bacteria

Unused makeup attracts bacteria. Here’s what to toss or clean

When one of Noëlle Sherber’s patients came to see her several months ago, the Washington, D.C., dermatologist noticed that the woman had an eye infection. It was a small sty and easily treatable, but Sherber still wanted to know what caused it.

Sherber learned that the patient, who had been at home since mid-March, had recently put on a full face of makeup using products that largely had sat untouched for months after she, like many others, scaled back her usual beauty routine during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I asked, ‘How old is your mascara? Your eyeliner?’ ” said Sherber, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and co-founder of Sherber and Rad. The woman, Sherber noted, had not purchased new cosmetics in a while and seemed to think that because she was not using her eye makeup often that it “extended the life span of the product.”

Even though

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