A medical expert warns people to avoid using makeup samples in stores because it leads to herpes and even blindness. This came soon after the report of a Californian woman who is suing makeup giant, Sephora after claiming that she contracted herpes from using one of the cosmetic store's lipstick samples.
Amreen Bashir, lecturer in Biomedical Science at Aston University, wrote The Conversation website: "Cosmetic products contain preservatives to help slow down the growth of microbes, but they can become contaminated if people use non-sterile applicators or fingers to apply products, or if the products are poorly handled and stored."
"Often, beauty blenders and brushes are dampened to help the application of eyeshadow or foundation. But this environment has the potential to promote rapid bacterial growth," Bashir added.
Not only herpes, customers are at risk of getting 'pink eye' by sharing mascara. The symptoms include discharge, redness and in extreme cases can lead to 'irreversible blindness.'
But, most people who are infected with the herpes virus don't always have visible signs of the virus. It may be dormant for years, it doesn't always show up on the skin immediately as a blister after it has infected a person.
There is no cure for herpes currently but treatments are available that will reduce the length of infection.
The lecturer recommends avoiding sharing cosmetic products, especially the testing products at cosmetic counters.
According to Daily Mail, the Sephora customer visited a store in Hollywood in October 2015 and used one of the sample lipsticks on display.
She claims that she ended up with the incurable disease on her lip, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.
Later, the doctors diagnosed her with herpes. Her lawsuit claims that Sephora failed to warn her, as well as other customers, the dangers of using the testing products.
A spokesperson for Sephora said: "While it is our policy not to comment on litigation, the health and safety of our clients is our foremost priority...We take product hygiene very seriously and we are dedicated to following best practices in our stores."