Can Preservatives in Cosmetics Protect You from Covid-19? Here’s What We Know So Far

It’s safe to say that for most people in the United States, it’s been a strange, yet increasingly normal few months living under quarantine. 

But that doesn’t mean we stop going out altogether; after all, we still have to stock up on food, and make other necessary trips around town. 

Have you ever thought about the items you take out of your home, only to return with them again… possibly forgetting to clean or disinfect?

That means your wallet, your cellphone, your car keys, your grocery bags, and even items many women carry in their purses… skin care and makeup products!

What are the chances of the virus being on my skin care or makeup products?

Even though there are no current studies on exactly how long the virus can live specifically on skin care and make up products, there has been proof published in The New England Journal of Medicine showing that it can live on plastic surfaces (which many care care and makeup product containers are made of) for up to 72 hours. 

So, even though you may take proper social distancing precautions at the grocery store, coming into contact with just one infected surface before touching the mascara in your bag could still mean you bring the virus into your home. 

“But shouldn’t the preservatives in makeup protect me?”

Preservatives in skin care and makeup products (even natural ones) are there to protect against spoiling, and microbial growth. You may think that would prevent the contamination of your makeup products, but that is not the case, or your best defense (which would be Max Green Alchemy Hand Sanitizer Spray).

Which skin care and make up products are most at risk of contamination?

Seeing that lip products (including lipstick, lip balm, and lip gloss) are applied directly to the mouth, there is a special risk attached to using them; as well as eye products which could result in the virus entering via the eyes.

According to general practitioner Dr. Aragona Giuseppe (medical adviser at Prescription Doctor), “Lip products are particularly risky, because lipsticks and lip liners are a natural gateway to your respiratory tract.”

Additionally, because lip product formulations are housed inside tiny, humid spaces, the risk of the virus particles living longer is higher than in, for example, powdered blush. 

Keep both eye and lip products safely at home to minimize both exposure and contamination. 

How can I clean my makeup products and brushes? 

Cleaning your products clean on a daily basis could prevent spreading of the virus. Use a disinfecting (anti- wipe on all makeup product surfaces and packaging. 

To clean makeup brushes, simply use soap and warm water once a week. Allow your brushes to dry fully (on a sunlit window sill) before using again.

What about wearing a mask with makeup? 

Setting spray may help prolong your makeup under your mask, while also preventing smudging, however, according to infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, Anne Liu, the moment makeup transfers to your mask it becomes contaminated. Not to mention degrades the integrity of the mask material, especially if it is made from fabric.

You might also be interested to know that doctors have been told to either remove makeup before applying masks, or skip wearing makeup altogether (source)!

Hopefully this article answered a few questions you may have about your skin care products and covid-19 virus potentially spreading. If you can think of any more, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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