If you’re one of those people that share “everything” with your loved ones – you should think twice.
“It doesn’t seem like letting a friend use your lip gloss or eyeshadow is a big deal, but with many products when you share them, you’re essentially sharing bacteria,” says dermatologist and founder of DermWarehouse, Dr. Alan Parks. “As clean and healthy as we’re sure your friends are, you have no idea what germs they’re carrying around with them, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You’re not being selfish or mean by keeping your beauty products to yourself, you’re just being smart.”
Parks, however, is quick to caution that when it comes to beauty products, not all types are created equal. Here’s a breakdown of the beauty products that you should never share with your friends, and a few that are ok to share as long as you take the proper precautions.
Products that come in a jar
“Many beauty products such as creams, lotions, masks, etc. come in a jar that you need to put your fingers into in order to use, you definitely don’t want to share products like this, as if you do, you’ll be getting the germs from someone else’s fingers into your products. You should also make sure to always wash your hands before putting your own fingers into any creams or lotions to keep your own germs and bacteria away.
If you absolutely must share your favorite new cream in a jar with your friend, it’s best to dip a small [CLEAN] spoon into the product and dish some out for her. This way, no bacteria will get in. Make sure to wash the spoon immediately after and/or use a different one the next time around.
If you truly can’t imagine a life where you and your bff don’t share your creams and lotions, make sure to buy something that comes in a pump. These are safe to share because you and your germs never actually come in contact with the product. This kind of product is also a lower risk for contamination in general, as you never open them so the product never comes in contact with your own hands or any bacteria that’s in the air.”
Lip Gloss/Lipstick/Lip Balm
“Lip products are really easy and common for friends to share, but doing so could be risky. Using someone’s lip products puts you at risk of spreading infections like cold sores. These lip products, especially those with a wand that you dip into the bottle, spread germs very quickly and very easily.
If you really want something that you can share with your friend, the best product to stick with is lip liner (that comes in pencil form). These can be shaved down so technically even if someone uses yours you never have to come in contact with their germs.”
“One of the worst things you can share is mascara or eye makeup in general. It may seem harmless to give your friend a swipe of your mascara, however, eye infections are extremely contagious. If the person you’re sharing with has any eye infection or if the mascara/eye makeup they’re using has been infected, you and/or your eye makeup will be too. Even if your friend looks totally fine and swears she’s never had an eye infection in her life, you should still say no. Someone can be infected and not show symptoms for a few weeks. Even if they don’t have any symptoms yet, they can still be contagious.
You don’t have to worry as much about sharing your eyeliner (if it’s a pencil), as like a lip liner, these can be shaved down. You will want to make sure you dip your sharpener in alcohol before and after you use it. You should do the same after sharpening your lip liner as well.”
Makeup sponges & makeup brushes
“These are a big no-no when it comes to sharing. Even when just you are using your brushes and sponges, they collect a ton of bacteria and germs. Do you want to add someone else’s bacteria and germs to the mix as well? We didn’t think so! Unless you’re planning to clean your brush or sponge immediately before and after you share it with your friend, it’s best to keep these to yourself.”