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Sharing is caring—at least, that’s what they say—but not all sayings are universal. While it may be nice to share certain things with your friends (clothes, shoes, secrets), there are other things like makeup, hair, and skin care products you should seriously avoid sharing. We’re all guilty of swapping our beauty faves with our buddies when they’re in a pinch, but doing so may be doing yourself more harm than good. So, before you pass the hair brush (spoiler alert—your hair brush is a no-no!), read on to learn about six beauty products you should stop sharing ASAP.
First up: makeup brushes! In case you didn’t realize, your makeup products can accumulate quite a bit of bacteria from just your own use, let alone the use of others. Most of us rely on brushes to apply a flawless makeup look, and the constant use can lead to product buildup and worse: bacteria buildup. If you share a makeup brush with a friend, your brush will pick up oils, impurities, and bacteria from their skin—and eventually transfer it to your own. Yuck! So, avoid passing along your makeup tools and make sure to clean your brushes regularly.
Lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm may be the most commonly shared beauty products—but you should stop sharing your lip products stat. Passing along your favorite lippie will cause germs to transfer from one person to another. Think about it: Even a simple lick of the lips will leave a trace of salvia that could transfer to your lipstick. Sharing lip makeup can even lead to skin concerns like cold sores.
Many of us have used a friend’s hair brush (or lent our own) in a time of need. The thing is, sharing a hair brush spreads not only things like excess oils and dandruff from one head to another, but also something much more sinister: lice. Using someone else’s brush is the easiest way to transfer lice, so it’s a good idea to get out of this habit.
Mascara, along with other eye makeup products, should also be kept to individual use. This includes eyeshadow, eyeliner, and eye makeup brushes! Your eyes are generally much more sensitive than other parts of your face, and sharing products can lead to unfavorable results like pink eye. That said, you can share mascara if the tube is brand new and both you and your friend use disposable spoolies and avoid double-dipping. But let’s be real, how often is that what happens?
Have you ever shared a face mask with a friend? Or borrowed a bit of moisturizer? If they came in a jar, this was a skin care faux pas. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you dip your fingers into a jar to scoop out some of the formula, and your friend does as well, you’ll end up mixing both of your bacteria into the formula. Other products that fall under this category include eye creams, lip balms, and face scrubs. In general, you should always wash your hands before using any jar products to avoid transferring your own bacteria into the formula—and keep the product to yourself! It’s also a good idea to use a tool to get out the product instead of your fingers—this is why a lot of formulas in jars come with those tiny spatulas.
If you know you are often getting ready with friends and are asked to share products, one option is to opt for formulas that come in tubes or pumps—anything where you don’t have to dip your fingers in. For a moisturizer, we love the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm – Face, Neck, Chest and Hands.
Powder foundation, setting powder, powder blush, and powder highlighter are just a few of the products that fall into the powder category—and you should stop sharing them now. Just like some of the other makeup we’ve mentioned, when a friend uses powder products, bacteria can transfer from their skin to yours.
With your newfound knowledge that sometimes not sharing is the best way to be a friend, and your understanding about bacteria and beauty products, you may be curious about the expiration date of certain beauty must-haves. Check out our articles, How Long Does Makeup Last? and You Need to Know This: Does Sunscreen Expire?, to learn more.
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