonly known as MRSA), has also been found in the tiny tubes. MRSA is known for rapidly progressing, often untreatable (and potentially deadly) infections, Eeek!

How Long Can You Safely Keep Eye Makeup?

It is recommended you throw out and replace your mascara and liquid eyeliner approximately every three months. Pencil eyeliner and cream eye shadow are usually safe for about a year. Powder eye shadow has a longer safety shelf life, with the potential to safely last up to 2 years if you keep your eyeshadow applicators clean and haven’t shared it or used it while you’ve had an eye infection. However, these rules are not hard and fast – if in doubt, throw it out!

Keep an eye out for some make-up safety tips next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!