It's hard to imagine a makeup store without testers, those little free samples of products that let customers try new products before they buy them.
But a new investigation has revealed the ugly truth about these free samples, and if you're still using them, this story might change your mind. You may remember that a woman is already suing the chain of Sephora makeup stores after claiming she caught the herpes virus while sampling lipstick.
It's a strange claim, but viruses like herpes can survive for up to a week on makeup products, and dermatologists say the woman's story is believable.
In the lawsuit, the woman is blaming the store for not warning her about the risk of catching herpes from the samples. She's also suing the store for emotional distress caused by her diagnosis.
If that story didn't scare you away from testers, this one might. A team of investigative journalists swabbed testers are three different stores - Macy's, Sephora, and Ulta - and uncovered some disgusting results.
We're warning you: this story is not pretty.
At each store, investigators found nasty bugs lurking on the makeup samples.
Testers at each store were swabbed, and those swabs were sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. In each case, samples tested positive for harmful bacteria like E. Coli and staph, which causes dangerous infections.
Multiple samples also tested positive for Kebsiella pneumoniae, which is usually expelled with feces. "You could literally be applying and smearing someone else's fecal matter directly onto your lips," dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe explains.
Of the eight samples from Sephora, four tested positive for some kind of bacteria. Macy's and Ulta also had samples test positive for viruses like E. Coli, staph, and Klebsiella.
Experts warn that if you do use makeup testers, you should rub them on the top of your hand. Your eyes and lips are much more vulnerable to diseases.
Also, consider buying a product and trying it at home. Many stores will let you return the product if you're not satisfied.
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