Scientists find dangerous bacteria in makeup products

December 13, 2019  19:02

Makeup products (sponges, brushes), as well as products such as mascara, eyeliners, lip gloss and lipstick, become contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria over time, Journal of Applied Microbiology reported referring to a study.

According to data obtained by scientists, up to 90% of cosmetic products are infected with dangerous microbes, including Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus), Escherichia coli and others. They do not always cause illness, but staphylococcus, for example, can become causative of both pustular skin diseases and life-threatening pneumonia and sepsis. In the US, about 50,000 deaths per year are associated with this infection.

And Escherichia coli, although it normally occurs in the human intestines, can cause diseases when it enters other organs and cavities (for example, it is the main cause of urinary tract infections). Its presence on objects indicates fecal contamination.

Scientists examined 467 products - 96 lipsticks, 92 eyeliners, 93 mascaras and 79 makeup sponges. Samples, of course, were taken not from new, but from already used products.

It turned out that the higher the water content in makeup products, the higher the risk of bacteria in them. Separately, the study authors noted that fungi are most often found in ovoid makeup puffs.

The authors of the study had an intention to understand how such a massive contamination of cosmetics with pathogens occurs. The problem is in its improper use of this product.

The term of use of cosmetic products is determined by the life of preservatives, which protect it from microorganisms. As it turned out in a small study conducted in Brazil, 97.9% of people continue to use cosmetics after the expiration of the shelf life. And in a new study, 93% of participants admitted that they never washed sponges for makeup, 64.4% used them after they dropped them on the floor.

Scientists note that even after cleaning, there remains a high risk of contamination of these items. Makeup sponges can be washed in warm, soapy water, but without thorough drying, washing only helps to multiply germs, scientists warn.

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