Handle Free Makeup Testers with Care

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — You’ve probably seen stores that feature free makeup samples. You want to make sure you’re getting a product that’s flattering, but if you’re not careful you could be compromising your health. Beauty is an investment and any shopper at the makeup counter wants to spend wisely. But some shoppers are making a costly mistake that could end in a trip to the doctor’s office.
Debbie Valenti is an expert at helping Clinique at The Bon-Ton customers at the Wyoming Valley Mall find the right makeup color. Just as important, she wants them to use a product they can trust. “Our product is fragrance free, allergy tested and dermatologist developed.” Besides using quality cosmetics, she’s also trained in something else – keeping her customers safe. “We spray our hands with alcohol. We spray our products with alcohol before we apply them to our customers.” And she doesn’t allow someone else to just come along and dab their fingers into the makeup. “You don’t know where or who was touching all the products if you have no control over your products,” said Ms. Valenti.
But what about places with public makeup testers that don’t take those precautions? What’s the worst that could happen? The answer is you could end up getting sick. Blame it on the cross-contamination that can occur from hand to cosmetic. “Bacteria, perhaps a virus, perhaps even a fungus may be transferred from that,” said Geisinger Board Certified Dermatologist Paul Long.
Dr. Long added that the contamination can lead to sores, strep throat or some other infection as those nasty germs look to invade the body through such places as your eyes. “That’s an easy portal for bacteria to enter and to cause a problem. Lipstick on the lips, again there are mucous membranes so it’s an easy portal for this to happen.”
Shopper Sharon Hartshorne of Dallas has seen it happen at some public makeup counters. “I just kind of think oh that’s the wrong thing to do. Definitely. I would never do it.”
If you don’t deal with a full-service makeup counter, ask a clerk for samples of their products. Some stores carry them behind the counter.

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