Keep it to Yourself – 5 Beauty Products you should never share

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Letting your nearest and dearest rummage through your closet and borrow whatever clothing strikes their eye is one thing. But giving them free reign over your stash of cosmetic and beauty supplies should definitely be a no-no. Here’s of rundown of five beauty and skin care items you should never share and why:

Lipstick or lip gloss:
Sure, that shade you love might look just as great on your BFF. Better she invest in her own tube or stick though because it’s easy to spread cold germs swiping the same applicator or product across two sets of lips. Oral herpes (HSV-1) lurks out there as well and the absence of cold sores is no guarantee you’re safe from this very spreadable virus.

This one’s almost a no-brainer due to the variety of bacteria that thrives on eyelids and lashes. Sharing a mascara wand with a pal opens yourself up to the possibility of contracting infections like pink eye. And just as with lips, the absence of any symptoms does not rule out the possibility of an infection occurring weeks later. Consider too that a mascara wand, after use, gets re-inserted into a moist, dark container where bacteria loves to live and grow.

Products in jars:
Couldn’t hurt to share a little moisturizer, could it? Well, yes it could when you consider that dipping and re-dipping is another easy way to spread germs. Sure, you can ask your friend to wash her hands first but what if she misses a spot while moisturizing? More dipping will be required and a chance to transfer bacteria from her face to your cream. If both of you simply must try out what is being billed as the next miracle potion, open a new jar and use a Q-tip to scoop out a portion for each of you to try. If it was your purchase, reserve the right to dip to your fingertips only.

Tools of the trade:
Sponges, brushes and other make-up applicators tend to get used over and over again. All the more reason to wash them at least once a week using a gentle cleanser and hot water, allowing them to dry thoroughly before using again. Sponges, by their very nature, are breeding grounds for yeast and bacteria that can lead to fungal infections. So keep them clean – better yet, replace them with new ones regularly and never, ever share.

Sharp objects:
More pointedly, anything that can draw blood or fluids should not be casually passed between friends. That includes razors and even tweezers. Bacteria can remain on the surface of these tools even after careful rinsing. Short of practicing hospital sterilization methods, sharing a sharp or pointed edge with a friend leaves you vulnerable. Courtesy of nicks or abrasions, you could come down with a staph infection or hepatitis. There’s even a chance, albeit slim, that you could contract HIV.

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