Life-threatening bacteria such as E.coli found lurking in nine out of ten make-up bags

DEADLY superbugs such as E.coli have been found lurking in nine out of ten make-up bags.

Researchers found potentially life-threatening bacteria on most of the blending sponges, mascara and lip gloss tested.

 Deadly superbugs were found in 90 per cent of make-up bags by experts at Birmingham’s Aston University

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Deadly superbugs were found in 90 per cent of make-up bags by experts at Birmingham’s Aston UniversityCredit: Getty – Contributor

Owners admitted some of the items had not been washed after being dropped on the floor and some were far past their expiry date. Experts warn contaminated products used near the eyes, mouth or cuts can cause skin infections, blood poisoning, pneumonia and conjunctivitis.

Scientists from Aston University, in Birmingham, tested 467 in-use eyeliners, lipsticks, mascaras, sponges and lip glosses. Trendy beauty blenders – sponges used to blend foundation and contour the face – were most likely to harbour potentially harmful bacteria. This was followed by eyeliners, mascaras and lipsticks.

Detected germs include E.coli and salmonella, typically spread in poo or Staphylococci, often passed by sharing towels or coughing. The vast majority of beauty sponges had never been cleaned, despite more than two thirds having been dropped on the floor at some point during use.

The sponges are often endorsed by celebrities and are estimated to have sold over 6.5million worldwide. They are particularly susceptible to contamination because they are regularly left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

EU regulations hold cosmetics brands to strict hygiene standards during manufacturing and state E.coli should not be found in any concentration of new products.

But there is limited consumer protection around the risks of contaminating products while in use.

Study leader Dr Amreen Bashir said firms should do more to protect customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging.

She added: “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.”

“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.”

The findings were published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Can you tell a £10 face of party make-up from a £1,000 one?



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