Hidden dangers in your makeup bags

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HOUSTON – By not cleaning makeup brushes, using products past the expiration date and leaving antioxidants in warm environments, we could be infecting our own skin with every application!

Dr. Sherry Ingraham, dermatologist, said all products including: powders, moisturizers and sunscreen are made to last 3 years unopened, once you open it the potency starts to decline and bacteria begins to grow.

Her suggestion:

"Write the date you open the product the day you open it and a year later I would go ahead and toss it because it's probably not as effective either," Ingraham said. "For products that are in a pot, you're putting your hand in the pot, your hand to your face, you need to be a little bit more cautious. It could last up to a year but if the product starts to smell or separate in anyway- toss it out."

Dr. Ingraham said mascara has an even shorter, three to six month lifespan.

"Because it is open to the environment, you're touching your eye, you're putting it back into the tube, it's just a well of bacteria
so if you notice anything smell… or if it clumps at all it's time to go."

Also, eyeshadow should be thrown out, especially if you get any eye infections!

"It's just not worth it, it can literally stay in those products and you can reinfect yourself."

Dr. Ingraham said clean your brushes every two weeks to remove bacteria that can spread infections or cause acne.

"Every two weeks take a little shampoo, wash it and lay them flat to dry," she said.

Cleansers and removers are fine to clean them with too, as long as you remember to use them!

Natural or organic products, Dr. Ingraham said, their lifespan is half the time, so six months for foundations and powders and no more than three for eye makeup. She said that's because organic products don't have the preservatives to kill bacteria.

Also, where you store expensive face creams might be compromising the integrity of the product.

"Think about the active ingredients in products, especially vitamins. Vitamin C, antioxidants, those need to be kept in a cool, dry place, not in a hot, warm bathroom. You might even want to put some of these products in your  refrigerator," Ingraham advised. "You really want to cherish and take care of those nice beauty products so they can take care of you."