Are You Using Contaminated Makeup?

The virus scare has made us sit up straight. We are more conscious of our surroundings and personal hygiene has become our first priority. The same rule should apply to our makeup items and kits too…

Maintain the hygiene of your makeup to prevent any bacteria infestation

Would you be surprised to know that your makeup is already the home to several bugs and thrives there, while you happily dress yourself up? According to research done at the Aston University, nine out of 10 cosmetics in your makeup bag, contains deadly viruses.

After testing some odd 400 plus cosmetics donated by various users in the UK, it was found out that lipsticks, mascaras and eyeliners contained significant traces of bacterium and fungal contamination. Except beauty blenders that have an average of a million bacteria, most other items had between 100 and 1,000 individual bacteria in which, as few as 100 cells of some bacteria can cause infection.

Most of the lip glosses and mascaras contained either strain of Staphylococci and E-coli viruses. Tested makeup samples have in fact shown a whopping 90percent of them containing some or the other kind of virus that could be life threatening if gone unchecked and used for longer durations.

The bacterium and fungal contaminators are usually responsible for diseases like eye flu or commonly known as pink eye and conjunctivitis, as determined by the Society for Applied Microbiology. Further, lip glosses and lipsticks surprisingly contain contaminating agents found in faecal matter. Symptoms include, irritation, inflammation and redness of lips. But research shows that constant and persistent use can lead to bacteria entering the blood stream and becoming life threatening.

Also, some strains of Staphylococci, such as Staphylococcus aureus, have become more resistant to antibiotics. S aureus is fairly contagious and can cause skin infections, including impetigo. Researchers are asking women to keep clear of beauty blenders too.  These include popular foundation blending and contouring sponge. A big rage in the western countries, these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Most (93%) of the beauty blenders tested, it is confirmed had never been cleaned, despite two-thirds (64%) of those we surveyed admitting that they had dropped them on the floor.

There is a simpler way to keep yourself free of such bacteria if you we could follow some clensing rules for ourselves.

  1. Clean your sponges after use and don’t leave them lying damp. Warm soapy water is the best way to do so. For your lipsticks, sanitize them by first wiping the top with a tissue, and then dipping the top part into some rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds. Bring to air and dry and then use. (My visits to the MAC stores taught be how seriously they take oral hygeine in the makeup kits they use on multiple customers.)
  2. Try and not share your makeup. While it sounds rude, human secretions are always there on makeup swabs, lipsticks, mascaras, eye shadows, brushes, etc.
  3. You cannot santitise a mascara, but doctors and makeup artists suggest that its best to replace them monthly, or use disposable wands.
  4. Avoid taking free samples unless they are sealed.
  5. Discard makeup which has lived its shelf-life. Expired makeup is usually not going to smell good and becomes a breeding groud for bacteria.

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