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10 Makeup Tips for Looking Great and Staying Healthy

Photo courtesy of shu uemura.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As women, we all do our best to look great everyday of the year. During the holidays, this is especially true. We go shopping for new clothes, try to exercise a little bit more, and spend a little more time on our makeup for those festive gathering.

In honor of this time of year, so that we are as healthy as we are beautiful, the Federal Drug Administration has come out with a list of health tips regarding cosmetics that I felt compelled to share. Most of the list deals with our eyes because that is were we have the biggest chance of infection.

Some of it is common sense and some of it made me think, wow! Here it goes. I hope its useful!

  • Keep everything clean — Dangerous bacteria can grow in cosmetic products and their containers. For example, don’t lay an eyelash wand on a countertop where it can pick up bacteria. In addition, always wash your hands before applying eye cosmetics.
  • Don’t moisten cosmetic products — Don’t add saliva or water to moisten eye cosmetics. Doing so can introduce bacteria. The problem arises if you overpower a product’s preservative capability.
  • Don’t share or swap — People can be harmed by others’ germs when they share eye makeup. Keep this in mind when you come across “testers” at retail stores. If you do sample cosmetics at the store, be sure to use single-use applications, such as clean cotton swabs.
  • Don’t apply or remove eye makeup in a moving vehicle — Any bump or sudden stop can cause injury to your eye with a mascara wand or other applicator, not to mention the potential car accident if you are the driver.
  • Check ingredients, including color additives — Cosmetics are required to have an ingredients declaration on the label. If they don’t, they are considered misbranded and illegal. In the U.S., the use of color additives is strictly regulated. More information on this can be found on the FDA’s website: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-col2.html.
  • Use only cosmetics intended for the eyes on the eyes — You may expose your eyes to either contamination from your mouth or to color additives that are not approved for use near the eyes. For example, don’t use a lip liner as an eye liner.
  • Don’t dye eyelashes and eyebrows — No color additives are approved by the FDA for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes and eyebrows. Permanent eyelash and eyebrow tints and dyes have been known to cause serious eye injuries, according to the FDA.
  • Avoid using eye cosmetics if you have an eye infection — Don’t use cosmetics if the skin around the eye is inflamed. Discard any eye cosmetics you were using when you got the eye infection.
  • Don’t use old cosmetics — Manufacturers usually recommended discarding mascara two to four months after purchase. Also, discard dried-up mascara.
  • Don’t store cosmetics at temperatures above 85° F — Preservatives that keep bacteria or fungi from growing can lose their effectiveness.
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