When I was in college living with a gaggle of girls, it was common practice for someone to swipe a lippie, borrow a hair clip or wear your earrings. Except me. Because my beauty products were off-limits. And I found the whole act of wearing someone else’s makeup or earrings just too skeevy.
I’ll never forget when one of my roommates borrowed my favorite yellow scrunchie (it was the ‘90’s, ok!). She hadn’t showered that morning, and all I could picture was hair oil all over the fabric.
Borrowing beauty products is gross. And really unsanitary. Think about taking your earrings out and the gunk that is left on the posts. Now imagine someone else’s gunk on those posts. Yes, you can clean them. But those little earring backs have tiny nooks and crannies.
Makeup can never be cleaned, and sharing beauty products can make you very sick. Get ready to grab some hand sanitizer, because here is a list of the top five yucky diseases and infections you can catch from sharing beauty products:
- Herpes. If your bestie swipes her lips with your signature shade, any bacteria that rests on her mouth is stuck on your favorite lipstick. Does she have a cold sore? Congratulations, because that cold sore contains a strain of the Herpes virus. While different from the STD, all forms of herpes are incurable. That means her cold sore will be her gift to you…forever. And it will always rest on your lips.
- Staph. There are many different types of Staphylococcus (also known as Staph) but MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is the most feared and can be fatal. Types of Staph can cause painful sores and also can lead to more serious complications. Staph bacteria can rest on makeup sponges and brushes, which means that you can contract these bacteria from sharing beauty products. One mother suffered paralysis after she contracted MRSA from a friend’s makeup brush.
- Eye infections...including Pinkeye! Don’t ever borrow eye products like mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow. Any bacteria that might rest in those products may easily infect the eye. Pinkeye or conjunctivitis is one of the most common infections of the eye. Pinkeye can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies or even cigarette smoke. However, while pinkeye infects the conjunctiva of the eye, bacteria in makeup also can infect other areas of the eyes including the cornea, lens and retina. Every part of the eye is susceptible to a bacterial or viral infection. Contact lens wearers are especially prone to infections of the cornea, and in severe cases the infection may scar the cornea resulting in the patient needing a cornea transplant.
- Lice! Remember when you were little and the nurse would check everyone’s hair at school with a big magnifying lens? Head lice were dreaded in childhood. Unfortunately, adults aren’t immune to those pesky little bugs. Yes, your friend might have nice clean hair. But dirt has nothing to do with infestation. And you never know if your friend might have contracted nits or lice from their child. Don’t share brushes, combs or other hair accessories. Otherwise, you might find yourself performing an in-home lice treatment.
- Fungus and Warts. We’ve all worn high heels that mash our toes…and our toenails. Sometimes you just need some clippers to take care of a painful hanging toenail. But don’t borrow a friend’s nail clippers. Any fungus or bacteria from your friend’s feet or hands might be on those tools. Athlete’s foot is not sexy for summer feet. Warts look witchy, too. But unfortunately, you could catch both from one little snip.
Beauty products are personal and are not meant to be communal. Be selfish with your products, otherwise you might share in your friend’s warts, herpes or staph. The risk of viral and bacterial infections isn’t worth the quick fix. When it comes to beauty products, keep your hands to yourself! And tell friends to do the same!
Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the makeup and fashion industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.
Don't forget to check out Gwen's other posts: Tips That Help Your Makeup Last Longer and The Complete Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Beauty Products!
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