Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 02:06 pm

How clean is your make-up? Superbugs, including E. coli and Staphylococci, have been found in more than nine out of ten make-up bags…

Could your favourite tried-and-trust daily make-up kill you? It sounds absurd, but it’s actually possible.

Research from Aston University has found that the majority of regularly used make-up products, like mascara and lip gloss, are contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs.

How does this happen?

It’s because most of these beauty products are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates.

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Unclean and expired make-up products

Bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth or cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products.

This risk is amplified in immunocompromised people who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria.

How you can help prevent the spread of superbugs

Why beauty blenders are bad news

Beauty blenders, sponges used to apply skin foundation, have become a hugely popular for contouring on the face. However, they were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria.

The majority of beauty blenders (93 per cent) had not ever been cleaned, despite more than two thirds (64 per cent) being dropped on the floor at some point during use.

The researchers found that these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

“Consumers’ poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying when you consider that we found bacteria such as E.coli – which is linked with faecal contamination – breeding on the products we tested,” says researcher Dr Amreen Bashir of Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences.

“More needs to be done to help educate consumers and the make-up industry as a whole about the need to wash beauty blenders regularly and dry them thoroughly, as well as the risks of using make-up beyond its expiry date.”

How chemicals in cosmetics affect us

Source: Aston University via