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3 Types of Bacteria Lurking in Your Dirty Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes are indispensable when it comes to our beauty regimes, but what many overlook is the microbial jungle that can flourish within them when left uncleaned. Among the various microorganisms that can thrive in dirty brushes, certain types of bacteria pose particular risks to our skin health. In this blog, we'll uncover three common types of bacteria that could be lurking in your dirty makeup brushes and find out why they are so bad for our skin.

A woman applying makeup with a dirty makeup brush

1. Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," is a notorious bacterium commonly found on the skin and in the environment. When it proliferates in dirty makeup brushes, it can lead to a range of skin infections, including boils, cellulitis, and folliculitis. These infections are characterized by redness, swelling, and pain around the affected area. In severe cases, staph infections can spread and even cause life-threatening complications, making it crucial to keep your makeup brushes clean to prevent the growth and transmission of this bacterium.

A hand, covered in a blue latex glove, holding a petri dish containing bacteria cultures

2. Propionibacterium Acnes

Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, is a bacterium that naturally resides on our skin. While it's typically harmless in small numbers, an overgrowth of P. acnes due to dirty makeup brushes can exacerbate acne breakouts. This bacterium thrives in oily environments, making the bristles of makeup brushes an ideal breeding ground. When transferred onto the skin during makeup application, P. acnes can clog pores and trigger inflammation, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Regularly cleaning your brushes can help mitigate the risk of P. acnes colonization and reduce the likelihood of acne flare-ups.

A hand adjusting the focus on a multi lens microscope

3. Escherichia Coli

Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, is a bacterium found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. While it's primarily associated with foodborne illnesses, studies have shown that E. coli can also be present in dirty makeup brushes, especially if they come into contact with faecal matter (it is possible if you use your brushes near toilets!!) or contaminated surfaces. Exposure to E. coli through dirty brushes can result in skin infections, gastrointestinal issues, or urinary tract infections (UTIs) if the bacteria enter the body through mucous membranes. To prevent the transmission of E. coli and other harmful bacteria, it's essential to practice proper hygiene and regularly sanitize your makeup brushes.

The presence of bacteria in dirty makeup brushes is a potential threat to our skin health and overall well-being. By understanding the types of bacteria that can lurk in uncleaned brushes and the harm they can cause, we can better appreciate the importance of maintaining proper hygiene practices. Regularly washing and sanitizing your makeup brushes with gentle cleansers, such as our Makeup Brush Soaps can help mitigate the risk of bacterial contamination, ensuring that your beauty routine remains safe and beneficial for your skin. So, the next time you reach for your makeup brushes, remember to prioritize cleanliness to safeguard against these microbial hazards.


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