You practice all the standard sanitary steps, such as washing your hands after using the bathroom or before handling food. If you don’t have a tissue, you sneeze in the vee of your arm, or you avoid touching surfaces in public bathrooms. Whenever possible, you do your best to reduce your chances of coming into contact with germs. You keep sanitizer in your bag and never, ever follow the five-second rule (which happens to be mostly a myth).
However, with your beauty routine, there’s a fairly good chance that you’re unwittingly exposing yourself to infectious bacteria, potentially harmful mold, and even more. Find out which of your beauty routines are just disgusting—or downright dangerous—and how to clean up your act.
1. You try the in-store samples at the cosmetic counter.
Risk: A serious health hazard.
The use of a disposable pad is not enough to keep dangerous viruses away from your lips and eyelids. You won’t be able to guarantee that people are following the rules and not using them twice, says Fusco. “Even if you apply a tester lipstick with a cotton swab, you can still be exposed to viruses, anything from the common cold to herpes.” This is not an exaggeration; researchers at Rowan University in New Jersey revealed that make up “testers” commonly contain staph, strep, and even E. coli.