Take care with opened lotions

open lid pot

Residents are being advised to be aware of potential dangers hidden in beauty products which could cause nasty infections because they have not been used during the pandemic lockdowns.

This month sees a full calendar year since the beginning of the pandemic where the movement of people was restricted and many people were told to stay safe at home and not go to into their offices.

The pathway out of lockdown has been revealed and as residents look to get back to some normality, bacteria could be lurking and active ingredients degenerated in products which have been opened and unused.

Products are required by law to have a symbol on them which indicates the period of time a product should be used up in, once opened. 

The symbol is a tub with an open lid and has the number of months within which the product should be used - much like a best before date on some food products.

The period of time is linked to the potency of the active ingredients in the product which might not work as well after the period.

The most dangerous of which can be sun lotion’s ingredients which may not give the protection expected and could lead to sunburn.

Make-up applicators used in products such as mascara could harbour bacteria leading to eye infections and bacteria from fingers dipped in lotions and then not used can multiply and cause irritation is used.

Russell Denney-Clarke, interim trading standards manager, said: “There are open used products lurking in the bottom of make-up bags and in cosmetic or bathroom cupboards which can become breeding grounds for bacteria.

“When using products again after a long period or after the expiry of the product, the bacteria can lead to irritation of skin and eye infections.

“But the most concerning is sun lotion where children and adults need protection from the sun. This could be compromised which can lead to lifelong skin damage and other serious consequences.

“Just be aware of the symbols on everyday products and understand what they mean to get the best out of them.

“If you are not sure how long the product hasn’t been used, don’t risk it and bin it. 

“If it still has the dregs at the bottom, empty it into the bin, rinse the packaging see if the packaging can be recycled.

“Any unopened cosmetic products can still be safe even after a number of years hidden in the back of the cupboard. Just be aware if you have dipped your fingers in or dabbed an application brush or wand on your face, then there is a possibility of infection.”

Published: 17 March 2021