Hidden Dangers of Using Cosmetic TestersIt seems innocent enough. Youíre at the cosmetic counter browsing for cosmetics and you see an appealing display of makeup shades just begging to be sampled. You select one of the enticing shades of eyeliner and apply it under your eyes. Unfortunately, you may have just put yourself at risk for a serious eye infection.
Even though the practice of using cosmetic testers is quite prevalent these days, this doesnít reduce the potential risks associated of this unsafe practice. When a cosmetic tray is left open and exposed to the air it can become host to a variety of unfriendly, and even downright dangerous, bacteria and viruses. Thatís why youíre encouraged to discard certain cosmetics such as mascara after a certain time even if youíre the only one using it. This problem is compounded when you have multiple users in a store environment.
A researcher who studied the surface of cosmetic testers in stores for over two years found makeup testers laden with bacteria in all types of establishments from beauty supply stores to high end department stores. Disturbingly, one research found a variety of bacteria on cosmetic testers that are usually confined to the intestines and are not normal inhabitants of the face.
What dangers might you encounter from using makeup testers at cosmetic counters? Use of eye and lip tester products are of particular concern as these products can easily transmit viral or bacterial infection to your eyes or into your body. There have been many reported cases of bacterial conjunctivitis, an infection of the mucous membranes of the eyes, caused by the use of contaminated mascara wands and eyeliners. There have even been reports of an eye infection related to a makeup tester progressing beyond the mucous membranes and resulting in loss of vision. You also run the danger of picking up a herpes cold sore from the use of a contaminated lipstick tester as well as a potential cold or virus. This may be a particular problem in the winter months when these infections are the most common.
What should you do if you need to test a makeup color before making a purchase? It should be safe to try the cosmetic tester on the back of your hand to get a better idea of the color and how it reacts with your skin tone. The real danger occurs when cosmetic testers are applied to the mucous membranes on the face such as the eyes.
Another alternative to avoiding the dangers of cosmetic testers is to patronize stores that offer single serving testers. This is a growing trend at cosmetic counters due to the risk of infection transmission. If you must try a cosmetic before leaving the store, ask for a new, sterile applicator brush and avoid testing eye and lip products. Donít use a makeup tester product on an area where the skin has been broken or abraded. If you encounter a tester bottle of liquid makeup or foundation that appears to have separated, avoid using it since this can be a sign of bacterial contamination.
The next time you visit your local makeup counter and see those tantalizing cosmetic testers, resist the urge to reach for apply them to your face. You may save yourself from an unwanted bacterial or viral infection.
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