Yikes: The Scary Truth About What's in Your Makeup Bag

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup bag? Probably when one of your compacts crumbled into dust or when a foundation leaked out and into your bag. While we're busy keeping makeup brushes clean and checking the expiration dates of our beauty products, all very smart things, many of us forget that makeup bags need a deep cleaning too.

Dr. Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic, tells Refinery29, "It's a well-known fact that makeup bags are a breeding ground for bacteria." Whoa. Nancy Crossley, makeup artist and founder of Beauty So Clean, adds, "We have done studies with outside labs and on average, 11 out of 25 products tested contained Staphylococcus aureus [a common cause of skin infections and food poisoning], Pseudomonas aeruginosa [which can trigger bloodstream infections and pneumonia], and E. coli."

Before you freak out and throw out your makeup stash, just remember to sanitize your bag more often than not with gentle cleaning wipes like Honest Company Wipes ($5) and ensure everything that goes inside—from brushes to eyelash curlers—are also kept clean.

How often do you clean your makeup bag? Tell us in the comments and read about the nine things every L.A. girl keeps in her makeup bag.