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Are Cosmetics a Factor in Demodectic Rosacea?


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Are Cosmetics a Factor in Demodectic Rosacea?

The consensus is yes. 

"Makeup cosmetics used by different individuals at short intervals (from several hours to several days) can be a source of transmission of Demodex sp. mites." [1]

"The number of D. folliculorum mites did not differ between the right and left eye; however, the use of cosmetics or facial cream, contact lens, hair removers, were factors present in patients infected with D. folliculorum." [2]

"It has been proposed that failure to wash the face and overuse of oily or creamy preparations supplies the Demodex mites with extra lipid nourishment, which promotes reproduction of mites in large numbers, which plugs the pilo-sebaceous ducts and leads to appearance of rosacea-like facial eruption." [3]


Cosmetics are a factor in demodectic rosacea. Therefore it is important to be sure to use cosmetics for rosacea that reduce the demodex density count. 

End Notes 

[1] Acta Parasitol. 2021; 66(2): 631–637.
Shared Makeup Cosmetics as a Route of Demodex folliculorum Infections
Aleksandra Sędzikowska, Katarzyna Bartosik, Renata Przydatek-Tyrajska, Monika Dybicz

[2] Acta Microbiol Immunol Hung. 2020 Mar 30;67(3):156-160.  doi: 10.1556/030.2020.01067.
Prevalence and risk factors to Demodex folliculorum infection in eyelash follicles from a university population of Mexico
Jaime Vargas-Arzola, Aristeo Segura-Salvador, Honorio Torres-Aguilar, Mario Urbina-Mata, Sergio Aguilar-Ruiz, D Lucía Díaz-Chiguer, Adrián Márquez-Navarro, Lázaro Morales-Reyes, Noé Alvarado-Vásquez, Benjamín Nogueda-Torres 

[3] Indian J Dermatol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 59(1): 60–66.
Human Demodex Mite: The Versatile Mite of Dermatological Importance
Parvaiz Anwar Rather and Iffat Hassan

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  • 2 months later...

Its not just what the cosmetics are made of that cause additional problems with wearing makeup while having a demodex overpopulation.   The tools the products are applied with can make it worse.   Take mascara.  Typically the brush wand is stored in the tube of mascara.  As you apply the mascara to the eyelashes, it is picking up demodex and demodex eggs.  Then you put the wand back in the tube.  Now the mascara is infested with demodex.  Eye shadow sponge applicators can pick up demodex and eggs.    Foundation or tinted moisturizers sometimes use the sponge applicators which are fixed to the bottle lids.  Once the base makeup layer is applied that sponge applicator goes back in the bottle possibly carrying demodex and demodex eggs.  The next time the product is applied to the face, the user is also applying demodex to their face.  Just sticking fingers into a wide mouth jar of moisturizer repeatedly while applying it to the face could contaminate the product with demodex.  Most types of makeup products have some type of grease (i.e. lipids, oils, etc) to moisturize.   Depending on what is in the product, it may allow the demodex to survive to contaminate the face when used again.

Best to get foundation/moisturizer products in tubes.

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