Sanitation is the most important component in protecting yourself and clients from contracting bacterial diseases from brushes and/or products. Improper sanitation techniques can lead to contaminated products or applicators and to the spread of infectious diseases, such as HIV and herpes. With many recent cases of people contracting bacterial diseases through testers at cosmetic stores, it is necessary for makeup artists, employees of cosmetic stores, and the general public to practice proper sanitation in order to eliminate cross-contamination.
Throughout recent years, there have been cases of women becoming paralyzed from sharing their friend’s makeup brush, losing their vision from dirty products, and being diagnosed with herpes and staph after using testers in cosmetic stores. The effects of using contaminated makeup products can cause chronic diseases and, in rare cases, can even lead to death.
In 2015, an Australian mother developed a staph infection from using her friend’s makeup brush to hide a pimple. This infection endangered her life, leaving her partially paralyzed. Jo Gilchrist lost all the feeling in her legs and lower body.
She was transported by helicopter to a hospital for emergency surgery. The doctors diagnosed her symptoms as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This form of staph is drug-resistant. The infection damaged her spine so severely that doctors told her she may never be able to walk again.
Social media allow us to connect with people and engage in insightful conversations about sanitation standards within the cosmetic industry. Not only is it important to discuss sanitation within the makeup industry, but it is important to educate others and practice sanitary techniques to prevent experiences like Gilchrist’s from happening.