Your make-up brushes are dirtier than your mobile phone

Published 25th Jan 2022 by PB Admin
Your make-up brushes are dirtier than your mobile phone

New data has revealed that the foundation brush in your make-up bag is 31 times dirtier than your mobile phone screen.

The study by Lenstore, which set out to discover how much bacteria is lurking on our everyday essentials, found that foundation brushes are the dirtiest thing in your make-up bag, with an average of 1,176 bacteria found on these brushes.

Foundation brushes placed fourth out of the everyday items tested for bacteria, meaning they have higher levels of bacteria than mobile phones, the London Underground and even Covid-19 face masks, found the report.

Other beauty products tested included eyeshadow brushes, which had an average of 102 live bacteria on them; lash curlers, which had 56; and mascara wands, which surprisingly had an average of only six live bacteria.

The bacteria levels on everyday items:

Swabbed item

Average number of bacteria

Under Nail






Foundation Brush


Covid-19 Face Mask




Sleep Mask




Eyeshadow Brush


Eyelash Curler


Mobile Phone


Kitchen Surface


London Underground


Mascara Wand



Not only can dirty brushes cause irritation and blocked pores, encouraging breakouts on your skin, but they can also result in a staph infection, which is caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus.

Foundation and other make-up brushes should be cleaned once a week to avoid any build-up of bacteria.

The study also investigated the most effective way to remove bacteria when removing make-up by swabbing different faces of those who remove make-up with a wipe, or with a cleanser and cotton pad. 

The tests found that removing make-up and bacteria from your face with a cleanser proves more effective than using a wipe, with the average bacteria found at 569 compared to 644 with wipe-only cleansing.

It’s not just bacteria causing skin issues, as dangerous counterfeit beauty products are on the rise in the UK.

What do you make of the study? Tell us your thoughts below.





PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 25th Jan 2022

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