The testing truth about make-up
London - Department store make-up testers are filled with bacteria, mould and faecal matter, it has been revealed.
In the US, the Good Morning America TV show went undercover to test the safety of shared make-up testers, which beauty counters replace, on average, just once a year.
The TV show took samples from 10 stores across two American states, using sterile swabs and undercover cameras, gathering evidence which was then tested in New York University’s microbiology department.
The results revealed what germs people are sharing when they test the same eye-shadows, foundations and lipsticks as hundreds – even thousands – of strangers.
Much like the handles of supermarket trolleys, bathroom doorknobs, staircase handrails and computer keyboards, the majority of samples and applicators available at make-up vendors are caked with mould and bacteria.
One out of every five samples – or 20 percent – showed significant growth of mould, yeast or faecal matter.
Some make-up testers were harbouring strains of bacteria that, according to Philip Tierno, director of microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Centre, can make you sick.
He said: “If you have an open cut, you might not want to go the route of using make-up that has been used by other people.”
Allure editor-in-chief Linda Wells added: “To me, make-up testers are like petri dishes: I would not want to go near one. There are better ways to do it.”
Brushes and foundations were found to be the worst offenders, and make-up experts suggest consumers test these on the neck rather than the face.
With lipstick, they recommend testing colours on the pad of your finger – although considering how many times hands come into contact with the mouth, this might also need to be reconsidered.
For eyeshadow and eyeliner – which shared the top spot with foundation for most germ-filled – experts recommend using a disposable applicator on the back of your hand.
Interestingly, Good Morning America found no germ difference between the most upscale department stores and regular drug stores. - Daily Mail