- Discard mascara three months after purchase.
- Discard dried-up mascara. Adding water introduces bacteria & dilutes the preservative intended to protect against microbial growth.
- Don't store cosmetics at temperatures above 85F - more susceptible to deterioration of the preservative.
- Don't use any cosmetics near your eyes unless they are intended specifically for that use. A number of color additives approved for cosmetic use in general are not approved for use in the area of the eye.
- Don't share eye makeup. Another person's germs may be hazardous to you. The risk of contamination may be even greater with "testers" at retail stores, where a number of people are using the same sample product. If you feel you must sample cosmetics at a store, make sure they are applied with single-use applicators, such as clean cotton swabs.
- Buy makeup outside of the U.S.? Avoid kohl - kohl is used in some parts of the world to enhance the appearance of the eyes, but is unapproved for cosmetic use in the U.S. It consists of salts of heavy metals (antimony and lead). There are reports linking the use of kohl to lead poisoning in children.
- For containing an unsafe color additive, which makes the product adulterated.
- For labeling that describes the product falsely as "FDA Approved."
- For lack of an ingredient declaration.