There's a gross reason you shouldn't use make-up testers in stores
Our modern society has placed a premium on physical perfection, the pursuit of which is something of an obsession for countless people all over the world.
Of course, some take the pursuit of eternally youthful, effervescent looks further than others, turning to the knife of the cosmetic surgeon to achieve their aims.
Others spend countless hours in the gym, working themselves into a veritable frenzy in their journey towards sculpted abs, perfectly toned bums and bulging biceps.
More common than either of these, though, is make-up. Make-up has become part of the daily routine of millions all over the world, and can be used in a myriad of ever more inventive ways to enhance, alter or complement one's appearance. In short, it's pretty great.
Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Rihanna have capitalised on our lust for make-up in recent years - earning millions and millions of dollars in the process - by bringing out their own lines of aesthetically pleasing lip kits, blushers, foundations and mascaras.
Part of the appeal, of course, is the insinuation that by using their products we have a shot of looking like Kylie or Rihanna, and while that may or may not be true depending on the individual, it is certainly a powerful marketing tool.
If you wear makeup, there's a pretty strong chance that you have used a tester in a store to see what it looks like before you actually commit to buying that eye-wateringly expensive lipstick.
However, if you do this, microbiologists have some pretty bad news for you.
It turns out that using makeup testers in store could be contributing to the spread of harmful diseases such as herpes and salmonella, according to a report published in the Daily Mail.
Lipstick testers could carry saliva droplets having been used by multiple people; such droplets are known to be capable of carrying the herpes virus, while eyeliners and mascara have been found to cause "pink eye". Makeup brushes can also accrue bacterias such Staph aureus and streptococcus.
As Dr Amreen Bashir told the Mail;
"Most people would never consider sharing a toothbrush with a stranger, yet they happily use make-up testers.
"There is a real risk of catching bacterial infections and herpes, as we all have different organisms living on us and one cosmetic tester can be used by 30 or 40 different people, which spreads the risk of infection."
The issue has been thrown into sharp relief of late after a woman in the United States was successful in suing a beauty company after claiming that she had contracted herpes through use of their products.
If you're concerned about how best to use your beauty products, Dr Bashir has this advice for you;
"Studies have revealed that 43 per cent of eyeliners and mascara wands contain contaminants.
"I know many friends who have been left with a “pink eye” after sharing mascara or using ancient mascara that’s been sitting in their make-up bags.
"If all of these horror stories tell us one thing, it’s to stay away from sharing make-up products, both among your friends and especially in cosmetic stores."
Sage advice Dr Bashir, sage advice.