One study found bacteria in 30% of mascaras tested after three months of use^1^. In a separate study, 79% of used mascaras tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus and 13% were contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa^2^. The amount of bacteria within a product is related to the amount of use, the age of the product and the number of users.
This is perhaps unsurprising given that a study by the College of Optometrists revealed that over half of make-up users don’t check their cosmetics for their use-by date, with almost a fifth not even being aware that they can carry use-by information^3^.
The consequences of this laisse-faire approach can cause havoc with our eyes. Using eye make-up around the lashes and lid margins can lead to increased risk of infection and injury if we do not take care. By using old products past their use-by date, sharing make-up, applying make-up with applicators whilst on the move or not cleaning the make-up off the eyes properly can lead to ocular discomfort.
What’s more, eye liner that is applied to the inside lid margin (the wetter part of the margin) can contribute to blocking some important glands that are part responsible for providing the eyes with a healthy tear film. If this happens it could lead to eye issues such as dry eye, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid), eye infection or a stye.
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