Study Reveals 90% of Makeup Bags contain Deadly Superbugs

Shocking research has revealed that 90% of makeup bags are contaminated with harmful bacteria. Consumers are unknowingly at high risk of infections.

Study Reveals 90% of Makeup Bags contain Deadly Superbugs f

"70 to 90% of all products were contaminated with bacteria"

New research has revealed that 90% of makeup bags are infested with possibly life-threatening superbugs.

Majority of makeup products like beauty blenders, lipsticks, mascaras and so on are contaminated with these deadly superbugs.

The findings were made in a study by Aston University published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

The study was led by Dr Amreen Bashir and Professor Peter Lambert of Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences.

The research highlighted how makeup products are extensively used by millions of people in the UK. This means that millions of people are unwittingly putting themselves at risk.

The deadly superbugs like E.coli and Staphylococci are present in makeup products. This is because most products are not cleansed thoroughly or are being used past their expiry date.

These potential deadly bugs can result in diseases from skin infections to blood poisoning. The latter can occur if the products are used near eyes, mouth or cuts and grazes.

This risk is drastically increased for those who suffer from an impaired immune system (immunocompromised). This is because they are more likely to contract infections from harmful bacteria.

For the study, 467 makeup products including lipsticks, lip gloss, eyeliners, mascaras and beauty blenders were tested. Dr Bashir stated:

“We found that 70 to 90% of all products were contaminated with bacteria and our worst culprit seemed to be our beauty blenders.”

It was discovered that the large majority of beauty blenders (93%) were not cleaned, while 64% had been dropped on the floor during use.

It was also stated, “26% of these has faecal matter present on them.”

Beauty blenders are directly used on the skin to apply foundation or to blend contour.

They have been endlessly endorsed by celebrities and beauty bloggers. According to Science Daily, it has been estimated that 6.5 million beauty blenders have been sold worldwide.

Study Reveals 90% of Makeup Bags contain Deadly Superbugs - beauty blender

Dr Bashir and Professor Lambert discovered that these products are susceptible to contamination when left damp. The damp conditions create the perfect breeding environment for the deadly bugs.

Currently, EU guidance states that makeup products must follow strict manufacturing hygiene guidelines. It also states that E.coli should not be present in any measure in products.

Despite these preventative measures in place, there is limited consumer knowledge about the risks of contaminations while products are being used.

Post-Brexit these EU standards will no longer apply to the United Kingdom. This puts consumers are at greater health risk.

Consumers could find themselves having to purchase cosmetic products from the United States (US).

This could pose a problem because the US has no requirements for providing an expiry date on makeup packaging.

Dr Bashir commented on the outcomes of the study saying:

“The result of this study revealed bacteria such as E.coli is present in makeup.

“Now this is extremely worrying because it highlights poor consumer hygiene practices being followed.

“Clearly more needs to be done to educate both our consumers and the makeup industry as a whole.”

Dr Bashir has also provided tips for ensuring you are not at risk of contracting deadly infections:

“Number one, always wash your hands and your face before applying any products.

“Number two, always discard products by the expiry date. This can be printed on all the packaging.

“Number three, always keep your products clean. This means washing your applicators, your makeup brushes and your beauty blenders.

“Now beauty blenders are a new product on the market. So, if you run them under warm water and rub them against a bar of soap that will be great in removing bacteria.

“Lastly, never ever share your makeup products with anybody else.”

The findings of this study have astonished many. Consumers must be more conscious of what products they are actively using. It is time for everyone to clean their makeup bags.

Watch the video of Dr Bashir’s Advice here


Ayesha is an English graduate with an aesthetic eye. Her fascination lies in sports, fashion and beauty. Also, she does not shy away from controversial subjects. Her motto is: “no two days are the same, that is what makes life worth living.”

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