Just how many germs are multiplying on your mascara wand? There’re more bacteria brewing on those shadow brushes and eyeliner pencils than you think. That’s why proper makeup hygiene is essential. Here are some tips to help keep you in the clear.
For a lot of women, eye makeup is an essential part of being properly dressed – just as important as a stylish outfit or nice shoes.
But while mascara and eyeliner can create different looks, from subtle to striking; they can also make you ill.
The problem: eye makeup can be a breeding ground for bacteria. We all have a few microbes, like Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, living around our eyes. When eyeliner or mascara is applied, some of those bugs stick to the applicator and are carried back to the makeup container.
Eye products are supposed to contain preservatives to keep bacteria from growing. But some products don’t have enough. And, over time, the preservative’s effectiveness declines. As a result, the bacteria on an eyeliner pencil or mascara applicator grow and multiply. Each time you apply makeup, you get bigger and bigger doses of bacteria – enough to cause serious infections.
“Every year, many women end up with eye infections from cosmetics,” warns the University of Rochester Medical Center in the United States.
“In rare cases, women have been temporarily or permanently blinded by an eye cosmetic, according to the FDA.”
Christine Sindt, OD, Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa, recommends wiping the eyes daily with an antibacterial eyelid cleanser.
“[This can] dramatically reduce the amount of Staphylococcus and other bacteria around the eye – by more than 99 per cent,” says Sindt.
“Most such solutions contain hypochlorous acid, “a substance used by the body as a natural defence against pathogens, but is completely harmless to skin,” explains Sindt.
Daily eye hygiene is your best defence against infection and other common opthalmalogic issues such as dry eye and Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).
By following these simple steps as part of your daily routine, you can have beautiful eyes without the expense of their health to boot.