Couple of days ago, I blogged about 10 beauty products that are not exactly hygienic for sharing. Today, its the ones that are absolutely a-okay to lend to your BFFs.
1. Anything in a pump. Whether it’s a fragrance, hair product, foundation, lotion — what have you — if it comes in a pump, it’s totally fine to share, since there isn’t that risk of contamination because you never come in contact with the product.
2. Liquid foundation. If your foundation is in a pump form, or if you apply the formula onto a clean sponge every time without touching the applicator to your face, then you can 100 percent share your favorite base with your friend (if her skin tone is similar to yours, of course). If the formula is in a jar that you dip your fingers into, again, you should be washing your hands before every application to avoid contaminating it and keeping it for your own personal use to avoid crossing bacteria.
3. Loose powder. Again, powders don’t have the moist environment for bacteria to thrive in like moist creams or mascaras do, so if you dip a fresh brush into your loose powder once, there is a less of a risk to transfer something to your friend.
4. Powder shadows. Powder shadows are OK to let your friends use as long as you spray them down with alcohol. Don’t have any handy? Don’t take the risk of transferring eye germs because pink eye or another eye infection will not be a good look.
5. Lip and eye pencils. Anything that can be sharpened back to a brand new state is OK to share, because you shave away any chance of bacteria as you sharpen it. Just be sure to dip your eye or lip sharpener in alcohol once a week (or spray it down with an alcohol-based makeup spray) to keep it germ-free.
6. Eyelash curler. Metal and stainless steel don’t hold onto bacteria long, so it’s OK to wipe these down with an antibacterial wipe (preferred), or even a tissue, and freely pass it onto your friend to curl her lashes to perfection. Whatever you do, don’t pass your friend your lash curler with leftover makeup on it, because the minute she applies it to her eyes, you open up the chance to pass on any bacteria that might be living in the remaining liner or mascara residue. Your best bet? Get in the routine of wiping off your curlers every time you — or your friends — use them. Same goes with tweezers; not much risk there, but just wipe them down for cleanliness.
7. Nail polish. Very little bacteria is able to grow in these types of lacquer formulas, so they’re OK to share for that reason. The only way you could get an infection from any type of sharing when it comes to nail products is if you use someone else’s tools, like nail or toenail clippers or cuticle nippers (you’re not supposed to be cutting your cuticles anyway!) that aren’t properly sterilized.
To that same point, this is why it’s important to go to a reputable nail salon that cleans their tools after each manicure and pedicure, and that has washable basins sans jets. Why? Bacteria from the previous customer’s feet can seep into the jets, sit there, and grow, and then get pushed out back into your clean tub when the jets turn on for your pedi. Gross, I know.
8. Hair brushes. In reality, Dr. Engelman says the only thing to worry about with using someone else’s brush is transferring lice, but since it’s not that prominent in teens and adults (unless you have a kid who goes to school and brings lice home), it’s not the end of the world if you use your girlfriend’s hair brush. That said, it’s good practice to minimize brush sharing and, since brushes are generally not expensive, she suggests just getting a travel brush and popping it in your purse so you always have it on hand.
This article first appeared on Cosmopolitan.