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Second-hand Makeup Could be Cold Sore Contaminated

Nowadays makeup can be incredibly expensive, particularly in the age of the super-glossy, super-sculpted Kardashian style, in which more is invariably more. It is little wonder then that when costs begin to add up, many people are tempted to buy their makeup second-hand.

However, buying second-hand makeup, even if it appears to be new or has been “used just once”, comes with a considerable risk. Whether you are purchasing second-hand foundation, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner or other cosmetics, they could easily be contaminated with bacteria or a virus, potentially leaving you with conjunctivitis, staphylococcus aureus or indeed the cold sore virus. The same is true for most makeup-related paraphernalia such as second-hand make-up brushes; if you don’t want to be taking antibiotics or taking cold sore treatment, second-hand makeup products are best avoided. They are simply not worth the risk.

Beware Testers

Unfortunately for those who like to try before they buy, the same is true of makeup testers; unless you can be absolutely sure that the tester has not come into contact with another person’s skin before you use it, there is a chance you might be exposed to the herpes virus and left in need of cold sore treatment.

A case in point: in 2017 a woman in the United States sued the high street makeup retailer Sephora after claiming she contracted the cold sore virus as a result of using a tester tube of lipstick in one of the retailer’s Hollywood outlets.

At the time of the claim, Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, told press that it was entirely conceivable that the woman might have developed the cold sore virus as a result of the tester lipstick tube if she used it soon after someone carrying the virus.

However, he added an important caveat: "I would suspect that many people who think they get herpes from certain things were already positive, because it's such a common and unavoidable infection.” Adalja added that the virus is so common that it's "basically part of the human condition".

While it's unfortunate that the virus is so widespread, the good news is that effective treatments exist that can effectively lessen symptoms when applied at any stage of an outbreak, such as Herstat cold sore ointment, which contains Propolis ACF.