The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Deadly beauty: what dangerous bacteria your cosmetic bag hides

'02.09.2022'

Source: Air force

Nine out of ten cosmetics and makeup products are contaminated with potentially deadly germs, including staph and E. coli, and makeup wearers regularly apply these bacteria to their faces.

Photo: Shutterstock

Doctors from Aston University in Birmingham came to this conclusion after analyzing the contents of several hundred cosmetic bags, says Air force.

The authors of the study found that the vast majority of those who use cosmetics never wash brushes and sponges for applying makeup and almost completely ignore information about the expiration date of a particular product.

As a result, cosmetic bags accumulate millions of bacteria that can cause a range of diseases when applied to the face, especially near the eyes, mouth, or damaged areas of the skin. And these are not only skin infections, but also blood infections. People with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

On the subject: Harmless and popular cosmetics turned out to be dangerous for women's health

Nursery of infection

Scientists examined under the microscope five types of makeup: lipstick (96 pieces), lip gloss (107), eyeliner pencils (92), mascara (93) and makeup sponges (79).

It was precisely the sponges (beauty blenders), even relatively new ones, that turned out to be the worst seedlings of bacteria. The concentration of harmful microbes there amounted to more than a million bacteria per milliliter. In all other cosmetics, pollution indicators were three to four orders of magnitude lower.

In a survey of makeup bag owners, it turned out that 93% of sponges were never washed or cleaned, despite the fact that two-thirds of them sometimes fell to the floor during use.

Researchers note that the sponges represent ideal conditions for the reproduction of bacteria, because after use they remain moisture and nutrients. And cosmetics users put themselves at risk of infection without even realizing it.

Manufacturers of decorative cosmetics should give more detailed instructions for the care of their products and more clearly indicate the expiration date on the packaging, scientists emphasize. At the same time, let’s say in the USA, the legislation does not oblige cosmetics manufacturers to indicate expiration dates on products.

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European hygiene standards in this area are more stringent. For example, E. coli (E. coli) cannot be present in decorative cosmetics in any case.

However, microbes get there during use and begin to multiply actively: the researchers found staphylococci, E. Coli, other enterobacteria and fungi in the majority (70-90%) of the studied cosmetic products - in concentrations from several hundred to several thousand bacteria per milliliter.

In conclusion, the authors of the study note that although cosmetics do not “deteriorate” like food, and retain their decorative properties, keeping and using them for too long means exposing yourself to unnecessary risks.

At the same time, in another study conducted in Brazil in 2013, almost 98% of students admitted that they continue to use cosmetics after the expiration date.

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