BEAUTY tools are key to our everyday lives.
Whether it's plucking a stray hair with tweezers or taming your main with a hair brush – every one has their go-to products.
While you might think nothing of picking them up when you're off shopping down the high street, some products could be causing you more harm than good.
A survey conducted by Champneys found that around 47 per cent of people don't clean their tools after each use.
Shockingly, 46 per cent of Brits admitted to having used the same ones for years on end.
Now one microbiologist has warned that there are nasties lurking in your tools that could be making you sick.
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Expert Amy-May Pointer tested the six most common items available on the high street to find out how dirty they can get after everyday use.
Amy-May found that the dirtiest tool was the hairbrush.
It was found to have 'fur-like' colonies which represented fungus.
This, she explained, could be trichophyton mentagrophytes which thrives on an unwashed brush.
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It can infect human tissue including the scalp – which could lead to ringworm and hairloss.
"The hairbrush contains a lot of dead skin from your scalp. This mixed in with hair creates the perfect environment for bacteria to feed on the organic matter.
"This in turn can lead to scalp irritation and unpleasant odours," Amy said.
THE FIX: Keep hair brushes free from hair and remove it from your brush regularly. To clean it, soak it in hot soapy water every 2-4 weeks for 5-10 minutes.
2. Tanning mitt
This product was also found to have a potentially harmful fungus – Aspergillus which can cause nasty skin infections.
The guru said: "Fungal species will proliferate on a tanning mitt due to the sponge-like material which is the perfect environment for moisture and therefore fungal growth.
"The mitt will also contain a lot of dead skin cells, allowing for bacteria to feed off the organic material."
THE FIX: After use, run through the washing machine and air dry – just make sure you don't wash it with anything else.
3. Eyelash curler
Eyelash curlers tested were found to contain mites called Demodex folliculorum.
These are found on your eye lashes and can lead to hair loss.
THE FIX: Make sure you clean these regularly to avoid any build up of products such as mascara.
Tweezers were one of the cleaner items , with growth of commensal microorganisms that are usually found on skin being detected.
THE FIX: Soak in hot soapy water for 5-10 minutes after every use.
5. Jade roller
While this was a cleaner tool – Staphylococcus aureus was found.
It can be found on skin and strains of S. aureus such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus) can pose a health risk.
There is also evidence of S. aureus’s pathogenicity causing acne.
Amy-May added: "The hydrophobic surface of a jade roller is not absorbent.
"This makes it one of the least dirty of the cosmetic tools, as the environment would not harbour as much bacterial and fungal organisms as a sponge or brush for example.”
THE FIX: Wipe after use.
6. Nail clippers
This was the cleanest tool and Amy-May found it had a relatively low density of microorganisms.
S. aureus is present, but this would only be an issue if the nail clippers cut through the skin, which could cause infection – but this would be rare.
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Amy-May added: "The nail clippers are metal and therefore do not create an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to proliferate.”
THE FIX: Be careful to not go to close to the skin when using.
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