Dangers of Dirty Make Up Brushes

Jo Gilchrist developed a staph infection in her spine, meaning she’ll never be able to walk again after using an infected make-up brush


Imagine you’re getting ready to go out, you notice a blemish on your chin but you’re totally out of concealer. You borrow your friend’s but realise it looks cakey - so you pinch her make-up brush to blend, blend, blend, until the spot is totally covered.

Sounds totally normal, right? Something any of us would do on a Saturday night over a glass of Pinot Grigio. But the reality of the situation is that make-up brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. So much so that a mother-of-one was left fighting for her life after borrowing a friend’s make-up brush to cover a pimple. Her friend also had a staph infection (aka bacteria on her face), but the friend didn’t realise until she lent Jo her make-up brush to cover her spots. By that point, it was too late and the bacteria had already spread. Jo first realised something was wrong when she started experiencing back-ache, which felt ‘worse than childbirth’ and became worse than childbirth, she said.

She was rushed to hospital, where she learnt her spine had been damaged beyond repair, and she’s been in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital ever since.


Doctors struggled to understand the reason for Jo’s pain, before her whole body went numb and she lost the feeling from below her belly-button. “They said (the numbness) would go all the way up my arms and into my chest and when that happened I'd have to be put in an induced coma and learn to breathe again,” she told the Daily Mail Australia.

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