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Christmas? Throw Out Old Cosmetics!

Christmas Tree Cosmetics

How long should you keep your beauty products? Yes, it’s extremely hard to throw away that favorite lipstick of yours, but after two years it may be hazardous to your health.

Perhaps Christmas Day would be a good time to take stock of your beauty products and throw out those past their recommended shelf life.

In a series of tests commissioned by beauty retailer Escentual and conducted at the London Metropolitan University, out of date makeup products were found to contain unsafe levels of potentially harmful bacteria.

The University tested recently expired products—foundation (four months past date), lip gloss (still within its pull date), blush (nine months past date), lipstick (ten months past date), and mascara (four months past date). The results were horrifying.

Paul Matewele, a microbiologist at the University, said: “The foundation, lip gloss, and lipstick all tested positive for Enterococcus faecalis under strict laboratory tests. Enterococcus faecalis is the potentially deadly strain of bacteria that causes meningitis and septicemia and is one of the biggest killers for newborn babies.”

Rakesh Aggarwal, CEO of Escentual, said: “Most women are totally unaware that their cosmetics are a potential breeding ground for deadly bacteria. But if you think about it, you wouldn’t keep food for months after the use-by date, so why would this be acceptable for cosmetics? This research has even surprised us and has shown that there is a serious health risk here. Pregnant women or mums with small babies need to take extra care after our finding showed that the deadly meningitis bacteria were found on several items of out of date make-up.”

This is a wake-up call for all us beauty product junkies out there. In addition to taking stock at least once a year, I also recommend writing the purchase and expiration dates on your makeup products when you buy them. That way, you never have to wonder.