Safe and Sound: Have You Ever Actually HAD an Infection From Mascara?

Lynnie's post last week about POA - period after opening - got me thinking about when I do and don't chuck beauty bits out. My MO is to throw based on not liking something, rather than hygiene.

While there are definite concerns about water- and oil-based creams and liquids because these environments are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria (and that's why we have paraben or other preservatives in them), the fact is, powder products, containing no water, are generally going to be fine until time immemorial unless you're doing ganky things like spitting into your eyeshadow to wet it. In which case, maybe amend your approach, eh?

But before you start thinking this is another nefarious beauty industry trick to fool us into throwing out perfectly good stuff in order to buy more, the POA symbol is not quite as cynical as all that and can be looked at within the context of health and safety law - food manufacturers are subject to even stricter rules, for example.


But the fact is, we're always reading articles on blogs and in mags and newspapers about the dangers of old cosmetics. That leads to a lot of worry and expense among consumers, and as noted above, yes, creams and water- and oil-based items can be a breeding ground for bacteria, but, well, I'm inclined to think you've got a bit of leeway unless something reeks to high heaven or has started to separate.

So, with that in mind, have you ever had a reaction from a mascara due to its grand age and senile character? Have your eyes tingled terrifyingly with pink eye, conjunctivitis or styes as a result of a wand that was three months and ONE DAY OLD? If so, leave us a comment and lets try and establish some real-gal facts around this issue.

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