Vanity kits can be your best friend, especially when you need a little pick-me-up before going to work, or when you need touch-ups during the day.

Little do you know it, but your can’t-live-without cosmetics in your vanity kit can actually make you ill, if you aren’t careful. Here’s a guide on what to regularly change, keep and toss from your vanity kit:

Emery boards

If you like your nails nicely shaped and clean, an emery board may always be part of your vanity kit. However, because of their rough surfaces, emery boards are not easy to clean and wash. As a result, they gather dust which may be the cause of nail weakening and infection. If you are a regular nail filer, change your emery boards every two weeks to keep them in tip-top shape.


It’s not only hygienic, but it’s also polite to brush your teeth after a lunch out and before getting back to the office. It is a fact that the mouth is the dirtiest part of the body, because bacteria just seem to love the moist, dark environment between teeth and gums. The problem with toothbrushes in the vanity kit is that they are used for too long, and many folks forget to change them. As a general rule, toothbrushes must be changed every three months, just as you would regularly change your toothbrush at home.


Whether it’s prescription or just for fashion, contact-lenses are one of those products you just can’t afford to use beyond their expiry date. Contact-lens containers should be kept clean, with the fluid changed regularly and after every contact-lens usage. Dirty and expired contact-lenses are a definite cause of eye infections such as conjunctivitis or worse, a painful stye. If you’re tossing out contact-lenses, do not reuse contact-lens containers. Instead, purchase a new case for your fresh lens.

Eye liners and mascaras

If you have a favorite tube of mascara or a bottle of liquid eye liner in your vanity purse, make sure you take note of when you have started using the product. These products harbor dust and microorganisms which may cause eye infections. Never ever share your eye makeup with others, and wash your hands before application. Toss your liners and mascaras out after two to three months, and get yourself fresh new ones.

Lipstick or lip balm

If you unknowingly share lip balm or lipstick with someone who has a cold sore or a mouth / skin infection, you could easily contract the bacterial or viral infection. The same thing happens when you try some products out at a makeup counter and the last woman who tried some makeup had an infection. Therefore, it’s only prudent to stay away from sharing lip products, and use only your own. If you never share lip makeup with anyone else, they’re safe to keep in your vanity kit.

This guest post was written by Johanna Almazar R.N. Johanna writes health and fitness articles for

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