Should You Get Rid Of Your Makeup After You Have A Cold?

You know that feeling you get when you are sick? It's that notion that you are nothing but a house for germs. Basically, people tend to recoil when you let them know you've got the common cold, the need to wash your sweat drenched sheets becomes overwhelming, and you're constantly wondering if you look as bad as you feel. You may have swiped on a little lipstick and mascara to achieve the "fake it until you make it" vibe during the time you were unwell, and we don't blame you. But now that the cold has passed, does that mean the germs you spread to your makeup have guaranteed them a visit to your garbage can?

Before your lower lip starts to quiver at the thought of throwing away your favorite lipstick or that foundation brush you paid more for than you could ever admit to, there is good(ish) news. Those lingering germs are unlikely to make you sick again. Philip Tierno, Ph.D., clinical professor in the department of pathology at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City and author of The Secret Life of Germs tells The Healthy, "Cold and flu viruses don't last too long in or around inanimate objects. And by about 10 days after your illness, you develop the antibody to that infecting organism, so it will most likely not harm or re-infect you again."

Consider cleaning the items in your makeup bag

The low risk of reinfection may be enough for some, but there are others who still feel squeamish knowing the germs that made them so ill are clinging on to their cosmetics. If you're the latter, consider cleaning the items in your makeup bag. "Wipe off the surface of the product with an antiseptic or alcohol wipe, which can help to kill off the surviving viruses," Tierno tells The Healthy. "The wiping action alone will remove most, if not all, the contamination."

We've established that the risk of being reinfected is low for you, but this is not the case for your friends. Feel free to share your thoughts, dreams, and snarky comments to your nearest and dearest, but not your makeup — especially if you have recently been sick. According to Beautylish, if you have recently been sick or had a cold sore, you may increase the risk of infecting your friend who asked to borrow a quick swipe, blot, or concealing product in your makeup bag. We're always happy to hear when a friend is feeling better. Just remember those lingering germs next time you reunite and consider borrowing their blush.