A new survey has revealed British women keep hold of their make-up products for SIX YEARS after they have gone off.

Escentual.com, leading online beauty retailer, discovered that many Brits are holding onto their make-up far past the use-by date, exposing them to toxins and bacteria, which lead to unnecessary breakouts and risk eye infections.

Eyeshadow came up trumps for the most hoarded item at the bottom of make-up bags with women keeping hold of them for nearly seven years, which is nearly six years too long. It is also one of the worst culprits for spreading infections as it is applied close to the eye.

Next worst was lipstick and liquid foundation, which are kept for 4¾ years, and over 3½ years respectively, which is more than three years longer than they should be kept.

Mascara is one of the worst culprits for spreading eye infections and was seen to be kept nearly two years past its use by date, and eyeliner is kept 3 years too long on average.

The most frequently replenished beauty products were face powder, blusher and bronzer but even they were kept a year longer than they should be according to the survey.

Emma Leslie, Beauty Editor at Escentual.com commented on the results: We’re all guilty of clinging on to lip and eye colours in the hope they come back into fashion but make-up can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria like Satphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermis.

“Beauty products that surround the eye hold the greatest risk of infection and can cause bacterial conjunctivitis and blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid. So it’s alarming to learn that British women are holding onto eyeshadow years past the expiration date.

She added: “Liquid foundation, blusher, bronzer, concealer and face powder past expiration dates can clog up pores with bacteria, which can cause irritations, break-outs and rashes.”

In the most extreme cases 6% of women admitted keeping eyeshadow for more than 14 years, 17% admitted to owning mascara 7-8 years old and 7% of respondents confessed to having eyeliner more than 14 years old.

Women have an average of 3-6 lipsticks at one time, and lipsticks are kept for an average of 4 years and 8 months which is more than 3 years past the expiry date. These can be a breeding ground of cold sores, especially if women have ever shared their lipstick, and 12% of women claim they’ve kept their lippy for 7-8 years and 5% for 10-12 years. Even with face powder, the least hoarded beauty item, a substantial 12% admitted to holding onto the product for 6-7 years.

Words by Katy Pearson