Public Alert No. 001/2020 – Researchers Warn of Life-Threatening Bacteria in Make-Up Products
February 17, 2020,
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been notified of a study that show that the vast majority of in-use make-up products such as beauty blenders, mascara and lip gloss are contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs.
The Researchers (Dr. A Bashir and Prof. P Lambert, 9 October 2019) of Aston University have warned that make-up products used every day by millions of people are contaminated with potentially deadly bugs, such as E.coli and Staphylococci, because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates.
According to the study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, 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 ten of the products.
This risk is amplified in immunocompromised people who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria.
The relatively new beauty blenders – sponges used to apply skin foundation products – were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria – with the vast majority (93 per cent) not having ever been cleaned, despite more than two thirds (64 per cent) being dropped on the floor at some point during use.
The research looked at beauty blender products – hugely popular make-up sponges used to blend foundation and contouring on the face. These products were found to be particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
The findings reveal that consumers poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying considering that bacteria such as E.coli – which is linked with faecal contamination were found breeding on the products tested.
NAFDAC implores manufacturers to do more to protect their customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging. Likewise, consumers are admonished to clean their make-up tools intermittently.
Consumers are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product to the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC PRASCOR (20543 TOLL FREE from all networks), via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the NAFDAC ADR e-Reporting platform available at www.nafdac.gov.ng