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Cosmetic Counter Sampling May Give You Pinkeye?

Jaclyn Hughes

Some women live to stop by the coveted Clinique counter at the local department store, and others avoid it like the plaque. You can get a stellar makeover there in roughly twenty minutes, and often it’s free because those ladies love trying their best to sell you as many products as they can to rake in that commission check. Do you ever wonder if it’s a sanitary process to toy with all of those shades of lipstick and mascara? Maybe it is, or quite possibly it’s your next ticket to the emergency room.

The thing about that appealing cosmetic counter calling your name is that you aren’t the only one that it has beckoned and would you ordinarily share products you put on your face at home with a slew of strangers? Probably not, right? What are the odds that all of those applicators, sponges, brushes, and eyelash curlers are all routinely sanitized after each use? Slim to none. With that said, you can imagine how many germs are left lingering around for customers.

Is there anything serious you can contract from using that eye shadow? Well, pinkeye, cold sores, boils, acne, and bacterial infections are all sadly common ailments that develop as a result of makeup sharing. Nothing like picking up a staph infection from trying to find the right shade of blush. Obviously, you aren’t giving yourself germs you already carry around, it’s those that came before you swabbing on the same lovely shades you were after at the counter displays.

We ladies will never know if the shopper prior to our arrival actually washed their hands recently before picking up the same mascara, and this is exactly how pinkeye is transferred. Take the herpes virus for example, it can only survive by living with a human host but in just a matter of a split second of touching a lipstick that virus stays alive and well to pass on to the next shopper. It doesn’t discriminate either, just as you can pick up the common cold anywhere, you can also obtain these illnesses from the luxury cosmetic boutiques, to the dollar shop around the corner.

I know what you’re thinking, “but how can we still try out the shades before we buy them?” If you need to check out the colors, then it is ideal to dab them on your wrist, or around the neck if need be. No matter how much you’re dying to check out the MAC lip-gloss, do not ever rub any makeup into any open cuts or sores; (yes, women actually do this) doing so is guaranteed to give you an infection of sorts.

Always try to avoid using the counter displays if possible; many larger stores will allow you to trial run the product at home then return it if you aren’t satisfied. If that’s the course you have to take, at least it’s safer than having to survive the herpes virus or pinkeye for a week. The good news is that many shops are starting to give out sample sizes to prevent this from happening at all. Upscale places such as MAC have many attendants observing their stands pretty carefully as well, trying to keep a cleaner area for all involved. Just remember not everyone is as clean as you may be, and no concealer is ever more vital than spending a week in bed with a totally preventable infection.

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