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Published On: Thu, Dec 18th, 2014

Is your mascara blinding you?

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By Bianca London

It may boost lashes and hide signs of fatigue but your mascara could be wreaking havoc with your eyesight.

A new survey has revealed that British women are putting themselves at severe risk of eye infections by using mascara that is up to ten years out of date.

Unbeknown to many of us, mascara has a four month use-by date but, according to new research, 70 per cent of women regularly use mascara and eyeliner for much longer than that.

Beware the mascara! A new study shows that some eye make-up expires after four months but many women continue using it and put themselves at risk of serious eye infection

Researchers also found that two thirds use mascara which is over a year old and some women continue using the same mascara for up to ten years, with one fifth not even realising that make-up has a use-by date.

So what’s the problem? Specialists at eye hospital group Optegra, who commissioned the research, are warning that wet products like mascara, which are applied to close to the eye’s surface, are a breeding grounds for bacteria.

Breeding bacteria: Specialists warn that if mascara smells, you should stop using it and because it’s applied so close to the eye, it puts women at serious risk of eye infection

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Anna Maino said: ‘It’s worrying that so many use old eye products well past the use-by date, sometimes 10 years out of date.’

Sharing her advice for avoiding any infection, she warned: ‘They should look for a small open jar symbol with a number showing how many months it should be used once opened.

‘We are urging all women to check their make-up bags. Then they should do their eyes a favour and get rid of anything that’s out of date, especially if it smells.

‘Cosmetics normally contain preservatives to help prevent bacteria growth but storing them in a hot place will make it easy for bacteria to thrive.

‘Get into good make-up hygiene habits by sharpening eye pencils between applications, washing brushes regularly and turning out old make-up.’



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