Insane Ways Your Makeup Can Harm You

Posted by in Makeup

girl with skull makeup

Did you hear about the mother who almost died after using her friend’s makeup brush to cover a pimple? Jo Gilchrist, 27, contracted life-threatening staphylococcus aureus - known as MRSA - and her condition began to worsen when she lost feeling in her legs. After months of intensive care, she is now confined to a wheelchair. The infection has damaged her spine so severely that doctors say she will never walk again, and will never regain control over her bowel or bladder function. Gilchrist is remaining positive though, after she managed to wiggle her toes, and doctors told her she may be able to walk for an hour or two a day.

woman in wheelchair

It seems impossible to believe, but things like this happen more than you would think. Women have been blinded by their mascara after catching eye infections, and others have developed burning rashes on their skin. Take a look at what’s actually growing on your makeup right now, and check to see if it’s time to say goodbye to some of your older products.

MRSA microscopic

Staphylococcus Warneri bacteria is found on the skin of humans and therefore in makeup. For In extreme cases, those affected by this bacteria can develop endocarditis, which is damage to the valves in the heart. Another bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, like to live on mascara wands, and can penetrate into the soft tissues of the eye, causing sepsis - a serious infection that can cause organ failure, and death.

One of the most serious forms of bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is what Jo Gilchrist caught. It can be found on old makeup and cause an infection, such as dermatitis or pink eye, which is resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is extremely dangerous because infection spreads very quickly and attack vital organs, causing paralysis and death. Redness, inflammation, and heat over an infected area are key signs of an infection, so be wary if you start experiencing these symptoms.

makeup collage on when to throw it away

So how can you protect yourself from these bacteria, and how do you know when to throw what? Above is a darling little chart that can be used as a reference when you clean out your makeup haul. Remember, if makeup is dried, clumped, or has a funny smell, it’s probably safe to say its time for it to go to the big makeup bag in the sky. The good news? You can find a plethora of new makeup specifically sifted to suit you. Make sure you don’t share makeup with your friends, even if you’ve previously shared with them before. If you share makeup brushes, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned with soap and warm water. Always use the cotton buds and sponges available when you try new makeup at a store, and try to stay away from creamy testers, which hold more bacteria than their powdery counterparts. Most of all, have fun, but stay safe!