SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — Makeup testers at beauty stores across South Korea have been found ridden with germs, a new study has shown.
The Korea Consumer Agency discovered that nearly 3 in 10 makeup testers are covered in germs after looking into a number of beauty shops in busy areas of Seoul, with some of them having been found to exceed over 2100 times the microbiological limits in the worst cases.
Testers, which are often prepared at beauty stores, are a key element of a successful modern beauty store, as they allow customers to try on makeup products before purchasing them.
Despite being kept open and available for many people however, makeup testers have not been subject to the same microbiological limits as new and unopened products, raising hygiene issues.
“The packages of eyeshadow, mascara, and lip products come with a lid that is often left open, which raises the odds of cross-contamination compared to tubes or pump bottles. As using contaminated products on sensitive areas like the eyes and lips can lead to skin problems and infections, efforts to implement hygiene control need to be strengthened,” the Korea Consumer Agency said.
During the probe, 42 types of makeup tasters available at 16 beauty stores in busy neighborhoods in Seoul were inspected, ranging from eyeshadow and mascara to lip products, the agency said on Tuesday.
At over 8 in 10 stores, eyeshadow and lip product samples were found to have been kept without a lid or a cover, raising the level of exposure to hygiene threats.
Among the 16 lip products that were tested, four were found to contain 2.14 million to 15.3 million colony-forming units of aerobic bacteria, far exceeding the permitted level of 10,000.
Three other items contained traces of staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that can cause a number of infectious diseases with symptoms including skin conditions, nausea, diarrhea, and stomachache
Nearly 1 in 10 eyeshadow products were also found to contain an excessive quantity of aerobic bacteria, while half of the mascaras sampled in the probe exceeded permitted levels.
Following the worrying findings, the Korea Consumer Agency has urged the Korea Cosmetic Association to set out guidelines to ensure safety, and will push cosmetics companies to ramp up efforts for hygiene control on makeup testers.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)