We are all guilty of playing around with the tester tubes of lipsticks that commonly grace the make-up aisles. Because, who wouldn’t? You want to know if the colour suits you before you purchase it, surely?
But, did you know that open products and testers are breeding grounds for bacteria? It is just one of the ways you can catch a strep throat and various other infections. This is caused by a bacterium that gets transferred onto and around the lipstick tube. A strep throat is just the beginning and is actually very contagious, hence contracting this bacterium from a lipstick tube. This can lead to further complications and illnesses.
Even if you are not one for trying on lipstick testers, your own make-up collection can also be a breeding ground. By law, packaged foods and medication are required to show expiration dates on their labels but cosmetics are not. When you use a product that you have kept for a while (over two years for lipstick), it may already have bacteria present, plus you won't get the maximum benefit from that product either. Lipsticks are dewy and moist – the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow in!
Besides liptstick tubes being a breeding ground, you can catch a nasty infection from an open jar or bottle too. The minute you open that jar and the product comes into contact with air, bacteria starts to build up. Also, if you dip your finger into that jar of cream and then offer it to your mom to try too, you would both be transferring germs into the cream, as it’s unlikely that your fingers are sterile. That cream gets spread on your face, which means you could be covering your skin in germs without even knowing it. Next time, make sure you close your jar or tin as tightly as possible and always wash your hands before dipping them in.
Lastly – when you’re sick and your lips get chapped, it’s so easy to reach for a comforting lip balm and apply it to the cracks of your lips. This is a large breeding ground too, especially because the germs from your illness are present in your mouth. Try discarding the lip balm when you are better, or clean it around the edges to prevent re-infection.
Here are a few tips to lower your chances of catching and spreading that sore throat:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly, and regularly
2. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag
3. Keep germs to yourself around the house
4. Take antibiotics if your doctor recommends it
5. Dietary changes
6. Avoid irritants like smoke
7. Don’t share eating utensils or your lipstick
8. Keep a packet of Andolex throat lozenges in your bag for relief of painful inflammatory conditions of the mouth!
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