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Samantha Faragalli
Jul 01, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

When it comes to the hefty lists of beauty don’ts, sharing eye makeup ranks first. We’re talking everything from swapping lash and lid favorites during bathroom glam sessions to using testers at the beauty counter. We checked in with the experts to learn more about the consequences of sharing mascara, liner, concealer, and shadow.

What Causes Eye Infections?
“Microscopic organisms can easily be transferred from one person to another through makeup,” dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D. tells InStyle of one way in which eye infections can spread. And don't think you can tell if your friend is a carrier just by looking at her. “Although these germs might go unnoticed on one person, they may cause issues in the other person.” Among the top ways in which infection is spread through cosmetics? Testers at makeup counters—so resist the urge to sample in store.

RELATED: The Art of Letting Go: Decoding Your Makeup's Shelf Life, and When to Throw Out Old Products

What to Do After an Eye Infection
If you've just gotten over an eye infection, it’s important to toss and re-stock your eye makeup right away. “The dry dark environment of a mascara tube is a perfect environment for bacteria, fungus, or virus to flourish and re-infect the eye with subsequent uses,” explains dermatologist Jessica Weiser, M.D. “Makeup should be replaced routinely every three months for safety and immediately after any type of eye infection.”

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