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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Make-up used past sell-by date

4th June 2007

A new survey has shown women may be putting their health at risk by using old makeup.


Research published by the College of Optometrists found that 92% of women kept their mascara for longer than the recommend three to six month limit. Many women did not know that their cosmetics can act as breeding grounds for bacteria which can potentially cause infections.

Many women avoided throwing away makeup because a company had stopped making their favorite product. Almost two-thirds of the women surveyed used eye make-up that was over two years old. One in five women in her late thirties or forties applied products which was over five years old.

Dr Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to the college, said: "It's ironic that women spend so much time and money on cosmetics to make themselves look beautiful, and yet in using it, they are making themselves vulnerable to infections that are anything but attractive."

Women who apply their makeup while travelling could suffer from permanent eye damage. If the eye is scratched with a mascara wand - a common injury - it can leave it "vulnerable to all sorts of nasty infections," said Dr Blakeney.

She warned that most women were not aware of, or were not paying attention to use-by dates on cosmetics. Current EU legislation says makeup must be "labelled with a date of minimum durability" but does not give a definition of how long a product can be used for.

Cosmetics sales in the UK are expected to reach £1billion a year, a rise of 40% since 2002. British women buy the highest number of cosmetic products in Europe.

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