Is make-up hazardous to your health?

By Michelle Tapping
Monday, March 1, 2010
Make-up could be hazardous to your health. Image: Getty

Warning: your make-up could be hazardous to your health.

Common cosmetics including mascara, eyeliner or lip gloss that has been sitting in the bottom of your make-up bag could put you at risk of infection, according to media reports.

Skin specialists have said expired make-up is riddled with bacteria, which could attack the skin and cause infection if they got into nicks or scratches.

Sharing make-up also increases the risk of infection.

A British study discovered the average woman's make-up bag is out of date by four years.

In New Zealand, all ingredients contained in cosmetic products must be labelled clearly for the consumer to read, however a use-by date is not compulsory.

Dr Paul Salmon of the Skin Centre in Tauranga told reporters handbags were a "dangerous cesspit" for harbouring bacteria in make-up.

Meanwhile a freelance makeup artist told media women should be most careful with wet products as they could make themselves "very sick" from not looking after their makeup or by using old products.

She also warned of applying make-up near toilets in the bathroom as they could pick up bacteria from there.

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