Percent Of Makeup Products Being Used Are Contaminated With Potentially Harmful Bacteria

04 Décembre, 2019, 10:52 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Blending sponges were the biggest offenders the researchers found

Harmful superbugs and fungi have been found lurking in beauty products typically found in makeup bags.

Bugs such as E. coli and staphylococcus were found to have contaminated nine out of ten products once they are being used.

The research is the first to look at beauty blender products - hugely popular make-up sponges used to blend foundation and contouring on the face.

The products are becoming contaminated because they are not being cleaned regularly or are being used long after their expiry date.

Other reasons including poor hygiene practices by product users - such as dropping makeup sponges on the floor or people failing to wash their hands after using the toilet and then applying makeup - may be to blame, the research suggests.

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, said the researchers from Aston University in the UK. Blender sponges - egg-shaped sponges used primarily to apply and smooth foundation - were the more egregious offenders, containing the highest levels of possibly harmful bacteria. In 2016, more than 6.5 million had been sold across the world.

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When one thinks of the places where harmful bacteria lurk, maybe hospitals, public restrooms, and dirty cutting boards come to mind. The Aston researchers found these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

The findings reveal that consumers are unwittingly putting themselves at risk, and that manufacturers and regulatory bodies should do more to protect their customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging, the researchers noted. European Union guidance holds make-up brands to strict hygiene standards of manufacture and states that E.coli, in particular, should not be found in any concentration in new cosmetic products. Nine out of 10 cosmetic products now being used are contaminated with potentially harmful superbugs, including E. coli and Staphylococci, with beauty blenders, mascara, and lip gloss containing the highest levels of bacteria.

They tested 467 lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeliners, mascaras and beauty blenders. "And our worst culprit seemed to be our beauty blenders, 26 percent of these had fecal matter present on them".

Conducted by researchers with Aston University's School of Life and Health Sciences in the United Kingdom, the study found that roughly 90 percent of the makeup products tested - such as mascara, lip gloss and "blender" sponges - were contaminated with "superbugs" like E. coli and Staphylococci.

"More needs to be done to help educate consumers and the makeup industry about the need to wash beauty blenders regularly and dry them thoroughly, as well as the risks of using makeup beyond its expiry date".

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