Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visitor Restrictions, Resources, and Updates

Explore URMC
URMC / Patients & Families / Health Matters / July 2015 / Face Facts: Keep an Eye on Makeup’s Freshness

Face Facts: Keep an Eye on Makeup’s Freshness

Before your brush on that mascara or line your lids, stop and think about when you last updated your makeup bag. Cosmetics have a shelf life and old or expired makeup can put you at risk for pink eye and other serious infections. 
UR Medicine optometrist Dr. Rebecca Nally, of the Flaum Eye Institute, offers these safety tips to protect your eyes when you’re putting on your face.
woman applying mascara
  • Keep it fresh: Replace your mascara every three months, eyeliner and eye shadow every six to 12 months, and lipstick every 18 months. Foundation, powder, and other facial makeup lasts about a year.
  • Keep to the kitchen rule: When in doubt, throw it out.   
  • Keep it small: Consider buying travel-size mascara. It’s less expensive and you don’t waste it if you don’t use makeup regularly.
  • Keep face products away from eyes: Use care when applying moisturizers to avoid contact with your eye. It might sting and irritate the eye, causing redness.  
  • Keep track: Avoid outdated moisturizer or foundation. The chemicals may have started to break down, which may cause acne-like bumps, rash or swelling, especially on your eyelids.

Importantly, if you do get an infection in your eyes or on your facial skin, throw away all of your makeup and contact lenses and launder your pillowcases and any washcloths that have touched your face to avoid re-infection.

Rebecca Nally
Rebecca Nally O.D., is an optometrist at the Flaum Eye Institute. As a comprehensive eye care provider, she enjoys working with special needs patients and specializes in medical and cosmetic contact lens care. She also has a fashion and beauty blog,

Lori Barrette | 7/24/2015

You may also like