5 Beauty Products You Should Never Share!

Yikes - sharing, in this case, is not caring

12 May 2016 
By Allure 


We all know that sharing is caring, but when it comes to your beauty stash, being selfish is the nicest thing you can do. So unless you want to catch a staph infection or swap herpes with your friend (yes, you that can actually happen), keep these five products all to yourself.


It's no surprise that dipping and re-dipping fingers into a pot of cream is a recipe for germs, especially when you introduce a new set of hands.

"Open jars are already at a higher risk for contamination because they don't contain airtight packaging, which means bacteria and fungus often lurk on the inside borders of the jar," explains Joshua Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

So even if your friend scrubs her hands before dipping, there's still a good chance she'll transfer bacteria from her face or fingers to your favorite cream. To minimize the contamination of your next pot, try spooning a weekly portion of it into a smaller travel jar and wash it regularly.



We've all been guilty of taking a quick swipe of a friend's gloss during a beauty emergency (or middle-school makeover), but this borrowing act is more risky than you might think.

"Any product that directly touches the lip can become a source of infections," says Zeichner. "Contagious organisms, like the cold-sore-causing herpes simplex virus, can live in the sticky gloss and spread from friend to friend." And because the applicator sits in its own closed, moist environment, it can never be fully rid of microbes once it's contaminated.

Bottom line: Keep your wands to yourself.



This one should come as no shock to you, but there's a reason why mascara is on every don't-share list.

"Eyelids and lashes are home to a host of bacteria, which can make mascara a petri dish for viruses that cause pink eye, herpes simplex, and keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea," says Rebecca Taylor, an ophthalmologist in Nashville and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

And even if your BFF's eyes look totally fine, don't hand over the tube. "People may not be aware they have a viral infection until weeks after contracting a bug, which means you can still get infected by someone who has no symptoms," Taylor notes.



With their squishy, porous surfaces, these babies are one of the worst offenders on our list.

"Soft sponges, especially when wet, create an environment that breeds yeast and bacteria, which can lead to fungal infections, like ringworm, on the face," says Zeichner.

Lower the risk by using your sponge only on clean skin, washing it weekly (we mean it!) with hot water and a gentle shampoo, and allowing it to dry in a well-ventilated area. And no matter how much your bestie wants to test your new Beautyblender. Just say no


Plucking a stray brow hair with your friend's tweezers may not seem like a big deal, but sharing this beauty tool could put you at risk for bacterial infections.

"If any bleeding occurs as the hair is pulled from the follicle, it can contaminate the tweezers and infect someone else who uses them," says Zeichner.

If you get your brows done at a salon, make sure to ask how and when your aesthetician last disinfected the instruments. "Alcohol swabs can be helpful for wiping down tweezers at home, but a salon should be using professional disinfectants," notes Zeichner.