Eye Makeup Lifespans and Your Ocular Health

We love how popular makeup has become! It’s always fun to try new looks, but, have you ever thought about how often you should be replacing makeup products to best preserve the health of your eyes? We have! Read on to find out more.

We love how popular makeup has become!  It’s always fun to try new looks, but, have you ever thought about how often you should be replacing makeup products to best preserve the health of your eyes?  We have!  Read on to find out more.

Up close picture of an eye with eye makeup


You should keep your mascara tube for no longer than 2 months.  Not only is a mascara container the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, but after a few weeks of use, the product will start to dry out and become clumpy. If you are applying crusty old mascara to your face, it can increase your risk of infection around the base of your eyelashes and in your eye.  Of course, if you start to notice odors or clumping in your mascara then dispose of it sooner, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus pro tip: never apply mascara while in a moving vehicle.  A poke in the eye with a prickly mascara wand is not a fun experience! 


Whether you’re working with a liquid or pencil eyeliner, you should replace it every 3 months.  That being said, liquid eyeliner has more water content which creates the perfect moist environment for bacteria to grow, so you may need to dispose of it sooner if you notice a change in texture or smell anything funky. 

Our eyes are lined with little glands on the upper and lower lid margin to help keep our eyes hydrated, so we highly recommend that you avoid drawing on your water line; as it will clog up the glands and put you at higher risk for dry eye disease and styes.  If you’re already guilty of drawing on your lid margin, it’s probably time to drop this habit and come in for an eye exam if you’re experiencing any eye issues! 


We know it seems like a simple powder should last forever, unfortunately eyeshadow has a maximum lifespan of about 6 months.  To keep your eyeshadow as clean as possible, do your best to use a completely clean brush each time you use it – don’t double dip if you can avoid it and be sure to wash your brushes frequently!

With eyeshadow, it’s also important to be very careful with powders that contain glitter. If a bit of glitter ever gets into the eye, make sure that you don’t rub your eyes. Glitter flecks in the eye can cause pretty painful scratches on your cornea, so the best thing to do is flush your eye out with water right away and visit your optometrist if irritation persists.  

Here are some general rules for makeup: 

  1. Never, ever share your makeup!  Eye infections can be very contagious, so don’t take the risk of any cross-contamination.  
  2. When you’re shopping for makeup, be sure that you are only trying make up that has been sampled with single use brushes or wands. Do not ever use the tester directly on your eyes!  An estimated 50% of makeup in stores is already contaminated.
  3. If you’re unlucky enough to get an eye infection, make sure that you dispose of all your eye makeup and sanitize or replace brushes.  Bacteria can linger on your products causing re-occurence of infection. Don’t ever self treat your infections, have an optometrist diagnose the infection first.
  4. Always apply eye makeup after putting in your contact lenses to prevent transfer of makeup onto the contact lenses.
  5. As always, make sure you completely remove your makeup every night!  Use a water based miscellar cleanser to make sure that you are not only removing any eyeshadow and liner, but also stripping the mascara off the eyelashes as well. You don’t want build up of mascara under your eyelid.  Early signs of irritation can include itchy, red eyes, but the repercussions of not removing eye makeup can quickly become more dangerous than simple irritation.
  6. We've recently learned that it's common to use lip liner on your eyes.  Please do not partake in this trend.  Your eyes shouldn't have to battle the bacteria from your mouth.
We Love Eyes

Here at Wellington Vision Care, we have wonderful 'We Love Eyes' lid care products that remove makeup beautifully and help care for your eyes.  You can check out the product line here or come in to see us in person.

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