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How do harmful germs get into beauty products?

Did you know that bacteria and fungi lurk on almost all beauty products, and that in the worst case they can even be dangerous to us? A study from England proves this. What you can do against germs in cosmetics and what you have to watch out for, an overview.

Let’s face it: the majority of our cosmetics live a small existence, makeup, eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara, puffs, brushes – all in one case. Very few people pay attention to the expiration date, nor do they clean the beauty gadgets regularly. But this can have fatal consequences, as researchers at Aston University in Birmingham found out in a study. The result: up to 90 percent of the 467 cosmetic products examined from domestic bathrooms were infested with germs, bacteria and fungi. Among them were pathogens such as Staphylococcus, Citrobacter (causes infections) and E.coli (can cause diarrhea and fever).

Make-up sponges are a germ paradise!

The makeup pans, also known as beauty blenders or makeup eggs, which have become so popular in recent years, have proved to be particularly unappetizing. Not only an extremely high bacterial density but also a particularly high fungal infestation was found on them. Since the puffs are usually used together with liquid makeup, never dry properly in principle, and are often stored too warm, pathogens feel extremely comfortable on them. In addition, the blenders are usually wiped over the face several times a week. In this way, they also get into the vicinity of eyes and sensitive mucous membranes. This means that there is a high risk of dangerous germs jumping onto the skin via the cosmetic tools.

If you ignore the expiration date of cosmetics, you risk germs.

The participants in the study were also asked whether they discarded their cosmetics when the expiration date expired. And whether they regularly clean brushes, puffs and the like.97.9 percent said they continue to use expired makeup. 93 percent said they had never remembered to clean their brushes and swabs. Sixty-seven percent of respondents continued to use their beauty aids even after they had fallen on the floor. For the scientists, this is clearly a sign that there is an extremely high backlog demand in terms of education when it comes to handling cosmetics. The beauty industry in particular is seen as having a duty to do so, they say.

The correct cleaning of brushes

In fact, powder brushes and puffs can be cleaned quite easily with a dab of mild baby shampoo. Then massage it in gently and rinse it out afterwards. Important: let it dry well! This procedure should be done at least once a week. You can also effectively remove germs, fungi and bacteria from beauty gadgets by immersing the products in water and then placing them in a container in the microwave for one minute at 900 watts. Here, too, drying is the key. And last but not least: Products with expired best-before dates have no place in the cosmetics bag.