Make-up ‘time-bomb’ can make you ill

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  • The average British woman is putting her health and looks at risk with a make-up bag four years past its use-by date, researchers say...

    Out-of date beauty products can be a magnet for germs but most women have no idea that EU rules mean brands have to state an item’s bathroom shelf life, according to a new poll.

    Past their ‘use-by‘ point, make-up items carry a risk of irritation and infection due to contamination by bacteria, according to Debenhams, which surveyed 1,000 women.

    Around nine in ten did not know make-up comes with a ‘period after opening’ sign – an open pot icon showing the number of months it can be used safely – did not understand the symbol or could not read the often tiny writing.

    More than two thirds (68%) of women said they only replace make-up and skincare when they run out, however long that might take. Eye shadows and powder blushes proved the most enduring items in a woman’s make-up bag, kept for an average of 15 years rather than the recommended 18 to 24 months.

    Bevis Man, of the British Skin Foundation, said: ‘Your eyes are one area of your face you need to be particularly careful with, as eye infections can be painful and long-lasting.

    Make-up sponges are a particular haven for bacteria, especially if they are kept for a long period of time and are not washed. Again, it is best to keep them clean and replace them after a few months’ use.’


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