Makeup Testers – A Hotbed For Germs

makeup-testers and counter

Are Makeup Testers Petri Dishes?

And Are You Practicing Good Makeup Hygiene?


It’s all too tempting when you are walking through the cosmetics department – all those name brands, all the alluring colors and all the bottles, compacts and makeup testers waving at you shouting “try me!”


makeup testers and makeup hygiene


With new makeup, creams and potions coming out seemingly every week, it is just ‘girl nature’ to want to try it all out. Sparkly eye shadow? yes please. Super glossy lip gloss? ooohhh yes!

Before you get too carried away, an undercover conducted by Good Morning America found that 20%, or one in five of these makeup testers carry mold, bacteria, yeast or fecal matter.

Think about it, everyone and anyone could have dipped their fingers or used that lipstick on their lips just before you. How would you know where those fingers or lips have been? (cue shudder).


Stop Before You Use Makeup Testers!



“You don’t have to panic,” Dr. Philip Tierno, director of microbiology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. ”You just have to realize that if you have an open cut, you might not want to go that route of using makeup that has been used by other people before you.”


Well, we may not panic but it sure has put us off trying any makeup testers.

Linda Wells, Editor-in-Chief of Allure magazine totally agrees:


“To me, makeup testers are like petri dishes,” she said.”  “I would not want to go near one or put anything in that tester on my face.”


There are ways though to still try the makeup product testers and avoid (as much as possible) the germ ridden samples.

Linda Wells Has These Makeup Hygiene Tips:

1)      Research the makeup you want online before you go to the store, so your choices are narrowed and you don’t have to try as many.

2)      Be wary of even disposable wands because you never know how many people double-dip the samples.

3)      Stay away from open jars of lip gloss, moisturizer and foundations, because people may have dipped their fingers into them -and hands are hotbeds of germs.

4)      When testing eyeshadow and eyeliner, use a disposable applicator and test it on your hand, not your eyes.

5)      To test a new foundation, apply it to your neck, away from your face and lips.

6)      Ask the salesperson to sterilize lipstick tubes with alcohol before you try them.  Our “GMA” tests showed that kills the bacteria.

7)      To try a new lipstick shade, apply it to the pad of your finger, not anywhere near your mouth.

8)      Test concealer on your inner wrist, not your face, where the lighter coloring will usually match your under-eye area.

9)      Never test mascara from a used tester bottle.  Ask the clerk to open a fresh tester and give you a disposable wand.  Dip each wand only once, to avoid contaminating the sample for the next customer. If a new tester isn’t an option, don’t test at all. Instead, ask the salesperson to describe the mascara to you.

10)   Many stores now have a “buy and try” policy, where you can purchase cosmetics, take them home to try on, and then get a full refund if you’re not happy.


makeup hygiene - makeup testers carry harmful bacteria


And make sure you practice good makeup hygiene habits yourself.

Now it isn’t only the makeup counters that harbor all these bacteria, your own makeup bag could be a hotbed of germs too.

So make sure you check your makeup regularly for sell by dates, replace old makeup and of course, practice good makeup hygiene even if it is your own.


Source : abc news, cosmetic candy



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