That mascara wand can do more than just make your lashes longer. It can also give you an eye infection.

Every year, many women end up with eye infections from cosmetics.

Pieces of makeup can land in the eyes and cause redness and irritation. More serious, infections that threaten sight can result if the surface of the eye is scratched with an infected brush or makeup pencil.

Most cosmetics have long shelf lives, but since they can be infected with bacteria after only one use, it is a good idea to keep track of how long you have been using products like mascara and eyeliners. Although there are no guidelines for cosmetics use, risk of infection can be reduced if you change them every 3 to 4 months, experts suggest. Also, avoid sharing cosmetics. Cross contamination happens when two or more people use the same brushes or eyeliners. The main danger with sharing makeup is passing on an infection like viral conjunctivitis or pink eye. Exposure to even a small amount of virus can lead to a very uncomfortable infection.

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