What Happens When You Share Lipsticks?

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Sharing lipstick risks several serious health issues including cold sores and in worst case, you can even contract herpes

Listen up, ladies: stop sharing your lip products with your friends. Like, right now. Not only are you losing product you spent so much money on, but you’re also setting yourself up for health problems. Sharing lipstick risks serious medical issues like cold sores and in worst case, you can even contract herpes

Gross, isn’t it? 

You may have heard before that you shouldn’t share makeup, especially lipsticks. Think about it for second.

When you use your lip products and their tools, they touch your flaky chapped lips. You may even have had food and then touched up your lip, which allows minuscule food particles to sit on your lippies and give birth to bacteria. Plus, everything from dark lipstick tubes to different formulas can cause, spread and transfer germs. 

Just imagine, if that’s what your lipstick touches when you use it yourself, what would happen its shared with others?  

Sharing Lipsticks Risks Serious Medical Conditions 

sharing lipstick risks

Lip products are easy carriers of germs and even though important for your lips, they should stay in your bag alone. | Image courtesy: Unsplash

Besides the ick factor, experts suggest that sharing a lippie puts you in great danger of contracting cold sores. Commonly called fever blisters, cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that often group together on or around the lip.

They are usually caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and are common if you share lipsticks or a kiss with somebody who is infected by it.  

But while using a lip product is essential for your lips, sharing it should be totally off-limit.

“The application of a lip product, whether that be a gloss, or a stick or a swab, is a very positive thing to do for your skin,” explains Dr. Dawn Davis, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic. “And we know that using moisturizer with sunscreen on the lips helps decrease the risk of skin cancer to the lips,” she shares. 

Dr Davis says that lip products are easy carriers of germs and even though important for your lips, they should stay in your bag alone. 

“It is completely polite to say no to sharing cosmetics. I think that we’re all in the habit in society of not sharing toothbrushes and utensils without them being clean. And just, similarly, we should have this same habit with cosmetics,” she says.

So the next time somebody asks you to share your lippie, make sure to say ‘No’ firmly. In the meantime, we’ll show you how you should ideally use lipsticks and lip products in general, so you can avoid contamination. 

How To Use Lipsticks And Keep Them Germ-Free 

sharing lipstick risks

Try to use a lipstick brush while applying your lipstick and wash it once every week. | Image courtesy: Unsplash

The first rule of using your lip products is not dunk your hands into tubs and avoid touching the tubes from inside. Their emollient surfaces are prone to trapping germs and by inserting your hands- dirty or not you add in more. 

  • How to buy. Buy lipsticks that come in metal containers. Yes, we love our liquid lippies, but they don’t exactly come in the most germ-free containers. A metal container (like that of a regular lipstick) is unable to retain germs for a long time, at least as much as plastic one.
  • How to clean. When it comes to cleaning your lipsticks (yes, there is such a thing), make sure you do it once every two weeks. Use the two-step process. First, using a clean Q-tip, scrape the top of the lipstick slightly. You don’t have to scrape a large chunk. Second, dunk the top of your lipstick or the exposed area in rubbing alcohol or vodka and let it air dry. Once dried, use a clean tissue and clean the tip. Repeat this every two weeks to keep your lipstick clean.    
  • How to test. Whenever you buy lipstick, do not use the tester directly onto your lips. In fact, avoid its contact with your lips altogether. Instead, rub some on your palm because its colour is the closest to your actual lip colour. Don’t forget, sharing lipstick risks cold sores and herpes. 
  • How to use. Try to use a lipstick brush while applying your lipstick and wash it once every week. This ensures that your lipstick remains clean and germ-free and you also use much less product as opposed to when you rub it directly onto your lips. Also, replace your lip brush once every six months if kept in good condition, just to avoid bacterial accumulation. 

But most importantly, remember that sharing lipstick risks health problems and so you must avoid it at all times.  

Source: Mayo Clinic

Also read: Can you get herpes from tester lipsticks?

(All images courtesy: Unsplash)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj