The Sunday Telegraph

That doesn’t look good … make-up bags a bacteria haven, says study

- By Laura Donnelly HEALTH EDITOR

IT’S a finding that might just take the gloss off the party season; nine in ten used make-up products are harbouring potentiall­y deadly bacteria, research shows.

The study of almost 500 items including lipsticks, eyeliners, mascaras and beauty blenders found superbugs were rife, with pathogens likely to be hiding in every cosmetic bag.

E.coli, staphyloco­ccus with high levels of antibiotic resistance, and fungus were among the main culprits isolated in new research by British scientists.

The study found that beauty blenders – an increasing­ly popular product, used to apply skin foundation – had the highest levels of potentiall­y harmful bacteria. In total, 92 per cent of them were found to be carrying some kind of germ.

The scientists behind the study suggested sloppy bathroom habits were largely to blame. The study found 93 per cent of such products had never been cleaned – though 64 per cent of them had been dropped on the floor.

Eyeliner and mascara also fared badly, with around four in five found to be carrying germs, as were three quarters of lipsticks.

Experts warned that as well as causing skin and eye infections such as impetigo and conjunctiv­itis, such germs can cause blood poisoning, which can be lethal. In the research by Aston

University, and published in the Journal of Applied Microbiolo­gy, scientists examined 467 lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeliners, mascaras and beauty blenders, which were donated after being used.

In total, 56 per cent of lipsticks and 55 per cent of lip glosses were found to be carrying staphyloco­ccus bacteria, along with 69 per cent of mascaras, 72 per cent of beauty blenders and 77 per cent of eyeliners. More than a quarter of beauty blenders and one in ten lipsticks and lipglosses were harbouring E.coli and other closely related germs and 57 per cent of beauty blenders, along with 37 per cent of lipsticks and 28 per cent of eyeliners, were found to be carrying fungi.

Scientists said products used to apply make-up must be washed regularly, and warned against sharing items, or using make-up testers found on beauty counters.

Dr Amereen Bashir, a researcher, said: “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 breeding on the products we tested.”

She added that “more needs to be done to help educate consumers and the make-up industry as a whole” and researcher­s have called on manufactur­ers and regulatory bodies to make expiry dates and cleaning requiremen­ts more prominent on packaging.

 ??  ?? Engaged and expecting: Lady Melissa Percy and Remy Trafelet, an American financier, plan to marry at his plantation in Georgia, US
Engaged and expecting: Lady Melissa Percy and Remy Trafelet, an American financier, plan to marry at his plantation in Georgia, US

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