• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Why a dermatologist says your makeup needs a makeover

May 11, 2018

Many cosmetics have a shelf life or a best-used-by date on their labels. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says cosmetic manufacturers are not required to provide these dates. Some cosmetics have a shorter life span than others, especially eye makeup. If you still have the same tube of mascara that you had last spring, Mayo Clinic dermatologist Dr. Dawn Davis says it might time to clean our your cosmetic drawer.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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When was the last time you gave your makeup bag a makeover? You may be surprised to hear what Dr. Davis recommends and why. “I recommend to my patients that they go through their cosmetic drawer every six months and get new products.”

Dr. Davis says these products are contaminated the moment they are opened. “Once a product has been opened, it starts to chemically dissolve, and it also gets exposed to the environment.”

Take mascara, for instance. “Bacteria and germs can grow in the mascara, and then you can contaminate yourself by reapplying product.”

That’s not including your personal Demodex mites that are likely transferred to that product.

“Once you use the mascara, dander and mites, and potential germs can be on the brush. And, then, you place that back into the mascara liquid, where it’s a nice home for them to potentially grow and multiply," says Dr. Davis.

Replacing your makeup can be expensive. Dr. Davis recommends buying smaller amounts, or samples sizes.

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