We’re all guilty! At some point in our lives we have shared makeup with friends, sometimes even strangers (Oh so you think you’ve never shared makeup with strangers, what do you call testing makeup displayed at makeup counters? Do u know how many people have dipped their fingers into that same tester?!!!).
How would you feel if you visited your doctor and you see him moving from patient to patient without wearing gloves or sterilising his equipments? As a patient in a hospital you would expect the medical personnel to adhere to stringent hygienic standards; and you would by no means allow a nurse to inject you with a used syringe for fear of cross infection. If people in the medical profession do not share certain objects among patients so also should you be selfish and not share your makeup with people; you should observe some level of hygiene standard when it comes to makeup.
While most cosmetics contain preservatives to help slow the growth of bacteria and fungus, sometimes this isn’t enough to prevent your makeup from getting contaminated. In fact, in one study researchers found bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aurues (which causes conjunctivitis and boils), and Escherichia coli ,commonly abbreviated E. Coli (which can cause bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and kidney failure) in department store makeup testers. E. coli normally lives in the digestive tract and is found in stool. It is spread when people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom and then touch another surface. So close your eyes for a minute and picture one of the makeup counter visitors accidentally picking up the E. Coli bacteria while she’s at the restroom, she doesn’t wash her hands, she strolls majestically to the makeup counter and immediately swipes some lip-gloss with her fingers…hold on don’t throw up just yet…then imagine you swiping that same lip-gloss on your lips, and then the E. Coli bacteria present in the makeup swims through the mucous membranes of your mouth to your blood streams and settles in your stomach…ok, you can throw up now!
Each time you touch a lipstick or mascara, you are potentially introducing germs to the product. And the more people who use it, the greater the likelihood of spreading infection. Since mucous membranes are more susceptible to getting infected, lip and eye products should never be shared under any circumstances. Bacteria and infections, such as conjunctivitis, can be transmitted through sharing mascara. Eyelash mites and mucous membranes around the eye can stick to a mascara wand and be transferred to others who use it.
So next time when you visit your favourite makeup store, insist that each product is sterilized before you try them on, and use disposable applicators not the brushes that come with the products. Unfortunately not so many makeup stores around here give out disposable applicators to customers, so it’s advisable you leave the house with your own applicators, and sterilizing lotion. If possible avoid weekend visits to cosmetic counters, because the stores are busier then, more people have been handling the testers, and the attendants might not be able to observe proper hygiene practise.
Conclusively, there is a question I ask myself before I use makeup testers, this has really helped me to adopt a hygienic approach to how I shop for makeup – I ask myself, Gbemi are you sharing mascara or are you sharing conjunctivitis?