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Could the Samples at Cosmetics Counters Make You Sick?

Charley Gallay, Getty Images

For a woman, visiting a cosmetics counter to try new products can be a lot of fun, but new tests have revealed many of the sample bottles and compacts on display could be harboring yeast, mold and dangerous bacteria strains.

ABC’s Good Morning America conducted undercover tests that showed some 20 percent of the samples tested from 10 stores across two states showed significant levels of the nastiness — which could leave you with rashes, infections, break-outs or worse.

Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, wasn’t surprised. “To me, makeup testers are like petri dishes,” she told GMA. “I would not want to go near one or put anything in that tester on my face.”

But Dr. Philip Tierno, director of microbiology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said there’s no reason to panic: “Just realize that if you have an open cut, you might not want to go that route of using makeup that has been used by other people before you.”

Other suggestions by the experts include avoiding open jars of lip gloss, moisturizer and foundations where people tend to dip possibly unwashed hands, testing eye shadows and liners on your hands instead of your eyes, and shopping only in stores that have a “buy and try” policy that allows you to purchase new cosmetics, try them at home, and then return them for a full refund if you’re not happy.

[ABC News]

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