Can Your Lipstick Give You STDs?

You already know that expired makeup products aren’t very good for you. That old tube of mascara can give you some gnarly eye infections. But can your lipstick or other lip products give you an STD?

The scary answer is yes.

A woman named Starkeema Greenidge from Harlem is suing MAC Cosmetics because she claims she got herpes from sampling MAC’s RiRi Woo at a Rihanna concert.

She’s taking the case to Manhattan’s Supreme Court and stated, “The company should train its employees to use disposable tubes or swabs to apply the lipstick. This is going to happen over and over again if nothing is done.” While this seems like a far-fetched claim, it actually can happen!

Now, this lady claims that MAC applied the lipstick to her from the tube directly, which is a major no-no in the makeup world. If you’re testing products or getting your makeup done at a counter, be aware of how they’re applying the product. That product should have been sanitized and applied with a fresh applicator, not directly from the tube. Even though makeup artists should be aware of these things, you as a consumer should also be on the lookout.

But these situations don’t just happen at makeup counters. I hope that you wouldn’t use a mascara tube that someone else has used (even your BFF), but a lot of girls share lipstick and chapstick like it’s their day job!

You definitely shouldn’t share lip products with a stranger because, well, you don’t know where their mouth has been. But you shouldn’t even share with your closest friends. It’s just best to keep your lip stuff to yourself!

Larry Beatty, M.D., says “If you had chapped lips or a break in the skin and swipe on a lipstick that someone used that’s infected with the herpes simplex virus, then you’re more susceptible to contracting it. But even if your skin is 100 percent intact, it’s still not a guarantee that you’d be protected from getting it; there is still a degree of risk.”

The best thing to do is to not share your lip products. I know it sounds a bit selfish, and one of your friends is probably going to get annoyed with you when she needs to borrow some lip balm. But I think avoiding STDs gives you full permission to be a makeup snob.

Do you share your lip products? Have you ever let a stranger borrow lipstick? Tell us in the comments!

Here’s your foolproof guide to removing that red lip

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Posted in: STDs & STIs
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