It's True: Your Makeup Could Be Making You Sick

Can’t shake the sniffles, full-blown cold or even the flu this season? Before you blame a lack of sleep or start regretting not opting for a flu shot, look at one lesser-known culprit: your makeup.

No, this isn’t another public service announcement reminding you how much bacteria is floating around your unwashed makeup brushes; this time, it’s less about skin and more about those get-you-sick-germs that really stick around on certain color products. 

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“Lip balm and lipstick are two items that need to be tossed if you have a cold or the flu, because respiratory viruses can survive on these surfaces for unpredictable amounts of time,” Make Up For Ever’s director or artistry and education, Lijha Stewart, says, “I recommend that, if you are applying these products when you are sick, to use disposable lip applicators so you don’t have to worry about reinfections.”

In addition, Stewart says a good rule of thumb to keep makeup clean (which can help stave off sickness in the first place) is to wipe and shave the top layer of your lipsticks and liners with an alcohol wipe. “This will help to remove any bacteria that is sitting on the surface layer.”