The dangers of using make-up

What you need to know:

“These bacteria can cause irritation and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Although the symptoms of conjunctivitis tend to be mildly itchy, watery eyes in extreme cases can lead to sight loss,” he says.

A new research has pointed out that some makeup contains ingredients that can cause blindness if you’re not careful. Most ladies still buy makeup without checking the expiry date and they share these beauty products oblivious of the danger they are exposing themselves to. According to researchers, sharing of the products, not cleaning and using expired products, is dangerous and can cause either herpes or blindness.

According to findings published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, the vast majority of in-use make-up products such as mascara, lip gloss, lipsticks and sponges are contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs because most of them are not cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates.

The new research, led by Dr Amreen Bashir and Prof Peter Lambert of Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences, has shown that nine out of 10 in-use beauty products contain superbugs including E.coli and Staphylococci.

The study tested 467 make-up products, donated by people in the UK, for bacterial and fungal contamination and found that 90 per cent contained potentially deadly germs.

The make-up products examined (lipstick, lip gloss, eye liners, mascaras and beauty blenders) had between 100 and 1,000 individual bacteria, except for beauty blenders, which had an average of a million bacteria. As few as 100 cells of some bacteria can cause infection.

The products, when shared, could pose a significant health threat if used by a non-infected person.

According to Prof Lambert, both E.coli and Staphylococci were found in used eye-liner and mascara.

“These bacteria can cause irritation and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Although the symptoms of conjunctivitis tend to be mildly itchy, watery eyes in extreme cases can lead to sight loss,” he says.

Secondary infection

And the germs causing conjunctivitis can spread to other parts of the body, which can trigger a more serious secondary infection.

The sponges used to apply skin foundation products were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria, with the vast majority (93 per cent) not having ever been cleaned, despite more than two-thirds (64 per cent) being dropped on the floor at some point during use. The researchers found these products (sponges) are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harful bacteria.

However with this new findings about the danger of using makeup, many women we interviewed said they cannot stop using make up as they are addicted.It is said some women believe that if they show their natural, untouched face, they won’t be able to accomplish certain things, and they will be treated differently. It turns out there is some science to back up the fears driving them to wear makeup every day.

Make-up addiction

Beauty artists say makeup does more than alter a woman’s attractiveness; it also plays a role in her ability to form new relationships, explaining that while straight men look at a woman’s makeup or lack thereof to help determine her attractiveness, straight women use makeup to help judge other women’s personalities.

A Mwanza based woman, Aneth Richard says she started wearing makeup since when she was a little girl and she stills finds it okay whether there is danger or not.

“Honestly, the only idea in the first time I started doing make up I really felt comfortable and had since developed a sense of confidence, that is why I found a makeup business in the city,” says Aneth.

She says makeup is inside her blood, arguing women to at least wear makeup once in a while.

She explains that she now sees her business perching the boom because of high demand of makeup especially during the wedding, birthday, kitchen party, baby shower, send off and many other events.

Anneth says she receives a number of customers ranging from girls to old women, noting that the charges are different depending on the quality of the services

“When I do make up for myself or someone else including customers I feel like there are no bounds.

I do to try different techniques to avoid mistakes because a customer tends to be keen. If it happens that I have messed up I should be forced to do it again,” she says.

Annett notes that makeup is helpful to a woman nowadays that’s why some opts doing it when they are in hurry and would like to appear stunning, expounding that blackheads which need foundation on it to cover can be the way to go in the hour of need so women should not fear using makeup.

Annett says women tend to have darker lips and skin around the eyes, adding that their brains subconsciously note that as a sign of femininity.

She says the more color contrast between a woman’s eyes and lips and her skin tone, the more feminine, and thus evolutionary attractive, she is seen, noting that lipstick and eye shadow are makeup staples because they enhance those features.

However Samanga Mbeyela says she has been wearing makeup for quite some time, because she feels more confident to appear that way because of the nature of her job.

“Currently I’m having different meeting with different people including client as a result wearing makeup makes me comfortable and confidence, more aggressive and more glamorous,” she says.

She says she found of MAC products which are the best brand she uses as of foundation, powder consoles, lipstick, eye shadow and eyeliner adding that she always wear makeup during the day and in special occasion oblivious of the danger.

Diana Gasper who is a director of a tour company says she loved makeup since she was a child and likes appearing good before members of the public.

“Make up can could make you confident but it put you look smart that’s why many girls now opt doing make up but this hobby is not differ like other who never go out without Ione her dress,” says Diana.

She explains that since she was a little girl she could hardly feel confident without wearing a makeup

“I made sure that to look beautiful I must do and could not go out without it even while at home one would find my eye liner ,shadows and many other accessories glittering but I normally prefer to put simple makeup,” she says.

I used to wear makeup which is compact full with powder, foundation etc and I like brown eyebrow, pick lipstick and big earing for big occasion but small earing in daily activities

Diana says for her makeup is a must and she is never going out without it oblivious of the danger.

Monella Mwansile ,says she loves wearing makeup occasionally not every time because she wants to look new.

Makeup can make you look amazing but she can’t agree that it is really demand to put make up all the time as for her is for occasions.

Confession time: I have horrible under eye circles. I have been self-conscious about my dark circles since I was 13. When I discovered the power of concealer, I was baffled because I witnessed a miracle.