Step away from the lipstick! How shop make-up samples are filled with bacteria, mould and fecal matter
22:18 GMT, 19 June 2012
07:38 GMT, 20 June 2012
Department store make-up testers are filled with bacteria, mould 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 TV show took samples from ten stores across two American states, using sterile swabs and undercover cameras, gathering evidence which was then tested in New York University's Microbiology department.
Tester truths: Good Morning America went undercover to test the safety of shared make-up testers, which, on average, beauty counters switch out once a year
The results revealed what germs people are sharing when they test the same eye-shadows, foundations and lipsticks as hundreds – even thousands – of strangers.
Much like the handles of supermarket
trolleys, bathroom doorknobs, staircase handrails and computer
keyboards, the majority of samples and applicators available at makeup
vendors are caked with mould and bacteria.
One out of every five samples – or 20 per cent – showed significant growth of mould, yeast, or fecal matter.
Samples: The show tested ten stores over two states, using sterile swabs and undercover cameras to gather evidence
Evidence: The swabs were sent to New York University's Microbiology department for testing, with 20per cent showing growth of mould, yeast, or fecal matter
Some make-up testers were harbouring strains of bacteria that, according to Philip Tierno, Director of Microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Centre, can make you sick.
He said: '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.'
Allure editor-in-chief, Linda Wells,
added: 'To me, make-up testers are like petri dishes: I would not want to
go near one. There are better ways to do it.'
'Make-up testers are like petri dishes: I would not want to go near one'
and foundations were found to be the worst offenders, and make-up
experts suggest consumers test these on the neck rather
than the face.
With lipstick, they recommend testing colours on the pad of your finger – although considering how many times hands come into contact with the mouth, this might also need to be reconsidered.
For eyeshadow and eyeliner – which shared the top spot with foundation for most germ-filled – experts recommend using a disposable applicator on the back of your hand.
Interestingly, Good Morning America found no germ difference between the most upscale department stores and the regular drug-stores.