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Cosmetic Testers Carry Disease, According To Experts


When you are looking for makeup cosmetics it’s not a good idea to try it before you buy it. Though cosmetic testers are available in stores, using them increases your risk of contracting salmonella and herpes.

Many women use makeup testers. The use of the same lipstick will enable them to pick up tiny droplets of other people’s saliva which might carry the herpes virus. On the other hand, 43 percent of eyeliner or mascara wands shared by many people may lead to a nasty case of “pink eye” and if some of them have conjunctivitis, then they could possibly pass the same disease to you.

Other risks from shared make-up include salmonella and e.coli as well as skin flare-ups from bacteria on other people's faces.

Dr. Amreen Bashir, a microbiologist from Aston University in Birmingham, England quoted that:

“Most people would never consider sharing a toothbrush with a stranger, yet they happily use make-up testers. There is a real risk of catching bacterial infections and herpes, as we all have different organisms living on us and one cosmetic tester can be used by 30 or 40 different people, which spreads the risk of infection.”

Salmonella affects the intestinal tract and causes a sickness that may require hospitalization.

According to Alan Taege, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at the Cleveland Clinic:

“Some people may merely carry the organism in the digestive tract and not be ill, but typically it will cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea -- sometimes with fever.”

A symptom of salmonella poisoning usually start within 12 to 72 hours after infection and some of its other symptoms may include headache, abdominal cramps, and loss of appetite. There were also some cases wherein salmonella can cause reactive arthritis, a type of joint pain that can last months or years and eventually may result in chronic arthritis.

Meanwhile, the herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV, is an infection that causes herpes. HSV-1, also known as oral herpes, is a type of HSV that can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face. You can get it from sharing lipstick, kissing, eating from the same utensils, or drinking from a glass that was used by a person with the disease.

Dr. Bashir noted that:

“Herpes causes blisters on the lips and around the mouth that can last up to 10 days. Lipsticks and make-up brushes that touch these parts of the face can spread the infection to other people.”

Finally, makeup brushes shared by many people were found to gather bacteria including Staph aureus, E.coli, and streptococcus.

In 2016 in a study involving 67 cosmetics, it was found that three-quarters contained the staphylococcus bug. While this can live harmlessly on the skin, shared make-up could transmit a less friendly version - methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the deadly superbug MRSA.

Dr. Bashir said:

“If all of these horror stories tell us one thing, it’s to stay away from sharing make-up products, both among your friends and especially in cosmetic stores.”

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