It’s time for spring cleaning and makeup should be added to your to-do list. Your favorite mascara or perfect foundation could be the culprits behind mysterious health issues that crop up from time to time.

makeup habits making you sick - sharing makeup
Sharing makeup with a friend

Letting your bestie borrow your lip gloss may seem harmless, but it’s a serious offense in the beauty world. A multitude of germs and bacteria can spread from one person to the other. Sharing products increases the risk of catching conjunctivitis (pink eye) or herpes simplex virus (cold sores).

makeup habits making you sick - expired makeup

Using expired makeup

When it comes to expired makeup, its better to toss it out than bear the consequences of continuing use. Using expired makeup is like eating expired food–the molecules break down over time and can cause a bad reaction after the expiration date. While expired food may give you an upset stomach, expired makeup can cause acne or irritation to your skin.

makeup habits making you sick - dirty brushes

Never cleaning your brushes or makeup bag

When you’re constantly on-the-go, using your brushes and storing them together in the same bag day after day may not seem like a big deal. However, this habit can cause a breeding ground for bacteria. Applying makeup with brushes typically involves double-dipping your brush into the makeup container, transferring oils from your skin back to the makeup. Imagine the amount of bacteria the builds up over time and then putting those germs back into your makeup bag each day. That bacteria then transfers to your bag and continues growing. Like the other habits, this one puts you at risk for skin issues.

makeup habits making you sick - storing makeup in the bathroom

Storing makeup in the bathroom

Another playground for bacteria? Your bathroom. Most of us don’t think twice about keeping makeup in the bathroom, however steam and heat from your shower can cause mold and bacteria to grow in makeup products. Ideally, makeup should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a linen closet or your bedroom.

makeup habits making you sick - sleeping in makeup
Sleeping in makeup

The last thing you want to do before going to bed is take off your makeup, but this extra step can save your face from damage. Not washing makeup off can clog your pores with bacteria and lead to acne. Additionally, if you’re wearing eye makeup, you risk causing irritation to your eyes from makeup rubbing or flaking off into your eye during the night.

makeup habits making you sick - using testers

Using testers at retail locations

If sharing makeup with your best friend is frowned upon, then sharing makeup with strangers (customers) at your favorite cosmetic store is a definite no-no. Every time you touch makeup, you risk transferring bacteria or germs in it to your mouth, eyes or cuts in your skin. The same health risks associated with sharing makeup with your friends is associated with using testers.

makeup habits making you sick - ingredients

Using products with certain ingredients

Before purchasing a new product, be sure to read the ingredients on the back of the label. Ingredients, like nickel or preservatives, can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Nickel allergy is especially common because most mascaras contain the ingredient. Additionally, if you suffer from acne, you should only use non-comedogenic (special formula preventing blocked pores) or oil-free products.

— Suzannah Smith

You may also like
Staff prepare healthy tamales
Healthy tamaladas keep traditions alive
A person applies alcohol-based hand sanitizer to their hands.
Which is better, using soap and water or sanitizer?
An assortment of candy
Having a fun, safe Halloween for kids with food allergies
Researchers test ‘virtual’ fall prevention exercise program