Eye makeup helps draw attention to one of your greatest assets, unfortunately it can also lead to eye problems. Here are a few ways cosmetics can affect your eyes:

Sharing Makeup

Many people do not know how much bacteria can be found on their cosmetic products and the applicators, but it is always much more than they first suspected. Although it is perfectly fine for you to use the same mascara brush day in and day out for a maximum of three months, sharing certain cosmetics such as mascara, or applicators can cause a serious problem for someone else. Therefore, it is imperative that you never share eye cosmetics with anyone. Problems that can arise and spread include painful styes, and unsightly and highly contagious pink eye.


Bacteria cannot only be shared from person to person but also from personal cosmetics. The bacteria on your lips and skin are different than that found in your eyes. When you use a lip pencil or other facial makeup in or around the eye it can transfer bad bacteria which can create a problem. To eliminate the risk of transferring bad bacteria to your eyes refrain from using non eye cosmetics in or around the eye. You can also store makeup in a cool dry place to help stop bacteria from forming.

Old Makeup

Eye makeup should be replaced every few months. This is especially true for old mascara and eyeliner that will dry out and become very irritating to your eyes. Never add saliva or water to old mascara as this will make the potential for irritation and bacteria worse. Mark the date you open your eye makeup with a felt pen so you know when it is time to toss it. Think of it as the perfect opportunity to try out the latest colours.

Here is a mini guideline as to when you should replace your eye cosmetics:

After 3 months – Throw out your mascara and your liquid or gel eyeliners. These products harbour the most bacteria and need to be replaced most often. If you want to save money when replacing them look for sales and opt for inexpensive drug store brands.

After 6 months – Throw out your old eyeshadow. This may be unfortunate as you probably have your favourite colours, but they can always be replaced for new bacteria free eyeshadow shades.

Doesn’t need to be replaced – Pencil eyeliners do not need to be replaced as long as you’re sharpening them regularly. This will also keep application smooth and beautiful.


Some eye makeup may contain lead, especially kohl. Products with dangerous chemicals should be avoided including permanent treatments such as eye lash dye and permanent eye liner. Permanent and semi-permanent makeups can cause serious eye problems if the technician does not apply them properly. Eye makeup that contains glitter and “frosted” looks is also bad for your eyes as they can actually scratch and irritate your eye. It might be a sacrifice for beauty, but well worth it.


Never apply eyeliner on the inside of the eye as this can lead to eye problems or infections. It is also important to only apply eye makeup when still and not moving, for example never apply eye makeup while in a car in case you were to accidentally poke yourself in the eye or misapply cosmetics creating a beauty disaster.

Always remove makeup with a proper eye makeup remover before bed. Also if you find a new product causes irritation, stop using it immediately to avoid further eye problems.