Tips To Keep Your Makeup Bag Clean

31 August, 2020
Bacteria such as E. coli or S. aureus can infect wounds or find entry routes through the skin. Therefore, it's essential to ensure proper hygiene in your makeup bag.

If you don’t keep your makeup bag clean, countless bacteria can accumulate that are capable of causing various infections. This is especially the case for sponges if you don’t clean them at least once a week. In fact, based on the evidence from the studies researchers have done, we know that makeup sponges harbor microorganisms such as E. coli and S. aureus.

Researchers estimate that a high percentage of the utensils people use daily to put on makeup contain a significant bacterial load. This information is from a study carried out by doctors from the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University, in Birmingham (United Kingdom).

The study of a makeup bag

The objective of the study was to analyze the type and extent of contamination in five cosmetic products for daily use, such as lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss, and makeup sponges.

Makeup sponges are one of the best-selling makeup products in the world. The makeup items used in the study belonged to different people and of diverse origins. In order to find the bacterial load, the researchers made bacterial cultures.

Woman holding makeup brush and sponge.
Evidence suggests that items such as makeup brushes and sponges contain potentially infectious bacteria.

What information did the study provide about makeup bags?

The study on makeup items revealed the presence of bacteria in nine out of ten of the cosmetics tested. The bacteria present in them can give rise to conditions from skin infections to generalized infections, especially if you use cosmetics in areas near the mouth and eyes, or if for whatever reason they end up entering a skin wound.

Specifically, all cosmetics had Staphylococus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Citrobacter freundii, microorganisms that constitute a health risk.

You may also be interested in: Try These 7 Makeup Secrets to Look Fabulous

Types of infections

Bacteria such as E.coli or S. aureus can infect wounds or find entry routes through the skin, leading to infection. In general, the infections they can cause are varied in nature.

Overall, the infection can be localized and mild or localized and more severe. It can even cause a generalized infection in people with weakened immune systems.

The bacteria load level is particularly high on makeup sponges. The main reason for this significant bacterial load is poor hygiene. In a high percentage of cases, the sponges that were analyzed had never been washed. That’s why it’s so important to keep your makeup bag clean.

In addition, we should remember that they’re usually kept moist, which contributes to the spread of bacteria. For this reason, the sponge in your makeup case is more susceptible to contamination.

Woman with makeup brushes in teeth, behind ear, and in hand.
Making sure you clean all of the tools you use to put on your makeup is the best way to avoid an infection.

Tips for keeping your makeup bag clean

Don’t forget that any sponge, be it a facial cleanser or makeup sponge, may be a source of bacteria. Try to keep your sponges clean and whenever possible store them after they’ve dried.

Moisture is a breeding ground for the bacteria on the sponge in your makeup bag. When your skin comes into contact with sponges contaminated by bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms, it poses a risk to your health.

For this reason, manufacturers ensure that both the expiration dates and the cleaning requirements of this type of cosmetic products are clearly and prominently visible on the packaging. Therefore, when you go to buy this type of product, be sure to look at the symbols that appear on the packaging.

The guidelines of the European Union require very strict compliance with hygiene standards in the manufacture of cosmetics. Therefore, in the case of E. coli, they require that newly manufactured cosmetic products don’t have any as a standard.

Read also: Seven Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics

Ensure regular cleaning

Beyond the expiration date of the products, you have to always remind yourself and get into the habit of cleaning the sponges regularly to prevent the risk of bacterial contamination. This is an easy practice for which your health will thank you!

  • Bashir, A., & Lambert, P. (2019). Microbiological study of used cosmetic products: highlighting possible impact on consumer health. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 128(2), 598–605. https://doi.org/10.1111/jam.14479
  • Dadashi L, Dehghanzadeh R. Investigating incidence of bacterial and fungal contamination in shared cosmetic kits available in the women beauty salons. Health Promot Perspect. 2016;6(3):159‐163. Published 2016 Aug 10. doi:10.15171/hpp.2016.25
  • CÁMARA VALERO, S. (2014). Maquillaje Facial. Revista Funcae Digital.
  • Parra, P. (2015). COSMÉTICOS: se ajustan los procesos de producción. 253.