The Health Threats Hiding in Your Makeup Bag - Merindah Botanicals

The Health Threats Hiding in Your Makeup Bag

Unknown threats hiding in your makeup bag could be hazardous to your health

Besides contamination from germs and daily dirt and grime, we also have to worry about potential allergens and scary chemicals that have been linked to cancer, respiratory illness, and more.

So with the arrival of spring here in Australia, now is the perfect time to not only give your body a well deserved detox but also to give your cosmetic cabinet and makeup bag a good clean.

Just like the food in your kitchen, your skincare and cosmetic products too come with an expiration date.

And with the hot weather just around the corner, it's even more important to keep your skincare and cosmetic products up to date. If your cosmetic cabinet or makeup bag has seen better days, it’s time for a spring clean.


If you notice that your water-based products such as foundation and concealer slowly change their colour and the liquids separate, it’s a sure sign that they have reached the end of their shelf lives.

Powder-based products such as blush and foundation usually last much longer than their liquid counterparts, because it’s much more difficult for bacteria to grow in them.

If they appear moist or ‘cakey’ this may be because moisture has penetrated the powder, which means it’s time to throw it away!

Be sure to keep those products out of direct sunlight as UV rays are capable of destroying preservatives, which will make your cosmetic products spoil quicker.

Lipstick and lip gloss:

If you notice your lipstick is getting difficult to spread and your lip gloss is becoming blobby, it’s time to throw it away. Prolong the life of your lipgloss and lipstick by ensuring the product is sealed correctly after use.

Liquid liners and mascara:

With each use of mascara and liquid eye liner, bacteria can often build up inside the tube. Expired mascara is known to cause serious eye infections, so don’t hang on to your favourite mascara if it has become difficult to apply.

Eye shadow:

By gently cleaning your eye shadow brush frequently or after use will significantly prolong its shelf-life and prevent bacteria growth.

If your eye shadow becomes dry or flaky it may be a sign to throw it away.

Nail polish:

When nail polish starts to separate and to look like a different colour; and perhaps even smells a little stronger than usual it’s time to ditch it.

Lotions & Moisturisers:

In general, all beauty products should be kept in a cool, dry environment but certainly not deep in a handbag that’s left in the car on a sunny day.

Creams, moisturisers and lotions usually have a shelf-life of twelve to 24 months but once it reaches the best before date, it’s best to go separate ways.

To make the most of your beauty products, try dipping your fingers into jars only with clean hands. Unless the product is packaged in an airtight pump, bacteria on your fingers and moisture from the shower can contaminate the product.

Makeup brushes, sponges and tools:

Always keep your eyelash curlers and tweezers clean by applying small drops of eye makeup remover and gently wipe the excess residue with a makeup remover pad or a clean piece of tissue.

Once clean, quickly rinse thoroughly with warm water.

In order to keep your makeup sponges, brushes and other tools as new, it’s recommended to wash them once a week. If your skin is prone to frequent breakouts or even acne, you should make an effort to wash them every day.

Brushes and sponges may need a few hours to dry naturally, so clean them when you know you won’t use them for a while.

So, with the spring season kick starting our instinctive urge to rid ourselves of clutter and scrub away the dirt, it’s certainly a perfect opportunity to clean out your cosmetic cabinet and makeup bag.

Our tips should help you to keep a fresh set of products and tools to brighten up your summer and your skin too, knowing that all products you are putting on your skin are clean, healthy and nourishing.

Tell us how you keep your cosmetics and makeup products clean in the comments. You might also enjoy our other article about makeup > How to Avoid Makeup Contamination