Bad makeup practices do more than contribute to a “bad makeup” day – they can cause eye irritation and serious infections, especially for contact lens wearers whose eyes are already prone to irritation. These bad habits include sharing makeup, not cleaning makeup brushes and other equipment, and storing makeup in the wrong places. Don’t invite bacteria to be a part of your daily makeup routine; use these eye makeup tips to keep your eyes beautiful and healthy, inside and out.
Wash Your Hands
Just as you’d wash your hands before inserting contact lenses, you should also wash your hands before applying eye makeup. Not only does this prevent bacteria from being transferred to your eyes, but it prevents the natural oil found on your fingertips from causing breakouts on your face and around your eyes. If you use your fingers to apply foundation and face creams, you should wash your hands once more before applying eye makeup. Bacteria love to roam under your fingernails, so they should be cleaned regularly by scrubbing under your nails with warm, soapy water and a nail brush. If you apply makeup on-the-go, be sure to throw a hand sanitizer in your bag. In order to avoid getting makeup residue on your contact lenses, insert them before you apply makeup.
Check Expiration Dates
Did you know makeup items have an expiration date? Although most women use expired makeup out of utter carelessness, some purposely use makeup items past their expiration date because they were expensive or don’t look and smell any different. Unfortunately, once makeup has expired the consistency and smell probably won’t change, but the preservatives which keep the bacteria in check become less effective over time. This allows microbes to multiply inside the tube or bottle – microbes which are then transferred to your eyes and can cause everything from rashes to pimples.
Keep Equipment Clean
Makeup brushes and applicators are a fertile breeding ground for germs, and cleaning shouldn’t be saved for a specific day each month. Brushes should be wiped down with a tissue after each use, and every week or two they should be cleaned with soap and water, or a mild baby shampoo. After you’ve washed your makeup brushes, be sure to get all the soap off as soap residue can also irritate your eyes. Although makeup users tend to lay their brushes down on the sink, there’s no telling what kind of bacteria the surface has collected – be sure to lay makeup brushes on a paper towel while in use.
Store Makeup Properly
Unfortunately, makeup can spoil in extreme temperatures. Since makeup contains preservatives intended to prevent bacterial growth, it’s best to store your cosmetics in a cool, dry and dark place away from direct sunlight. While many makeup wearers keep an emergency bag of makeup in their car or gym bag, this isn’t a good idea, as direct sunlight and moist environments are a breeding ground for bacteria. Additionally, keep makeup out of hot, steamy bathrooms and other humid areas.
Don’t Share Eye Makeup
You already know bacteria can be spread through objects like doorknobs and keyboards, so why would makeup be any different? Sharing makeup, brushes and applicators, and even hairbrushes with someone else is risky business and should be avoided at all costs. If you must try something on at a makeup counter, insist on a disposable applicator, check if they follow cleaning procedures, or request a new tester product, as makeup testers can be contaminated with viruses like pinkeye. If you absolutely must use a tester product, use disposable applicators and sharpen any eye pencils you’d like to try out.