Makeup Sample Hygiene and Bacterial Nightmares

makeup sample hygiene

Who doesn’t love playing with makeup samples? Not only do they let you see if a particular shade matches your skin tone, but they also give you a taste of how decent the brand is. Playing with them is a practice that’s fraught with makeup sample hygiene nightmares. Such nightmares come in the form of exposing yourself to other people’s pathogens.

From the bacteria you’ll spread through sharing hand creams to potentially catching someone’s herpes with lipstick, makeup sample hygiene is a medical minefield. Sure, you’re unlikely to catch anything particularly life-threatening through playing with one. However, do you want to take the risk?

Makeup sample hygiene is a topic that’s hit the news a lot recently. Not only is there someone in California suing Sephora for exposing her to herpes simplex, but there’s also evidence to suggest you might encounter nasty bugs such as salmonella.

If you’re a sample fan and you’re worried about potential hygiene issues, let’s take a look at whether you need to exercise a little extra caution.

Makeup Sample Hygiene and the Spread of Infectious Diseases

makeup sample hygiene

Experts in dermatology warn us that makeup sample hygiene is an issue. You may find that bugs such as E-coli and salmonella are lurking there. Both bacteria have the potential to cause severe diarrhea, which means you don’t want to come into contact with them.

Salmonella usually spreads when humans eat food from animals that carry the pathogen. Ideally, all people would wash their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet. However, even if they do, the chances that they remove all bacteria each time are pretty slim.

For example, when medical students practice good hand hygiene before ‘scrubbing in’ to a theatre, they spread a UV activated substance over their hands. When their hands go under the UV light that reveals how successful their washing efforts are, they’ll reveal patches, usually around their wrists and at the creases in their thumbs. In other words, spreading bugs via the fecal-hand-oral route is possible, even when you’re committed to staying clean.

Realistically, you do need a pretty high dose of certain bacteria to catch them and fall ill. But, it’s worth accepting that some people are lazy and don’t wash their hands at all after going to the loo. Gross, right? That means you’re potentially exposing yourself to a dose that’ll cause an infection.

As for viruses, well they have more extended staying power when it comes to remaining on inanimate objects. As a result, when we hit cold and flu season, people who accidentally sneeze and cough all over lipsticks, dispensers, etc., are causing significant makeup sample hygiene problems.

Can you engage in proper makeup sample hygiene yourself?

makeup sample hygiene

Aside from the obvious, which means washing your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, you might want to start carrying antibacterial gel around with you. Use it both before and after applying samples. If you worry about your hands drying out, you can also invest in a decent hand cream for good measure.

Other ways to engage in reasonable makeup sample hygiene include:


Never use the lipsticks on your lips.

Yes, it is tempting to see whether they suit your face before purchasing one. However, this is an easy to way to spread HSV-1. In other words, you’re putting yourself at risk of herpes. Herpes is a lifelong condition, and while it isn’t the same as the genital herpes many people worry about, it can crop up again when you’re immune system is low or when you encounter stress. Use lipsticks on your hands instead and wipe them away with antibacterial wipes.


Ask the retailer if they have smaller sample sachets

Some beauty retailers have small sample sachets. Using one means that you don’t expose yourself to quite so many pathogens, plus you’re not pushing your fingers into mush and fluids that dozens of others have played with. Also, if you shop regularly at sites such as Feel Unique, you’ll find that they often offer free samples alongside your usual purchases when you spend a certain amount. As a side note, we’re getting close to December now, so you may want to consider a beauty advent calendar that comes with a few samples too.


Grab that antibacterial hand gel

Use it before you try the sample on your hands to protect others. Then use it afterward to protect yourself. Doing the first stage still stands even if you’re not presently feeling unwell, as many infections and viruses have an infectious period that arises before symptoms.


Makeup sample hygiene if you’re a beauty professional

Are you an MUA? Then you can play a role in upholding makeup sample hygiene too. Don’t double dip your brushes and make sure you clean them between clients using an appropriate makeup brush cleaner. And, whatever you do, never apply directly from your lipsticks and similar products.


See, makeup sample hygiene isn’t all that scary or hard. It only takes a little effort to keep yourself and others safe, allowing for a healthier life. Also, if you’re worried about your hands’ skin drying out, there are plenty of hand creams out there to combat the effects.

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