When did you last clear out your makeup bag and give it the makeover it deserves. Between you and me, mine was not a pretty sight and I was not prepared for what I discovered.

Mac mascara I’d been carrying around since 2011, a half-used Chanel foundation I’d been hoarding for years since it was discontinued, once-swiped lipsticks, another bad color choice! barely used blushers and a rainbow of crazy colored eyeshadows that I was convinced would one day match my look!

There’s very good reason why any decent make-up artist or beauty professional will urge you to purge your makeup bag frequently: because it’s the perfect breeding ground for a host of bacteria. As many as 6 types of bacteria could be found breeding happily on out-of-date cosmetics and makeup brushes. Some of which could even be deadly, at minimum cause skin breakouts or pink eye.

Most women are totally unaware that their cosmetics are a potential breeding ground for bacteria. If you think about it, you wouldn’t keep food for months after the use by date – so why should your cosmetics be any different?

Bacteria which could be found in everyday high-street cosmetic products.

The 6 types of bacteria that can be found in beauty products:

Enterococcus faecalis – one of the main causes of the meningtitis infection.
Eubacterium – which causes bacterial vaginosis.
Aeromonas – one of the causes of gastroenteritis and wound infections.
Staphlyoccocus epidermidis – a nasty bug which is resistant to antibiotics and is deadly for people in hospital or who have catheters or surgical implants.
Propionibacterium – one of the main causes of acne and other skin conditions.
Enterobacter – causes urinary and respiratory tract infections, mainly in hospitalised patients with compromised immune systems.

So next time you reach for that lipstick you forgot about, or throw your unprotected makeup blender sponge directly into your makeup bag, think about the risk of bacteria and cross contamination from out-of-date makeup.

What’s the oldest piece of make-up you’ve got in your makeup bag? Tell us in the Comments box below.