It makes sense to have the possibility to try something out before buying it, especially if we're talking about an expensive item. However, when it comes to makeup products, it's best to exercise some caution before using testers.
Good Morning America has conducted an undercover investigation to determine just how safe the testers / samples we find in all department stores actually are, the Daily Mail
The results were shocking, to say the least: not really that safe, it turns out.
“Department store make-up testers are filled with bacteria, mold and fecal matter, it has been revealed. Good Morning America went undercover to test the safety of shared make-up testers, which beauty counters replace, on average, just once a year,” the British publication writes.
A team of people from the ABC show went to various stores all across the US and collected samples, which they then sent back to the New York University's Microbiology department.
When the results came back, they revealed that these samples were riddled with bacteria, so perhaps using them before buying a product is not the best idea.
“One out of every five samples – or 20 per cent – showed significant growth of mold, yeast, or fecal matter. Some make-up testers were harboring strains of bacteria that, according to Philip Tierno, Director of Microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Centre, can make you sick,” the Mail writes.
Next time you head out to the store to buy a beauty product, try to avoid the testers, unless you want to use a product that hundreds if not thousands others used before you.
“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,” Tierno says.
“To me, makeup testers are like petri dishes: I would not want to go near one. There are better ways to do it,” Allure Editor-in-Chief, Linda Wells, is also quoted as saying.
According to the Mail, brushes and foundations came at the top of the list of worst offenders. Experts recommend testing the products on the hand or the back of the hand, never on the face (eyes, lips, cheeks).
Always use a disposable applicator and always make sure you wash your hands after having tried the product on them – this is the only way to minimize risks.