Your Favourite Beauty Products Are, Quite Literally, Crawling With Bacteria

Your Favourite Beauty Products Are, Quite Literally, Crawling With Bacteria

by | Dec 2, 2019

Hello and welcome to instalment number 346789090 of ‘Things You Need To Clean Way More Regularly Than You Currently Do.’ First, it was hair ties, then bed sheets and bras. The latest product due for some serious TLC? Your makeup MVP.

According to researchers out of Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences, most cosmetic products such as mascara, lip gloss and makeup sponges like ‘Beautyblenders’ are contaminated with bacteria like E. coli and staphylococcus. Reason being? They’re rarely sanitised – even after being dropped on the bathroom floor or applied with dirty hands. And, when left damp, create the perfect conditions for dangerous germs to breed.

Of the 467 products tested in the study, 77 per cent of eyeliners, 72 per cent of Beautyblenders, 69 per cent of mascaras, 56 per cent of lipsticks and 55 per cent of lip glosses were found to be carrying staphylococcus. In addition, more than a quarter of beauty blenders and one in ten lipsticks and lip glosses were affected with E. coli. If used near the eyes, mouth or an open wound, these contaminated products could lead to infections or even blood poisoning.   

RELATED: You’re Probably Washing Your Hands Wrong, Study Says

These findings mean manufacturers and regulatory bodies should be doing more to assist consumers by highlighting expiry dates and cleaning instructions on the product packaging.

“More needs to be done to help educate consumers and the make-up industry about the need to wash Beautyblenders regularly and dry them thoroughly, as well as the risks of using make-up beyond its expiry date,” the study’s co-author Dr Amreen Bashir explained.   

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