Can Expired Makeup Hurt My Eyes?

Submitted by Melissa Gold on September 6, 2018

Whether it’s a quick coat of mascara or a bold eye shadow, makeup can make your eyes pop and look brighter. However, these products won’t last forever. In fact, using expired eye makeup can lead to serious eye problems and vision damage. That’s why it’s always important to be mindful of the beauty product expiration dates for your eyes.

To give you an idea of how old cosmetics can affect your eyes, learn what can happen when you use expired eye makeup.


When cosmetics get older, they won’t just break down and get clumpy; eye makeup will also start to harbor bacteria, especially when they’re improperly stored. When you use expired mascaras, eye shadows, or eyeliners, the bacteria can come in contact with your eyes, causing irritation and even serious infections.

Old makeup can also affect the skin around your eyes. Typically, using contaminated products past the expiration date can lead to skin irritation and inflammation, as well as acne.


Makeup for Healthy Eyes


All beauty products come with a specific expiration date that lets you know when a product is no longer safe to use. To give you an idea of how long your cosmetics will last, here’s a look at the expiration dates for the most common types of eye makeup:

  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Eyeliner: 6 to 12 months
  • Eyeshadow: 1 to 2 years
  • Eyebrow Gel and Pencil: 1 year
  • Eye Cream: 6 to 12 months

On top of that, you should keep an eye on the consistency and overall condition of these products when you’re using them. If they start to get dry or clumpy, or if they’re becoming more difficult to apply, it’s best to throw them out, as your eye makeup may be expired or contaminated.


While avoiding expired cosmetics can help, there are a few other things you can do if you want to keep your eyes healthy. For example, cleaning your makeup brushes regularly can reduce the risk of irritation. Using cosmetics for sensitive eyes can also help.

Also, you want to think about how you’re storing your products. To minimize bacteria growth and to help extend longevity, keep your beauty products in a cool, dry place, instead of your bathroom. Bathrooms can get quite humid, which can lead to increased bacteria and even mold in your products.

Plus, don’t share your eye makeup. Letting someone else use your eyeliners, mascaras, and eye shadows can contaminate your cosmetics and cause infections, like viral conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Above all, always remove your makeup before bed. When you’re sleeping, particles from your makeup can get into your eyes and cause corneal scratches and infections. It can also clog your pores, which can lead to acne or skin irritation.

For more information about how you can keep your eyes healthy, check out Clavenna Vision Institute’s eye care tips on our blog or contact us today.