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Germs could be lurking in your makeup bag

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 23:35:12-04

The year-old lip gloss or liquid foundation, unwashed makeup brushes, and beauty blenders can all create bacteria colonies in your makeup bag.

How often do you clean your cosmetic case? TODAY'S TMJ4 took three used makeup bags to a Milwaukee area lab to see what types of the bacterium was growing.

We swabbed the grime and goop for E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus, a germ commonly found on the skin. We swabbed for Aerobic Plate Count, which indicates how much bacteria is on each sample.

None of the bags tested positive for E.coli or Staph, but makeup bag #1 had 29,500,000 microorganisms. Makeup bag #2 had 1,000,000 microorganisms and makeup bag #3 had 21 million 21,000,000 microorganisms.

“Those numbers didn’t surprise me, they didn't startle me and they didn't worry me,” said Sonia Bardy, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at UW Milwaukee.

“Anything that we touch regularly, anything that's on our skin, any of the bacteria, they're all going to get transferred onto the makeup bag,” she continued.

Bardy explained a concerning amount of bacteria would be double or triple the plate count numbers we saw in our results. While the bags didn't detect E.coli or Staphylococcus aureus, Bardy explained it all depends on where you swab.

“You may find different things on different sides,” she said.

If you're worried your cosmetic bag could be harboring germs, Bardy recommends replacing your makeup products when they expire and clean your bag regularly with a diluted bleach solution.