Wednesday, January 23, 2019

BEAUTY SCIENCE: Bacteria is lurking in your old make-up


We get it: once you find that perfect makeup item, whether it's the perfect shade of red lipstick or the no-flake mascara that makes you look like you're wearing falsies, it's tempting to hang on to it until it runs out. After all, replacing old or expired makeup every few months is expensive—so it's not surprising that one study found that 98 percent of women have used makeup past its expiration date.

But when you apply old mascara or lipstick, you're also applying all the bacteria that's been growing on it while it chills at the bottom of your makeup bag. And no matter what brand you buy or how much you spend on your products, it's going to happen.

The natural oils from within your skin carry bacteria to the skin’s surface to be cleaned away, but some of that oil stays behind. So, when you use your brush to apply your blush, apply to one cheek, then “double-dip” the same brush to do the other cheek, those oils (and their bacteria) are transferred onto the blush.

What besides double-dipping can allow bacteria to form in your make-up? 
  • A sudden, un-controllable sneeze or cough while applying makeup can leave germs and bacteria on the surface.  
  • Skincare products you use before makeup application can contain bacteria which then cross-contaminate your makeup (especially when using a sponge or a puff for application)
  • Your hands are always carrying bacteria and those bacteria are transferring into your products. (Particularly if you use your fingers to apply makeup!)
  • Re-applying lipstick or lip gloss after eating could lead to food particles and possible bacteria on your lipstick.
What types of bacteria are we taking about?  The 6 types most common type of bacteria found lurking in beauty products are:
  • Enterococcus faecalis – one of the main causes of the meningitis infection.
  • Eubacterium – which causes bacterial vaginosis.
  • Aeromonas – one of the causes of gastroenteritis and wound infections.
  • Staphlyoccocus epidermidis – a nasty bug which is resistant to antibiotics and is deadly for people in hospital or who have catheters or surgical implants.
  • Propionibacterium - one of the main causes of acne and other skin conditions.
  • Enterobacter – causes urinary and respiratory tract infections, mainly in hospitalized patients with compromised immune systems.
How can you protect yourself from these bacteria?

Don’t share cosmetics. You may be sharing germs.
Replace make-up that is outdated.

The FDA also recommends:
  • Don’t add water or saliva to cosmetics, such as mascara. You may be adding bacteria or other microorganisms. You’ll also be watering down a preservative that’s intended to keep bacteria from growing.
  • Store cosmetics carefully. If cosmetics get too warm, some microorganisms may grow faster and preservatives may break down.
  • Keep containers clean.
  • Wash your hands before applying cosmetics, especially if you need to dip your fingers into the container.
  • Pay attention to recalls and safety alerts. Microbial contamination is a common reason for recalls of cosmetics. Here are two ways to stay informed:




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