Makeup kits risks: Reality check


People are left with their “skin crawling” after finding out what horrors lurk on their makeup kits.

It can be tempting not to clean brushes and sponges regularly, but experts warn that over time, they can pick up dead skin cells, dirt, and oil.

This turns them into a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, with users of unclean brushes then unknowingly smearing them all over their face — putting them at risk for a whole carousel of ailments, including pink eye, ringworm, and acne.

US experts warned that the infections are caused when the bacteria enters skin pores, adding that many unclean brushes are “dirtier than toilet seats.” Eyeshadow, blush tools, and lip gloss are among the worst offenders.

The bacterial and fungal colonies that form if it is not cleaned

The above shows a makeup sponge being changed and then the bacteria and mold that grew afterwards. They appear in white and yellow colonies on the Petri dish

A makeup brush is tested for bacteria and fungi

Petri dish reveals the bacteria and fungi living on the surface

The above shows a makeup brush and the bacteria and mold communities that can live on it if not cleaned regularly

Experts say people should wash their makeup brushes and sponges every seven to 10 days to prevent dirt buildup.

But estimates suggest that 22 percent of Americans never clean them, while 39 percent do so less than once a month.

A social media video uploaded by the US-based makeup remover brand GlamTechreveals the state of uncleaned brushes.

It shows a well-used, apparently clean sponge and brush being wiped into a Petri dish, which is then put away to incubate.

However, researchers are shocked when they return to discover an explosion of yellow and white dots – colonies of bacteria – all over the shell.

The voiceover says, “Researchers have found that brushes and blenders can be dirtier than toilets.

This is why people get staph infections, pink eye, and even acne.

“That’s why regular cleaning is so crucial.”

The video has gone viral online, gaining over two million views and more than 150,000 likes.

Commenting on the video, a social media user commented, “No wonder I have pink eyes.”

A second said ‘let me go… clean them’, while a third replied ‘my skin is crawling’.

Last year, a study by British dermatology specialist Aventus Clinic found that make-up brushes can harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat.

The team wiped down 12 makeup brushes and a toilet seat, but found that 11 out of 12 – 92 percent – were dirtier than a toilet.

Eyeshadow was the worst culprit, they said, followed by blush tools and lip gloss.

Staph infection from dirty makeup brush

Pink eye skin infection from dirty makeup brush

Using dirty makeup brushes puts people at risk for a slew of infections, including staph (left) and pink eye

Images from the tests showed how the eyeshadow brush was almost completely covered in faint blue and green mold, while the foundation brush left a trail of large droplets of blood-red bacteria.

“It’s horrifying to see how much bacteria could potentially be on a makeup brush,” said Dr Suhail Alam, medical director of the Aventus Clinic.

It’s not entirely shocking though.

‘Even after someone uses a make-up brush for the first time, these already form colonies of bacteria.

With daily use, the brushes automatically begin to collect dirt, pollutants, oil and dead skin cells. That’s why makeup brushes act as a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to breakouts and skin irritations.’