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Is It Safe to Try Before You Buy? Experts Weigh in on the Cleanliness of Sampling Makeup

Is It Safe to Try Before You Buy? Experts Weigh in on the Cleanliness of Sampling Makeup

For those of us who have a love affair with makeup, shopping in a store that allows customers to try on products before purchasing is like being a kid in a candy store. But just how safe is it to try on makeup with fellow shoppers and all of the germs that may come with it? In a recent incident, a California woman sued a Sephora after she claims to have contracted oral herpes from trying on a sample lipstick in their store.

Today reports about the lawsuit in California and whether or not it is safe to try before you buy. Dr. Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist based in New York City, explains that we can never be sure if a sample product is germ-free in stores. So if you want to avoid potentially being infected with a number of bacterias including staph, E. coli, and strep you should steer clear of trying on things you must apply to your face like lipsticks, blushes, and eye makeup.

Even though stores offer disposable single-use applicators, there is no telling how many people have double-dipped. Dr. Bowe explains how many department store samples that are tested in the lab show they are harboring many harmful bacteria. Sharing makeup with friends is also a no-no if you want to avoid the spread of disease. Dr. Bowe says, “You never know which makeup products can become contaminated with germs (or) bacteria as we all harbor bacteria on our skin. Never share anything that comes into direct contact with another person's skin or mucus membranes.”

Sephora explains that their staff is trained to keep their products clean, but can they really be watching for microscopic bacteria at all times? A Sephora spokesperson explains, “the health and safety of our clients is our foremost priority. We take product hygiene very seriously and we are dedicated to following best practices in our stores.”

What do you think of the recent lawsuit filed against Sephora by a woman who claims to have contracted oral herpes while trying on lipstick in the store?

Do you feel comfortable trying on makeup in department stores when they offer samples?

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  • By lisabrown
    11.06.17  

    I would only try makeup on my hand or wrist, never on my lips, eyes, face, that is not a safe thing to do.

  • By Missalisha2016
    11.09.17  

    Oh wow! I honestly never try on sample make up at stores like that. I never thought of herpes being on them but I've always had an image pop up in my head about how many people actually had their lips on a lipstick or eye shadow, so I never test samples like that at the store, its kind of weird if you think about to have samples like that?!

  • By Heathers2980
    11.11.17  

    I think they should have the 1 use samples. Customer can just take the small sample with them. Avon does it for thier lipsticks.

  • By ImaginativeCreativeYou
    11.11.17  

    Nope I don't feel comfortable trying on makeup in stores because I have very sensitive skin that breaks out easily. Also, I am aware of of the many germs out there.

  • By KasperGrl
    11.15.17  

    I wouldn't want to test out samples that other people have used. I would much rather just get a sample size product that is essentially a one time (or few) use kind of thing.

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