A new study reveals why your makeup bag could be bad for your health

This is scary!

makeup bag
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We all carry makeup bags, whether it’s in our handbag for the day, or in a suitcase when travelling. But a new study suggests they can contain potentially dangerous superbugs.

According to researchers at Aston University, a makeup bag can leave users at risk of skin infections, blood poisoning and even death in extreme circumstances. This study was posted in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Researchers found antibiotic resistant superbugs such as E.coli and Staphylococci in more than nine in ten makeup products including mascara, lip gloss and beauty blenders.

Beauty blenders pose a particular threat as they’re used to apply foundation and can often be left damp after use. As a result, they can be a breeding ground for superbugs within your makeup bag.

The study says that contamination occurs because most products aren’t being cleaned properly, if at all, and some people use beauty products well beyond their expiry dates.

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makeup bag

And when it came to beauty blenders, around 93 per cent of those analysed had never been cleaned, despite some even being dropped on the floor at some point.

Bacteria found in these makeup bags can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to conjunctivitis if they’re used near eyes, mouth, or cuts and grazes.

These bugs become fatal around people who are already sick, or those who have an impaired immune system.

Amreen Bashir of Aston University said, “Consumers' poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up is very worrying when you consider that we that we found bacteria such as E.coli breeding on the products we tested.

"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.”

Researchers claim that these findings mean consumers are unintentionally putting themselves at risk, and that manufacturers and regulator bodies should do more to protect customers. Examples of this include clearer expiry dates, and advice on cleaning requirements.

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and Whattowatch.com. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.