Chat with AHA!

Chat with Ask Healthshots

Your makeup sponge legit wants to kill you and science has proof!

That trusty little makeup sponge of yours might just be the most contaminated beauty product in your kit, with bacteria crawling all over it. 

makeup sponge bacteria
It’s better to step out with patchy foundation instead of a skin infection. Image courtesy: Giphy
Team Health Shots Published: 3 Dec 2019, 04:46 pm IST
  • 51

What’s life without bold lippies and colourful eyeshadows, right? Chalo, if not that–we bet a nude pink lipstick and a kajal-cum-liner are permanent features on your dresser.

But no matter your relationship status with makeup, here is some disturbing news about your beauty products that will make you put down that lip gloss right now!

Turns out, a vast majority of makeup products such as beauty blenders, mascara, and lip glosses are contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs, including E. coli and Staphylococci.

And no, your favourite beauty brands have nothing to do with it. It might actually be your fault.

GIF courtesy: Giphy

Here’s what a latest study has to say…
A research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, shows that makeup products are contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates.

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 10 of the products, said the researchers from Aston University in the UK.

This risk is amplified in people with a weak immune system, who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria, they said.

“Consumers’ poor hygiene practices when it comes to using makeup, 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 Amreen Bashir, who co-led the study.

Beauty blenders or sponges used to apply skin foundation products were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria, with the vast majority (93%) not having ever been cleaned the researchers said. Yikes!

This was despite more than two thirds (64%) of beauty blenders being dropped on the floor at some point during use, they said.

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.


Here’s how you can save yourself from the harmful bacteria
We often use makeup sponges wet. What’s actually worse is that we don’t wash or dry them before each use, spreading bacteria on our face along with foundation.

beauty blender bacteria
GIF courtesy: Giphy

Don’t deny it. Rather, use that time to throw your beauty blender away. And if you buy a new one, make sure you wash and dry it regularly. Oh, and your bathroom is not the right place to keep it fo’sho! Rather, store it in an open but dry environment.

As for your other products, that expiry date exists for a reason. Spending 500 bucks every three months on a new mascara is much better than rushing to the hospital with a deathly infection no?

Also read: 5 reasons why sleeping with wet hair is a terrible, terrible idea

With inputs from PTI

  • 51
About the Author

We are a varied group of Health Shots writers, bringing you the healthiest scoop on wellness in town. ...Read More

Next Story
Healthshots AHA
Ask a Health Query
Anonymously for FREE!
Close Popup Healthshots AHA
  • Unlimited Queries
  • Completely Anonymous
  • Credible Sources