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Code Red: A New Study Finds Life Threatening Superbugs, Like E. Coli, In Makeup Bags. We Are Gagging.

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One of my biggest pet peeves in life is for someone I barely know to touch my face. Having suffered from adult acne for four years now, I don’t let anything near my skin anymore. Hell, even my closest friends aren’t allowed to pull my chubby, Bong cheeks. This makes things extra difficult in my line of work since I am quite often propped up on a chair, getting hair and makeup done for a shoot. This means I am watching those makeup artists like a hawk, making sure they aren’t using any dirty brushes on my face. But it can often be exhausting. That is why I prefer doing my own makeup for events a lot. I will admit though, that I am part of the hype, buying the latest shade of lipgloss as soon as it hits the stores. But while I, myself, am able to ensure that all the products are clean and hygienic (to care for my already damaged skin), most women don’t pay heed to it at all.

The use of unsanitary makeup and incorrect maintenance can have a long term effect on one’s skin. Apart from the usual breakouts, these products can have actual life-threatening germs on them, according to a new study.

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New research out of Aston University in England revealed they found superbugs like E. coli and staphylococcus in 9 out of 10 makeup bags in their sample. “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 fecal contamination — breeding on the products we tested,” elaborated Dr. Amreen Bashir of Aston’s School of Life and Health Sciences.

According to the researchers, owners of these bags confessed to using items without washing them regularly, or even after they have dropped on the floor. They also discovered products way past their expiry dates in these bags, making them a hot plate for bacterial activity.  “Bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth, cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products,” mentioned the study.

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We have often asked told to wash our makeup tools and pay attention to the product’s expiration dates. But the fact that dirty makeup can lead to actual harm to our health is a revelation we weren’t prepared for. One of the findings of the study pointed at makeup sponges for being the prime suspect because they are often left damp after being used, making them an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.  Traces of the superbugs were also found on mascaras and lip glosses, OMG, not the gloss!

“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,” Dr. Bashir waned.  A detailed copy of this report can be found in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

If the knowledge that your makeup can be stained with bacteria related to bowel movements (gag!), isn’t enough to make you sanitise your makeup on the daily, then we don’t know what will. Do it for the healthy skin, that’s all we can say!


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