We’ve been long told that we MUST throw away our out of date beauty products. Heck, we write about it enough in our magazine. However, how many of us really pay attention to the sell-by dates on our foundations, mascaras and lipsticks? Hands up.

Yep, we’ll admit that we’re not exactly great at keeping track of whether or not our beauty buys have ‘expired’, but really – how much damage could one out of date concealer cause? A lot, actually.

Proper science has revealed that your old make-up is a breeding ground for life-threatening bacteria, and a huge portion of us are at risk.

Scientists at the London Metropolitan University have tested an array of expired make-up products, comparing them with an identical item that was still in date. We don’t advocate fear mongering by any means, but the results they found (in their most extreme cases) are guaranteed to freak you out…

[WARNING: This is pretty scary]

Foundation – Four months out of date
Bought: March 2014
Best Before: March 2015
Tested Positive For: Enterococcus faecalis/faecium, Staphyloccocus epidermidis, and Eubacterium
In Real Speak: As well as aiding one of the main cases of acne, the nasty bacteria found in the foundation sample could (in extreme instances) lead to a form of meningitis. Yep, it’s that serious.

Blusher – Nine months out of date
Bought: October 2013
Best Before: October 2014
Tested Positive For: Enterococcus faecalis/faecium, Staphyloccocus epidermidis and Propionibacterium avidum
In Real Speak: This could lead to serious skin conditions, urinary tract infections (don’t ask us how), and meningitis once again. What’s more, the combination of the bacteria found can lead to potentially life threatening infections in people with existing ailments. Yikes.   

Lipstick – Ten months out of date
Bought: September 2012
Best Before: September 2014
Tested Positive For: Enterococcus faecium/faecalis
In Real Speak: We’ve got two pretty intense words for you – blood poisoning. And lots of awful skin conditions to boot.

Mascara – Four months out of date
Bought: October 2014
Best Before: April 2015
Tested Positive For: Enterobacter and Eubacterium
In Real Speak: The nasty stuff found in your average out of date mascara can lead to severe sinus problems, and affect the functionality of your lungs and airways.

Now, we’re sure there’s no need for you to drop everything and get yourself to the doctors, BUT we do recommend sifting through your make-up bag when you get home. Chances are, if you’ve still got the intact eyeshadow palette your mum gave you for Christmas 2012 stashed in there, you’re really not going to miss it when you give it the heave-ho…