Test Makeup Without Getting Sick by Following These Tips

How to Avoid Using Tainted Makeup
Source: File Photo

Trial & Error Can Be Costly

We’ve all bought eye shadow or pressed powder that appeared to be a great color or the right shade while in the compact; a lipstick shade that looked great on the package; or foundation that matched perfectly to our skin tone and then once we get home, the products aren’t at all what we expected—the eye shadow isn’t vibrant enough, the lipstick color doesn’t quite match the shade on the package and the foundation is too light or has pink undertones! Trial and error can be costly, which is why so many of us like to test out products before we purchase them.

But there is something about those makeup testers that you probably haven’t thought about. Using them could cause breakouts, rashes or worse.

What’s Lurking Around the Makeup Counters?

Product testers that are left out in the open and can be used by anyone can be contaminated and if you use them, the bacteria and germs can possibly cause acne outbreaks, rashes and dermatitis, which in skin of color can sometimes lead to the development of dark spots and other skin problems.

Contaminated Product & Infections

Contaminated product can also cause pink eye, herpes, hepatitis and more life threatening diseases. Researchers have found that product can even be contaminated with e coli from fecal matter. How? Individuals who may have gone to the restroom without washing (or thoroughly washing) their hands, dip their fingers into products. Gross, but true.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Think about it, even if there are disposable tools to use to scoop out a sample from a jar of moisturizing cream, it doesn’t mean the customer that tested the product just moments before you used one. Without even thinking people stick their hands into jars of cream and apply it to their skin not knowing whether someone with the flu or some kind of infection has done the same.

Customers can sneeze or cough sending germs into the air, which can get into open containers of makeup.

Makeup Mold & Mildew?

In addition, old product or product that has been left opened too long, can be contaminated by yeast or mold.

Yuck! What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

Your best bet is to buy makeup and beauty products from companies that offer free samples so that you can test out product before purchasing.

Buy from companies or stores that have return policies that allow you to purchase makeup products and return them if you are not satisfied with the color or have other issues with your purchase.

What Should You Do If You’re on a Budget?

Quite often it is a high priced product that comes with these great return policies, so what can you do if you’re on a budget? Some drug stores have good return policies, so check those out first. If there isn’t a return policy or store credit, try these tips:

  • Avoid drug store testers where an employee is not monitoring the makeup testers.
  • Go to a makeup counter in a reputable department store. This doesn’t guarantee you will avoid potentially tainted makeup, but it is better to test makeup where testers are being watched over by a store employee.
  • Tips for Getting a Safe Professional Makeup Application
  • If you do decide to use testers, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before testing any products.
  • Bring your own alcohol wipes to clean off the product before testing.
  • Do not use open jars of lotion, cream, lip gloss and loose eye shadow. There is no way to clean these types of products.
  • Only use products from squeeze or pump dispensers, shakers or that are single use.
  • Avoid testing makeup on lips and eyes, which are entry points for germs and are areas that are vulnerable to viruses and infection.
  • You can pick up herpes from lipstick if someone had a cold sore and used it.
  • You can get conjunctivitis (pink eye) that may have been transferred to eye pencils or mascara.
  • While eye pencils can be sharpened, lowering a risk for contamination, it’s not certain whether mascara, even when disposable testers are available, has been used and then contaminated. Use only if it is a fresh tester.
  • It’s best to purchase mascara from a department store or company, as stated before, where it can be returned and gives refunds or store credits for returned items.

Never apply product near the eyes or lips.

  • When testing out foundation, blush, eye shadow, use the back of your hand or jaw line.
  • You can also test lipstick on the pads of your fingertips, but be sure to clean it off with an antibacterial wipe.
  • Concealer can be tested on the inner wrist.
  • Test foundations on the jaw line or neck, not on the face or near the eyes or lips.

Shop During the Week.

  • Avoid weekends when department stores have the highest traffic and highest risk for contamination of testers.

Zap the Germs.

  • Use antimicrobial or antibacterial wipes after using store makeup even when tested on your wrist or the back of your hand.
  • Dip or wipe lipstick in alcohol.
  • Scrape off the top layer of pressed powders.
  • Sharpen eyeliner and lip liner pencils to a sharp, fresh point and then wipe off with alcohol.
  • Never apply makeup where you have open cuts or sores to protect yourself as well as others.

Also use the above tips when using your own makeup at home to avoid contamination and to extend the life of your makeup.


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