Believe it or not, about one in every four of us continues to wear makeup after it has gone off. Oxbridge, a distance learning college, polled over 500 individuals in the UK to learn about their makeup, brushes, and sponges cleaning and usage habits – the results will shock you.
Over £800 is spent on cosmetic products per individual, with 16-24-year-olds having the most costly beauty regime each year. However, the data reveals that 36.4% of people aged 18 to 24 years, 43.1% of people aged 55 to 64 years, and 46.7% of those aged 65 and older are unaware that cosmetics have a use-by date.
All cosmetic products have a “shelf life,” which refers to the amount of time they are generally safe to use – look for the icon on the makeup bottle or package for a picture of an open jar with a number on it. It will give you the number of months you have to use after opening before it expires. Then again, before you begin your makeup spring cleaning checklist, we asked Georgia Oxley (@georgiaoxleymua_), a brilliant makeup artist, for tips on when to discard old cosmetics — and how dangerous it is to use them past their expiration date.
“Makeup products going out of date is something most people are entirely unaware of. Each product has a certain month life span from the minute they are opened and there is a reason for that!
Using products after their expiry date can lead to breakouts, skin reactions and premature ageing due to the change in the original product after being exposed to bacteria. Products like liquid eyeliner can pick up bacteria so easily and as you apply it so close to the eye, using this out of date could be really dangerous and impact your vision.
Using expired products is just as bad as using dirty makeup brushes and not cleaning them as regularly as possible. Makeup brushes again collect bacteria both off your skin, the air and where you store them. They can also carry the expired makeup you may not be aware of. Dirty makeup brushes can lead to all sorts of skin conditions including ones like dermatitis and herpes simplex.
If you invest in your skincare routine and you don’t clean your brushes, you are then undoing all of your skincare efforts. Moral of the story, throw away expired makeup and clean your brushes regularly!”
More women than men are using of date makeup
Predominantly, the survey discovered that males are more prone than women to replace their foundations. When questioned, 33.3% of males claimed they replace their foundation every three months, while 31% of women said they do. Conversely, Eyeshadow is the least often replaced cosmetic item among females, with 21% replacing it every three months compared to 29% of male responders.
Concerningly, it also turns out that 35% of women acknowledged not understanding that cosmetics have a use-by date, compared to 21% of males. With fluidity in beauty on the rise, it’s no surprise that guys are becoming increasingly interested in cosmetics, with the men’s beauty business estimated to be worth over £55 billion by 2023.
When the findings were split down by age, the over-50s were the least likely to replace their cosmetics. Many makeup users also own unique tools, such as brushes and sponges, to apply their products. These tools, too, may quickly accumulate dangerous bacteria, yet many users do not clean them as regularly as they should.
1 in 2 women do not wash makeup brushes
Beauty blenders and sponge brushes had the highest percentage of least cleaned items at 33.3%. Only 26.4% of women polled clean their makeup sponges and beauty blenders weekly; this is a modest percentage compared to the 36.2% of males who do. Consumers’ poor hygiene practices regarding beauty are highly concerning, mainly because we discovered that just 40% of men and women wash their face cloths regularly.
London, Birmingham, and Belfast came on top as the cleanest cities, with an average of 39% cleaning their makeup brushes every day. Sheffield and Nottingham, on the other hand, are unhygienic cities, with an average of 27% admitting to not washing their cosmetic brushes, sponges, and blenders. More needs to be done to help educate consumers about the need to regularly clean beauty blenders and makeup brushes. Dr Javeria Anwar, a GCSE science tutor, warns that these findings may spell trouble, particularly for our skin.
“Cleaning makeup brushes should be a weekly routine that is sadly not practised by over 50% of women, according to our survey. We don’t realise that the dirt on the makeup brushes acts as a breeding ground for growth bacteria and fungi, such as E.coli and staphylococcus chains not visible to naked eye.
As we continue rubbing the pathogens on unwashed dirty brushes onto our skin, this leads to blemishes and breakouts, skin infections, or even damage to the skin eventually causing skin discolouration and clogged pores.”