Raw egg face masks put you at risk of nasty food poisoning bugs, experts warn
The DIY hack, they say, is not only is it totally bogus, but it could also spread harmful bacteria.
Cosmetic surgeon Christopher Inglefield is concerned that raw egg masks will result in Brits getting harrowing bouts of food poisoning due to contamination from the unrefrigerated foodstuff.
Mr Inglefield, founder of the London Bridge Plastic Surgery clinic, warned: "Not only is this ineffective practice, it could potentially spread harmful bacteria, such as Campylobacter and even salmonella if you’re really unlucky.
"You should always wash your hands after handling raw egg.
"If it's on your face all day then you are potentially contaminating everything and everyone you touch. Just think of the risks."
For the past year or so, they've been on YouTube trying to persuade us that raw egg can make a genuine difference to the appearance of sagging skin – particularly around the eyes.
Bloggers like Beauty Vixxen, AKA Lizbeth Eguia, have uploaded tutorial videos showing how egg masks are "like a facelift".
“Botox can be really expensive, so this is going to be a hack that costs zero dollars if you’ve already got egg in your house.
“And I know you guys are going to be worried that you smell of egg, but you will not because this is a minimal amount.”
But raw egg comes with a number of risks – not least from salmonella.
The NHS advises: "There can be bacteria on the shell as well as inside the egg, which can spread very easily to other foods, as well as to hands, utensils and worktops.”
They also instruct to: “Keep eggs away from other foods – both when they are in the shell and after you have cracked them.
“Be careful not to splash egg onto other foods, worktops or dishes.
Symptoms of salmonella
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning. People tend to get it from foods like meat, eggs or milk.
It can be fatal
- abdominal cramps
- blood in poo
- muscle pain
Rates of salmonella have fallen dramatically in recent years but to avoid it, you're best off avoiding raw eggs and unpasteurised dairy, as well as washing your hands whenever you're cooking.
"Always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, and then dry them after touching or working with eggs.
“Clean surfaces, dishes and utensils thoroughly using warm soapy water after handling eggs.
"Don't use eggs with damaged shells, because dirt or bacteria might have got inside them.”
Skin aesthetician Candice Brown also warned beauty lovers to be wary of raw egg facemasks.
Candice, also with the London Bridge Plastic Surgery, added: "Of course, the risk of raw eggs is not just limited to the egg white eyelift.
“The warning also stands for raw egg facemasks, too, which have grown in popularity in recent years as they're said to combat spots and blackheads.
“These ‘DIY’ home treatments are clearly attractive because they’re cheap and seemingly ‘natural’.
“But you’ve always got to be aware of the pitfalls. You wouldn’t smear raw chicken on your face, but it’s the same principle here.”
Dr Adil Sheraz, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson told The Sun: "As far as I am aware there have been no trials looking at the benefits of raw egg white on the skin to reduce wrinkles.
"As doctors and dermatologists, we always like to follow evidence-based medicine- treatments that are recommended by dermatologists have been through a rigorous research process and are known to be safe.
"The same cannot be said of raw eggs, not only are we uncertain of the actual benefits there are also (although small) risks of contracting infections such as salmonella and this risk in increased in immune suppressed people, children and pregnant women.
"There are numerous cheap and expensive topical products that are known to be safe and have been thoroughly tested that can be used on the skin to achieve both tightness and wrinkle reduction."
In fact, Dr Sarah Jarvis told The Sun that "people have absolutely nothing to gain from this fad".
"Egg white is largely a protein called albumen, which every cook will tell you becomes sticky when it dries. It may stick your eyelids open but that’s the only way it will affect your appearance.
"It could irritate your eyelids, causing redness and soreness. It’s also likely to be difficult to rub off, so you may end up having to scrub at your delicate eyelids.
"Although most British eggs come from hens which have been immunised against Salmonella, that only applies to eggs marked with the Lion brand.
"What’s more, eggs (including the shells) can be contaminated with other germs. We always recommend washing your hands after handling raw eggs, and one of the easiest ways to get germs into your system is through your eyes.
"Just don’t do it!"
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