Safe and Sound: Have You Ever Actually HAD an Infection From Mascara?

By Beaut.ie | April 13 2010 | 40 Comments

Lynnie’s post last week about POA – period after opening – got me thinking about when I do and don’t chuck beauty bits out. My MO is to throw based on not liking something, rather than hygiene.

While there are definite concerns about water- and oil-based creams and liquids because these environments are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria (and that’s why we have paraben or other preservatives in them), the fact is, powder products, containing no water, are generally going to be fine until time immemorial unless you’re doing ganky things like spitting into your eyeshadow to wet it. In which case, maybe amend your approach, eh?

But before you start thinking this is another nefarious beauty industry trick to fool us into throwing out perfectly good stuff in order to buy more, the POA symbol is not quite as cynical as all that and can be looked at within the context of health and safety law – food manufacturers are subject to even stricter rules, for example.

But the fact is, we’re always reading articles on blogs and in mags and newspapers about the dangers of old cosmetics. That leads to a lot of worry and expense among consumers, and as noted above, yes, creams and water- and oil-based items can be a breeding ground for bacteria, but, well, I’m inclined to think you’ve got a bit of leeway unless something reeks to high heaven or has started to separate.

So, with that in mind, have you ever had a reaction from a mascara due to its grand age and senile character? Have your eyes tingled terrifyingly with pink eye, conjunctivitis or styes as a result of a wand that was three months and ONE DAY OLD? If so, leave us a comment and lets try and establish some real-gal facts around this issue.

Eyes , ,
 

40 Replies to "Safe and Sound: Have You Ever Actually HAD an Infection From Mascara?"

  • Perfect Brunette says:

    I hadn’t,but my friend once bought brand new mascara i think it was Max factor or Loreal and got infection…eh…

  • Aisling Aphrodite says:

    Well… not from using one 24 hours past its prime – but from stupidly using a friends mascara years ago. I got terrible conjunctivitis that lasted for an unbelievably long time
    Never again!

  • Aisling Aphrodite says:

    Lovely picture btw – I think that’s close to how I looked!

  • FrogPrincess says:

    I think the problem lies with using other people’s mascara. It’s just not a hygienic thing to do. But it sometimes seems like a grrreaat idea with a few glasses of wine down ya! I have had eye infections in the past but not necessarily caused by mascara I don’t think. But if I ever get an infection I bin my mascara straightaway so that it doesn’t harbour any nasties for the next time!!! just in case. I haven’t had any problems with keeping mascara beyond 3 months…yet! (she said…). I only use it occasionally and can’t justify buying a new one so often.

  • Glamazon says:

    I have never had an infection from using old mascara and I never throw it out after 3 months – only when it starts feeling not right or dryer (don’t use it everyday so would be a complete waste if I followed the 3 month rule). I did once get a stye (and subsequently a cyst) from leaving mascara on overnight but that’s a whole n’other story.

  • daiseeboo says:

    Nope, never had any sort of infection from cosmetics other than yucky spots from being a lazy cow and not cleaning it off properly or an allergic reaction to skincare that is!

  • BerG says:

    That pic is terrifying. Thats news to me on the 3monts time frame on mascara’s. I keep them for longer, and in general have no ill effects.
    I did get an eye infection though after a friend used my eye liner, so never share eye makeup now as a rule.
    Generally hold onto stuff i love until the lipstick’s bubble or the products smell, i know thats terrible. I don’t actually use them but can’t bear to be parted from them. Do a clear out every 2 years or so.

  • twinkle says:

    Hmm I am v.suspicious of using old mascara in theory, but in practice I am v.broke but I try to change mine every 3 or 4 months, I got a stye before Christmas and I’m blaming an old mascara. Perhaps I have sensitive eyes tho as I get infections sometimes from this red colour that goes into purple makeup. Now I am to be vcareful with eyeliners and such. Once treated myself to YSL effet faux cils in purple, which really makes hazely eyes like mine stand out(but its not purple mascara in the I’m 14yrs old sense) only to have an eye infection for a week, itchy as f*** too. Needless to say my sister was delira as she got the brand new sexy mascara! Have to shamefully admit to the old grab-a-friends-mascara-when-sloshed move though!

  • Glamazon says:

    Twinkle :) I dread someone asking me can they borrow any of my make-up in the loos when out – how do you say no politely? I’d never let anyone use my eye or lips stuff but I have had friends asking to use my power puff or something and I can’t use it then until I wash it. I stand there watching them using it whilst trying to make my horror-struck grimmace look like a smile.

  • Bettyboop says:

    Woke up with a stye/beginning of conjunctivitis one morning and nearly sure it was down to not taking my eye makeup off completely with a proper eye-makeup remover. Bit scary as couldnt open my eye completely!
    Perhaps it was the mascara too, can’t recall if it was out of date or not but knowing me, it probably was! Anyway I thought it was great, day off work! :) and once the doctor prescribed me antibiotics it was basically gone in 24 hours. Obv don’t want it to happen again though so use eye-makeup remover now and replace mascara usually every 6-8 months.

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