Superbugs live in 9 of 10 makeup bags, research finds

Potentially deadly E. coli and staphylococcus found on sponges, mascara and more

Potentially life threatening superbugs could be living in your makeup bag.

It’s time to clean your makeup sponges. And your brushes. And replace your mascara. Probably your lip gloss, too.

New research out of Aston University in England found the “vast majority” of makeup products are contaminated with potentially life threatening superbugs like E. coli and staphylococcus.

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"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,” said Dr. Amreen Bashir of Aston’s school of Life and Health Sciences.

Owners of the tested products admitted some of the items had not been washed after being dropped on the floor, and some products were far past their expiration date.

"Bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth or cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products," Science Daily wrote.

The biggest collector of these superbugs were makeup sponges, which are often left damp after being used, making them an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

Contamination was also found on mascaras and lip glosses, the researchers said.

"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,” Bashir wrote.

The research was published this week in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

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