PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You might think holding onto old make-up is saving you money, but you could also be risking your health because old cosmetics can breed bacteria.

Mary Jo Goodrich’s make-up bag is like many women’s – a mix of products from cheap to expensive, some new and some really old.

“I never think of the time span of how long I’ve had it, just the wear on it,” said Goodrich, of Oakmont.

Make-up artist Gina Pravlochak says keeping make-up too long is risky.

“You can get eye infections, you can spread pink eye back and forth from cosmetic to cosmetic,” said Pravlochak. “It’s not going to be an easy thing to take care of once you get it.”

Starting with liquid make-up, Pravlochak offers some tips on when to keep and when to toss your cosmetics.

“This is a liquid liner, this would need to be replaced every three months because it’s a liquid. All your eye products, liquid eyeliner, mascara, even eyelash curlers – actually the pads – need to be replaced every three months,” said Pravlochak. “If you’re replacing your liquid liner, but using the same pads, you’re still going to have the same infection or bacteria on that eyelash curler.”

She has a great trick to remember when three months has passed.

“Makeup does not come with its own expiration. I suggest keeping Sharpies – silver and black – and putting your own expiration date on them so you know when to toss them before they get contaminated, before bacteria can even grow,” Pravlochak added.

Next, powder make-up.

“Powders generally can last a year to 18 months,” she says. “All blushes, powders, bronzers; anything you have with a cake base too can be used that long. Unless it’s damaged.”

The last type of make-up is cream.

Regular lipstick can last six months. However, lip glosses last less than that.

“This collects bacteria in the purse,” says Pravlochak. “Then, you use the wand on chapped lips and put it back in and put bacteria in that you just had on your lips.”

Also, she says to avoid using your finger for lipstick, gloss or balm.

“Every time you put your finger into a product like a lip balm, or ones you slide over, can stick in a gym bag. You’re sticking germs from your finger into whatever you’re putting on your lip,” Pravlochak said. ‘If you have an open sore or even chapped lips, you’re risking infections and cold sores.”

As for nail polish, she says to test to see if it goes on thin.

“If you take it out and it’s clumpy and thick and drags through the nail, it’s time to discard it,” Pravlochak added. “If you look at it, and there are rings of color, it’s time to discard it.”

Goodrich says now she’s going to think about the age of her make-up.

“I’m cleaning everything out, buying new stuff and starting over and marking my new stuff so I can start keeping track,” she said.

Perfume is another beauty product women tend to hold onto for a long time. It can last for eight years.

If you really want it to last longer, keep it in the fridge because it’s heat that breaks down the scent molecules.

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