Study reveals horrifying statistics on makeup hygiene

Beauty brands are urging consumers to be more cautious when using in-store cosmetics testers. 

The PSA follows on from news last November that Sephora was being sued by a Californian woman who contracted herpes from a product tester.

Elena Davoyan alleges that she contracted oral herpes after using a makeup tester at a Hollywood Sephora store in 2015 as she “sampled lipstick from the sample cases.” The lawsuit also says that the store encourages shoppers to use samples without properly warning them of an increased risk of contracting illness, such as herpes.

Further to this, individual campaigns by digital application app Perfect365 and skin care brand Aromantic are also highlighting concerns around product cleanliness.

The Perfect365 study revealed that 63 per cent of consumers no longer use store makeup testers out of fear of potentially harmful bacteria; while a report from Aromatic claims that 36 per cent of consumers do not know how to, or never have, cleaned their makeup brushes.

This attitude is consistent irrespective of age; however, over-65s indicated they are more likely to clean their brushes weekly compared to those aged 18-24.

In a 2004 study, researcher Elizabeth Brooks took cultures over a two-year period from various testers for eye, lip and face products from department stores to take a closer look at what else they contained. Her team found that anywhere between 67 and 100 per cent of samples contained bacterial contamination, depending on the day.

Ultimately, many suggest that creating public awareness around the risks of using in-store testers, as well as improving hygiene measures in store, is the first steps towards a cleaner cosmetic testing environment.