Bacteria could be growing on your old makeup, doctors warn

Doctors and makeup artists agree it’s important to know what’s in your makeup.

Jesi Dang has always loved makeup, perhaps at times, a little too much.

“I would keep them forever! They’d be in a box or in a drawer. My sister would be like, ‘Jesi, how long have you had this?’” said Dang.

Now that she’s a professional makeup artist, she knows how important it is to let that old makeup go.

“It’s just gross,” said Dang. “Compare it to a new product. You’ll see the color difference. It’ll smell different. It’ll even feel different.”

The makeup won’t work as well and it can have nasty effects on your skin.

Dr. Daniel Aires, director of dermatology at the University of Kansas Health System, said he sees it all the time.

“They can have acne looking lesions. They can have little pustules. They can have little abscesses,” said Aires.

Doctors recommend replacing makeup every six months to a year. Toss out mascara after three months. Makeup brushes can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.


Dang tells her clients to use a makeup brush cleaner or gentle face wash on personal makeup brushes. Doctors recommend doing this at least once a month.

Preventing health problems isn’t just about keeping makeup and brushes free of bacteria. Aires said it’s also important to know what’s in your makeup. It could be something you’re allergic to, or it could be something dangerous to your health.

“Recently, four years ago, the FDA looked into lipsticks and found every single one they tested had detectable levels of lead. There is really no safe level of led ingestion,” said Aires.

He also warns that certain mineral-based makeup may contain silicates.

“In people who had higher level exposures to this – industrial exposures – they found increased rates of dementia and increased rates of all kinds of bad things,” said Aires.

Aires and Dang recommend researching to make sure the products you use are safe.

As for that old, bacteria-ridden lip gloss or eye shadow palette you can’t seem to get rid of, Dang said, “Let it go. Just let it go.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s