Tweezers can be full of bacteria and other germs due to their near contact with the skin or other beauty items containing germs, but the real problems occur when tweezers come into contact with an open wound. That sounds rather dramatic, but such a wound can be as trifling as the one created by removing an ingrown hair (don’t do that, there are other, better ways!) or the one you accidentally cause with the tweezers.
Sharing razors is something you really should never do. Razors don’t just cut hair, they also pick up skin cells, bacteria and dirt from the surface of the skin. And that’s at best: most people accidentally cut themselves while shaving, exposing the razor blade to infections or diseases in the blood. Your own razor is dirty enough as it is, there’s no need to borrow it from anyone else (or let them borrow yours). If you need to use someone else’s razor, at least replace the shaving head before and after use.
4. Bath sponge
Many beauty professionals and dermatologists recommend throwing away your bath sponge as it is a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria (your hands are much cleaner to use and free of charge!). But if you’re a die-hard fan of bath sponges, make sure they’re yours and yours alone, as sharing them is the easiest way to share both the microscopic germs on your body and those from the shower.
5. Bar Soap
A piece of soap is an easy place to catch the bacteria from every shower. So using someone else’s soap or borrowing your own piece, against your intuition, isn’t exactly hygienic. Sharing is ok if you are a fan of the more hygienic cousin of the bar of soap, the shower gel (as long as it comes in a squeezable container).
We should mention that used towels (or washcloths) should not be shared, for the same reason that bath sponges should not be shared. If you need to borrow a towel from someone you are staying with (or vice versa), do yourself a favour and put it in the wash before and after use.
7. Mascara (and Other Eye Makeup)
Borrowing someone’s mascara really isn’t worth getting conjunctivitis from. Eyes are more likely to be susceptible to bacterial infections than the skin and the stick of the mascara is no less full than other care products. The same goes for eyeliner and eye shadow (and the brushes!).
8. Makeup Brushes
It’s easy to think that you could use your sister’s blush and brushes for a week instead of bringing your own stuff. But makeup brushes also need a bath once in a while, even if they’re only used by one person. The germs and bacteria that can be present on someone’s face and/or makeup brushes are easily transmitted to someone else’s skin, which can cause acne (or exacerbate it), along with other possible bacterial problems.
9. Lipstick and Lip Balm
Products that make contact with your mouth make the transmission of viruses, bacteria and fungal infections even easier. Many diseases, such as a common cold or flu, are spread by saliva and mucus. Sharing products for the lips also paves the way for virus transmission, such as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), which makes you susceptible to cold sores.
10. Jar Products
Eye cream, lip gloss, concealer, rouge: any product packed in a jar should not be shared with anyone else. If you have to stick your fingers (who knows what’s on them) in it, touch your face/skin/lips/eyes and then put them back in again, you don’t want someone else’s fingers in it as well.
11. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Your toothbrush may be a rather obvious one (your mouth is a hotbed for hundreds of types of germs), but toothpaste is also something that’s not suitable for sharing. Think about it, most people touch the opening of the toothpaste with their toothbrush as they push it out, so this is another, less direct, way of transferring germs from one person’s mouth to another. (Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months.)
12. Stick or Roll-On Deodorant
We don’t judge, but your deodorant is probably dirty enough as it is because of the bacteria in your sweat, so don’t add the dirt from someone else’s armpit. Do you use a deodorant or antiperspirant in a spray can? It’s probably better to share a pinch of it.