Injuries Give the Mascara Wand a Black Eye

  1. Injuries Give the Mascara Wand a Black Eye
    New York Times
    July 20, 2006

    DRIVING to work in the morning, Dr. Roy S. Rubinfeld shudders when he watches women brushing on mascara at stoplights.

    “I am concerned that they are going to poke themselves in the eye,” said Dr. Rubinfeld, an ophthalmologist in Chevy Chase, Md., who specializes in treating injuries to the cornea.

    The most common injuries involving cosmetics are jabs to the eye with mascara wands, according to the Web site of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Rubinfeld said that scratches to the cornea not only hurt; they can also provide an entryway for bacteria, “especially if you are using an old mascara that has no more preservatives in it so it grows bacteria like a petri dish.”

    Mascaras can trigger an allergic reaction, causing redness and swelling along eyelids, he said.

    Dr. Brian S. Biesman, an ophthalmic surgeon in Nashville, has treated patients whose heavy use of mascara had clogged the drainage systems of oil-producing glands, causing sties.

    To be safe, Dr. Biesman cautioned against applying mascara “while holding dogs, children or a steering wheel.”

    To minimize exposure to bacteria, replace mascara every few months, Dr. Biesman said. He added that people who have a history of sties may want to forgo mascara altogether.

    Dr. Rubinfeld said those who are sensitive to cosmetics may be better off using mascaras that are marked hypoallergenic.
  2. Thanks for the article, coachwife. I was just discussing the exact subject with my friend the other day. I could never get myself to throw away mascara if they are still good (not drying up) even they are over 6 months old. I don't use mascara much or a lot of it, so can never finish the tube within 3 months and I tend to have more than 1 tube (like 3 now). I really have to convince myself to cut this bad habit.
  3. I am in the same boat. It will make me more vigilant. Thanks for the feedback.
  4. Ouch! I've poked myself in the eyes a few times...not pleasant! And I don't throw out my old mascaras...guilty on both counts!!:Push:
  5. Wow! Good to know. Now I don't have to feel guilty about throwing out my old mascaras that I don't like anymore.