Mirror/Mirror Episodes

Germs in Makeup

You put it on your face almost every day, but when you spread on your makeup, you might be spreading bacteria as well.

Baylor Dermatologist Dr. Ramsey Markus says your makeup could be causing the exact problems you're trying to hide. For example, bacteria could cause infections of the hair follicle that can look like acne on your face. How common is this problem? After swabbing the creams, powders and pencils of 19 ladies, Dr. Markus sent samples to a lab for testing. Six samples contained bacteria the doctor called "unacceptable" including streptococcus, which can cause a variety of skin infections, and staph aureus, which can be fatal. So, what can you do to prevent bacteria in your makeup? Doctors say throw it away after three months and do not use dirty sponges. "You could take ten sponges and wash those and have a new one every day," Dr. Markus suggests. For a final safety touch, pop your sponges in the microwave for one minute to kill any germs.

For more information:
Dr. Ramsey Markus, dermatologist
Baylor College of Medicine

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