Thursday, June 7, 2007

Hanging on to that favourite lipstick is a health hazard

Nine out of ten women are putting their health - and looks - at risk by applying make-up past its use-by date, a survey shows.

Most are unaware that their lipstick or mascara can be a "hothouse" for bacteria which can cause infections when the make-up is applied.

Others deliberately hang on to their favourite cosmetic products longer than they should because, for example, the line has been withdrawn from sale.

Experts from the College of Optometrists found that despite recommendations to throw away mascara after three to six months, 92 per cent of women admit to keeping it for longer.

Nearly two-thirds questioned were using eye make-up that was more than two years old.

The worst offenders were those in their late 30s and early 40s, of whom one in five uses eye makeup that is more than five years old.

For women who don't have much time in front of the mirror before leaving home in the morning, applying a quick coat of mascara on the train or bus can be most dangerous of all.

Scratching the eye with a mascara wand is the most common injury from make-up and can lead to eye infections.