Your favorite makeup stores are always lined with makeup testers so that they can help you while you are being double-minded over the products that you love and need to buy but your purse doesn’t allow and you end up making a tricky choice. But on second thought, should these makeup testers really be tried, as tons of women try the same product. That really bags the questions, should you be using makeup testers at the makeup galleries?

The Event the Sparked this Question

The question did not simply pop out of the blue. Instead, it was churned in the aftermath of an event that made headlines last week. A woman sued a Hollywood-based Sephora store for contracting herpes on her lips after she tried on a lip tester tube on display in October 2015. She said that the store should warn its “customers of the risk of getting herpes or other diseases from trying on the lipstick samples. She said if she would have known … she would’ve avoided them like the plague.”

To this, Sephora issued a statement, “While it is our policy not to comment on litigation, 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.”

This had the question running through the mind of several people like a wildfire. So here is how the experts answered this question.

What Do The Experts Say?

A dermatologist, Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York said that the possibility to contract herpes from a makeup sample was not extinct at all. In fact, the chances reign as she tells, “It is possible to contract the herpes virus from sharing makeup and other skin care products… When considering a place like Sephora with thousands of customers using and sharing products, all it takes is one infected person with one cold sore to transmit the virus to somebody else.” The risk is doubled if a woman has chapped lips or any breakage in the skin because it lays increased entryways for the infection to jump in and settle.

Likewise, another dermatologist based in the New York City, Dr. Debra Jaliman is of the same view, “You can get infectious diseases from using testers in makeup stores, I don’t ever recommend it.”

Dr. Whitney Bowe, also based in NYC warned of the bacteria including strep, staph, and E.coli (disease-causing bacteria) forming their residence on the makeup’s surface. She instructed, “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.”

Although, makeup stores put in a lot of effort to keep their makeup samples clean and free from bacteria yet is strenuous work and slips are bound to occur. As Dr. Nazarian put it, “Many of the makeup stores take precautions like wiping down products with alcohol or disinfectants to kill viruses between usage person to person. Unfortunately, it is not something that is 100% always done, and many times used products are sampled without proper cleaning.”

As a lesson from the bubbling story, it is only safe to maintain a good distance from the makeup testers. After all, germs respect no boundaries and can attack regardless of any warning bells, as these can easily grow on inanimate products. In fact, even if a disposable applicator is used, makeup can still be nursing bacteria if it is sneezed or coughed on.

Some steps that you can take though include wiping the product down with alcohol, removing the lipstick’s top, and using a sample sponge or Q-tip to transfer the lipstick and prevent any disease.