Cosmetics can cause surprising problems. Is your mascara clumpy? Your liquid foundation thickening? Can’t remember what year you bought your half-used lipstick? Dermatologists say your old makeup may be causing you blemishes or even worse?it could lead to a dangerous infection.

Dermatologist Angela Bowers warns that old makeup could be harboring dangerous bacteria. So how do you know when to throw them out? Bowers says, “It’s difficult to know because cosmetics usually don?t include expiration dates.”

Eye make-ups and liquid foundations last the least amount of time and should be tossed out after just three months. Bowers says, “The bacteria can get in there and the preservatives might not be working quite as well as they were when you first opened it. If you get some of that in your eye you may develop conjuctivitus which we know as ‘pink-eye.'” Powders and foundations opened more than a year ago can also cause problems. According to Bowers, “?Old, expired makeup that might irritate the skin and cause little red bumps that look like acne.”

And don’t forget your makeup applicators. Bowers says, “If you use sponges to apply makeup, you should replace those at least once a week.”

How to make the final, expensive, decision? Do just like you do when you?re figuring out whether your milk is too old?put your nose inside the container and take a deep sniff. An unusual odor usually means that it contains bacteria.

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