Francesca J. Fusco, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says that, yup, your makeup routine could be behind your eye issues. “A sty occurs when bacteria get trapped in the gland openings along your eyelid, causing a bump that may become red, painful, and swollen,” she says. “Habits that encourage bad bugs: sharing eye makeup or brushes, sleeping with liner on, and using old products (six-plus months for pencil liners, three-plus months for liquids).”
As tempting as it might be to squeeze or drain a sty yourself, don’t—you could just end up pushing the bacteria deeper. “Until you see a doctor (who may prescribe an antibiotic ointment), apply warm compresses, avoid eye makeup altogether, and toss any suspect products,” Fusco says.