The average woman owns 40 makeup products. Of these products, just five of them are used daily. And, it’s eye makeup staples, including eyeshadow, mascara, and eyeliner that the nation can’t live without. So much so, that even David Beckham has been seen sporting a striking teal eyeshadow recently. When you apply these eye products with precision, you can benefit from brighter and more striking eyes. However, it’s essential that your eye makeup routine is taking into consideration the health of your eyes, too.

The 3-month rule

A quick look at the packaging of any eye makeup product and you’ll see a symbol and number which indicates how long it’s safe to use the item for. As a general rule, eyeliners and mascara should be disposed of three months after their first use. This is because they are used on the rim of the eye by the waterline and pick up bacteria quickly. Eyeshadows, however, have a much longer life span, and, in most cases, are safe to use for up to 24 months.

Wash your makeup brushes frequently

If the thought of washing your makeup brushes has never occurred to you, then you’re not alone. 22% of females confess to having never washed their makeup brushes, while 39% do so less than once a month. Your eye makeup brushes should be cleaned frequently, though, to avoid dirt, germs, and bacteria from multiplying in your makeup tools and being spread across your face.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing makeup brushes every seven to 10 days in warm, soapy water. This is backed by celebrity makeup artist, Lauren Andersen, who states that washing your makeup brushes should be a “Sunday ritual”.

Avoid glitter

Glitter eye makeup is one of this year’s hottest looks. But, for the sake of your eye health, it’s best to steer clear of any products containing these sparkly particles and opt for something a little more demure. With glitter being so minuscule it can easily slip off from your eyelid and make its way into your eyes. This will then result in irritation, inflammation, and redness, which will spoil your glam look and could even lead to an eye infection. “Not only can glittery eye shadow exacerbate chronically dry eyes; glitter is another common cause of corneal irritation and infection,” Dr. Shalini Sood-Mendiratta warns.

Eye infections & makeup

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common types of eye infection. Each year, three million cases of conjunctivitis are diagnosed in the U.S. When you’re battling with a swollen red eye, it can be tempting to try to cover it with clever eye makeup. But, this can be counterproductive as conjunctivitis is highly contagious. When you apply makeup on and around the infected eye, you run the risk of your other eye becoming infected when using the same tools and makeup. Furthermore, these items will harbor the infection, meaning the chance of re-infection is high. So, rather than taking the risk, it’s best to go au naturel for a few days.

Keep an eye out for harmful ingredients

The average American woman spends $43 on every makeup shopping trip. Over the course of a lifetime, that’s $3,770 just on mascara. With such high costs involved, it’s tempting to buy cheap products on the net. However, you should be cautious of what ingredients these beauty items contain. Research has found high levels of mercury in some beauty products.

Meanwhile, kohl is a substance found in some eye makeup which you avoid at all costs. This is because kohl isn’t approved for use in makeup by the FDA as it can contain lead. However, the shade ‘kohl’ is fine to use as it merely indicates a color.

Many women swear by their eye makeup. And, while it can enhance and boost your appearance, you should always ensure that you put the health of your eyes first and take precautions with every eye makeup application you do.