COVID-19: Can the Virus Live on Your Beauty Products?

May 24, 2020

Doctors are now telling people the best practices for using beauty products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can coronavirus live on your makeup?

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told Today that people should not worry about their beauty products due to the risk of infection from these items being very low.

Schaffner said that it is safe for people to continue to use their own makeup products. However, he does not recommend that you share your makeup with others.

"This isn't the time to share the lipstick, mascara, powder. Keep it to yourself," he said.

Dr. Alok Patel, a Columbia University pediatrician and journalist, said some of his patients that are teenagers asked if it is safe to use makeup or share with their friends.

Patel said the risk with cosmetics is people often use their hands to put their makeup near their mouths, nose, and eyes. The doctor said that washing your hands before applying makeup is the best thing to do to be safe.

If you have contracted the coronavirus, it isn't necessary to throw away your beauty products if you're sick and the only one using them.

Schaffner shared that people would not give the coronavirus to someone else by using their makeup.

And while the risk of your skincare routine being affected is relatively low, what about your hair care routine? Can the coronavirus live on a person’s hair?

Experts say it depends on the circumstances of the hair. Dr. Adam Friedman, the interim chair of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, recommends that people wash their hair daily during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, when washing your hair, there is no need to panic or wash your hair multiple times a day.

"Using shampoo, there are surfactants - charged molecules that will bind to dirt, to oil, to bacteria, to viruses - and get them off or kill them," Friedman said. "Washing your hair will prevent whatever matter is on your hair from being maintained."

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