When it comes to beauty, girls just can’t help but share everything: tips, advices, hacks, and even products themselves. It’s tempting to watch your bff put on her new favorite nude lipstick and ask to try it on, just so you’ll know if you should also get one.
But dermatologists say it’s a big no-no to share make-up because it’s an easy way to pass on viruses and bacteria from one person to another. “Even though someone doesn’t have a visible cold sore, they can still carry herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and pass it off to you in one makeup application,” explains Dendy Engelman, MD, a cosmetics dermatologist based in New York City, in a Cosmopolitan magazine interview.
Here we break down which beauty products you should never, ever share to your bff or anybody else to keep infections at bay:
PRODUCTS THAT COME IN A JAR
Any product that you need to dip your fingers in should always be kept for personal use. Having different fingers dip in your jars will create a petri dish of bacteria out of the creams and balms you’re going to apply on your face. It’s best to wash your hands before coming into contact with the formula.
Your eyes are more susceptible to infections, like pink eye, because it doesn’t have the same layers of protection that your skin does. Your mascara can harbor bacteria and viruses that are easily transmissible; and each time you pull the wand out and push it back in, air is pushed inside the bottle’s base which feeds the aerobic bacteria inside. The only safe way to share a mascara is to use disposable wands to apply it and never double dip.
While dry powders don’t hold onto bacteria as much as wet formulas do, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to share it with your bff. You can still transfer bacteria from one person to another, especially when you’re using a sponge or brush to touch up areas around your eyes and mouth. If your friend needs a touch-up in a beauty emergency, try spraying the powder with an alcohol-based spray, like BeautySoClean Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist, get her a clean make-up brush to use, and swipe it over the powder once.
LIPSTICK OR LIP BALM
We could never stress this enough: use your own lip products! Don’t pass your favorite lipstick around because if one of you has a virus, you could be transferring the bacteria around and never know it. If you really have to, make sure to use an alcohol spray or wipe to sanitize them.
Just like mascara, pushing air back into the base only adds to the probability of a bacteria to breed in the moist, dark and gummy formula of the gloss. Avoid sharing your tubes and believe us when we tell you that it’s not being selfish, it’s just being practical and clean.
These types of formulas can trap and harbor bacteria especially since you probably use your fingers to apply it on your eyelids, so don’t pass your cream shadow around to your friends. You’ve already contaminated it with your own bacteria, avoid adding more by steering clear of sharing this.
Don’t exacerbate your skin condition by using someone else’s brushes or lending yours and cross-contaminating bacteria. Always use a fresh brush or spray your used brush with alcohol to kill bacteria, that’s the only safe way to share your brushes. If you’re breaking out constantly, shampoo your brushes weekly then condition them to help them last a long time.
We don’t know if anyone been guilty of doing this, but sharing toothbrushes, even with your S.O. is a big and hard no. The mouth is filled with good and bad bacterias, the bad ones are responsible for the funky smell if you forget to brush your teeth. Keeping this bad bacteria at bay starts with not sharing a toothbrush to avoid transferring mouth bacteria to one another, and brushing your teeth regularly.
FACIAL CLEANSING BRUSH
All the dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria you clean off your face on a daily basis is on this brush. So think, do you want to buff someone else’s grime into your skin? Definitely no! If you’re sharing with a partner, try buying several brush heads so you both have your own and just switch in between use.
Though stainless steel doesn’t carry bacteria for very long, it can still transfer warts or genital herpes if anyone who uses it is infected. Even worse, getting nicks from razors means drawing blood or fluids and leaving bacteria on the blade after rinsing, which will make you more vulnerable to infection and blood-borne viruses.
So next time you’re sharing a personal care product, think about whether it’s safe to do so or not. As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and sometimes, not sharing is a good thing, especially when it’s susceptible to contamination.