Is testing lipstick at the store counter really that icky? How bad is it to shave with an old razor? We know, you're asking for a friend (wink, wink). Either way, you'll find answers here.More
It depends: Some people can tolerate a pile-on of products with different active ingredients; others can't. Try a regimen—say, a retinol cream with an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser one night and an anti oxidant serum with a benzoyl peroxide cream the next. If your skin gets irritated, revert to this bare-bones routine from Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York: Smooth on an antioxidant serum with vitamin C (for oily skin) or vitamin E (for drier types) in the morning followed by a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher, and use a topical retinoid (that's prescription Retin-A or an OTC retinol cream) at night.
Would you let 50 strangers use your toothbrush in the morning? How about offering them your new deodorant to try? Gross, right? It's the same here. "Putting contaminated tester products on your skin can lead to acne breakouts, eye infections, styes, and cold sores," says Zeichner. Creams, such as concealers, eyeliners, and lipsticks, are the riskiest, since they're more likely to breed bacteria than powders. "You can easily swipe a color on the inside of your wrist to gauge the shade," recommends Joey Healy, a makeup pro in New York. If you simply must see how it looks on your face, be sure to stick to stores that offer alcohol sprays and tissues to clean products, or ask the person behind the counter to clean the tester for you.