Although eye makeup is a part of many people's daily routines, one should consider the health risks of using old eye makeup. Despite the temptation to hold onto your favorite eyeshadows, eyeliners, and mascaras, please don't. Using expired products can cause several health issues with your eyes.
From nasty eye infections, pink eye, and allergic reactions, discover all the medical reasons why you should avoid using old makeup.
Red Flags of Using Old Eye Makeup
1. Eye Infections
Over time, bacteria, fungi, and other germs may colonize old eye makeup. Once it turns into a breeding ground for microorganisms, you can get severe eye infection from old makeup. In other words, when you apply contaminated products, there's a higher risk for these pathogens to enter your eyes.
For instance, bacteria can cause conjunctivitis (pink eye). Resulting in redness, itching, and eye discharge. More severe infections, like bacterial or fungal keratitis, can also occur. Potentially causing eye pain, vision impairment, and other complications.
2. Contaminated Applicators
Old eye makeup applicators, such as brushes, mascara wands, and eyeliner pencils, can accumulate bacteria over time. When you use dirty applicators, you increase the chance of introducing harmful microorganisms to your eyes. This can result in eye infections or allergic reactions. Proper cleaning and maintenance of applicators help avoid contamination.
3. Lower Quality
As eye makeup products age, their quality and performance deteriorate. Mascara may become clumpy, eyeliners might smudge, and eyeshadows may lose their vibrancy. Using old, ineffective makeup compromises the aesthetic outcome. But it also leads to discomfort and potential eye problems, as you may need to reapply the old makeup many times.
4. Allergic Reactions
Often the chemical composition of makeup alters with time. This may contribute to the formation of allergens which trigger an allergic reaction to old eye makeup. When the allergens come into contact with your eyes or surrounding skin, they may cause itching, redness, excessive watering, eyelid swelling, or even a rash. Severe allergic reactions can manifest as hives or more significant dermatological problems.
5. Potential Cross-Contamination
Sharing old eye makeup or using it after an eye infection may lead to cross-contamination. That's because it's facilitating the transmission of infectious agents. To prevent this, avoid sharing eye makeup. You should discard any product used while you have an eye infection, as well.
6. Ocular Irritation
Old eye makeup may become clumpy, dry, or crusty. When you apply it to the sensitive tissues of the eyes and eyelids, these products could lead to physical irritation. The intense discomfort may include a gritty feeling, a burning sensation, or even injury to the ocular surface. Such irritation is not only uncomfortable but may lead to severe complications if left untreated.
7. Corneal Scratches
Old or dried-out mascara can become crumbly, causing mascara particles to flake off and enter the eyes. A feeling of a foreign object in the eye can make you scratch it, resulting in corneal abrasion. Corneal scratches are quite painful and manifest in redness, sensitivity to light, and a foreign body sensation. If you delay treatment, you are putting yourself at risk of eye infections.
For more eye care and eye health advice from eye doctors, read our blog.
Checked by Atanas Bogoev, MD.