From the moment you first swiped on lip gloss in middle school to when you tried on a new brand of foundation at Sephora last weekend, you've been bombarded with beauty myths. Is it really dangerous to sleep in your makeup? Is it okay to share makeup with friends? For answers to these questions and more, I turned to Dr. Cynthia Bailey a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Northern California, for help.
Beauty Myth #1: You can get pink-eye if you don’t take off your eye makeup at night. Possibly true. After a fun night out with friends, it can be tempting to crash the minute you get back to your dorm. You can always wash off your makeup the next morning, right? Maybe not. “It all goes back to germs. You don’t want to keep your pores closed and clogged with makeup and oils that might cause a resident bacteria to become a pathogen (infecting and harmful germ),” explains Bailey. “I always take off my eye makeup before I go to bed at night,” says Stephanie Kaplan, Her Campus co-founder. “One of the only times I didn't, I woke up with pink eye two days later, and I'm convinced that was the reason.” Before you go to bed, make sure to take off your makeup. Try Pond's Cold Cream or Maybelline Expert Eyes 100% Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, both available at Drugstore.com. Your eyes will thank you!
Beauty Myth #2: Sharing makeup with friends can be dangerous. True. Have you ever borrowed a friend’s mascara or swiped on her lip gloss? Think twice before sharing again. According to Bailey, “Twenty-five percent of people carry a bacteria germ called staph aureus on their skin and in their nose without showing any skin infections. The germ is capable of causing a variety of skin infections including shaving pustules (raised, red, inflamed bumps), impetigo (pus-filled blisters) and worse. The germ can reside in makeup, along with the cold sore virus herpes simplex and other viruses.” Bailey says that it's safe to use makeup that can be poured or squeezed out of the container without your skin coming in contact with the product. However, dipping fingers or brushes into the same product or using the same mascara wand can cause cross-contamination. “It's like double-dipping chips and dip,” she says. To stay healthy and pretty, stick to wearing your own makeup.
Beauty Myth #3: Drinking eight glasses of water per day isn’t necessary. Unclear. “This is being disputed right now in the media,” says Bailey. Even though the jury is still out on this beauty myth, that’s no excuse for putting down your water bottle. Bailey warns, “A dehydrated person will have skin that is lax and dull.” Keep a water bottle with you at all times and refill it often to stay hydrated and looking bright. Even if eight glasses of water isn't necessary to stay healthy, there are still other benefits to staying hydrated. Drinking water can help you lose weight, relieve headaches and fatigue, and aid digestion.