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Is your make-up SAFE?
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June 11, 2007

Doctors are warning women that they are in for some serious health risks by hanging on to their favourite make-up even after the expiry date has passed.

A new survey shows that nine out of 10 women are using make-up past its use-by-date.

However, while women may be exceptionally fond of their favourite lipstick or mascara, experts from the College of Optometrists, UK, are warning that these can be a 'hothouse' for bacteria.

The researchers found that despite recommending that mascara be discarded after three to six months, 92 per cent of women keep it for longer.

The same was the case with eye make-up, with nearly two-thirds admitting they kept theirs for more than two years old, with those in their late 30s and early 40s even applying eye make-up that was more than five years old.

Dr Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to the college, believes that women just aren't aware of the risk they are taking by using make-up past its expiry date.

'Mascara can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so it's not surprising we've found nearly half the women suffer from itchy, watery and red eyes when they are holding onto their eye make-up for so long and sharing it among their friends,' the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

'The irony is that eye infections are not a pretty sight. Most women are either unaware of or simply ignoring manufacturers' recommended use-by-dates.

'The good news is that by taking a little bit more care with your make-up and beauty regime, it's easy to reduce the risk of eye infections.

'Perhaps it is because women are now constantly topping up their make-up bags with new products that they never actually finish any older products.

'These older cosmetics lie around for years, each one a little hothouse for bacteria," said Dr Blakeney.
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