Is It Ever Ok *Not* Ok To Share And Borrow Makeup With Your Girlfriends—Here’s Why

Have you ever been stuck (willingly) in an endless makeup exchange with your girl gang? That’s adorable, but NO. You must stop sharing and borrowing beauty products from others. As in, for real. On the surface, trading makeup appears to be a harmless activity; however, it can cause serious damage to your skin. Pink eye, bacterial infections, and even herpes are all possibilities. Gross. And what about sharing makeup tools? Let’s not even get into that.

We hope we’ve frightened you enough. But, just in case, we will do so now. Two experts reveal a few (of many) reasons why you should *absolutely* avoid using someone else’s makeup—basically, beauty products in general—in the video below. Ladies, take note.

Bacterial Breeding Ground

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Makeup brushes and sponges should be cleaned at least once every two weeks (MINIMUM). So, how about you? Assume you do. Do you have any idea if your friend does? The point we’re making is that you never know how another person keeps their makeup. While the product may appear to be visibly clean if stored in warm and moist conditions, or if left open for an extended period of time after use, it may have become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Using someone else’s lipstick, mascara, or even kajal can also result in a staph infection, topical dermatitis, cold sores, or an allergic reaction. As well as sharing eye makeup.

Mould and Fungus Development

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Aside from sharing products, you should also avoid sharing makeup tools. Fungus growth on the surface of makeup can be caused by improper storage and handling. And, in some cases, you may be unable to detect the fungus on the product—commonly found in mascara, lip gloss, and other cosmetics. “Applying ‘fungus’ makeup unintentionally can cause an adverse reaction on the skin.” #WorstNightmareComeAlive.

Acne, Acne, Acne, Acne, Acne

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Because your makeup and tools can become a breeding ground for germs, they are very likely to cause breakouts. Any makeup product that comes into direct contact with someone’s skin or mucus membranes should be avoided. Sharing eye makeup, for example, can result in eye warts or red-eye infections. Similarly, because lipsticks are a breeding ground for any bacteria or virus that a person may be carrying, they can be harmful to you as well. Furthermore, if your friend has acne-prone skin and you use their makeup or applicator, acne-causing bacteria can grow on your skin and contaminate your makeup.

Then There Were Some More Infections

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Let’s face it: many of us don’t bother cleaning our makeup tools on a regular basis—after all, why go to all that trouble? Right? Wrong. Nidhi reports, “This can contaminate your makeup as well as your skin, causing skin infections such as topical dermatitis and possibly worse. As previously stated, you can never be certain of how your friends treat their beauty products. So it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, even if your friend loves Ayurvedic products infused with natural ingredients and essential oils, you can’t be sure it’ll work for your skin. Chandni proposes, “Potted products that must be applied with your fingers can also be a source of infection.

Finally, if your skin has been acting up recently, try cutting back on trading beauty products for a while and see if you notice a difference.