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Microbiological Study of Used Cosmetic Products: Highlighting Possible Impact on Consumer Health

A study published last year in the Journal of Microbiology found that up to 90 percent of used cosmetic products donated by product users in the United Kingdom were contaminated with bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

A total of 467 products from the five makeup categories were donated by product users from the UK, in response to advertisement on social media. This comprised of lip-stick (96), eyeliner (92), mascara (93), lip-gloss (107) and beauty blenders (79). Information regarding duration of use of each product was collected where possible from an associated questionnaire. No personal identifiable data were collected on product users.

The aim of this study was to investigate the nature and extent of microbial contamination in four in-use cosmetic products (lipstick, lip gloss, eyeliners, mascaras) and beauty blenders and highlight the potential risk posed to consumers in the UK.

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