Almost everyone has used the testers at Sephora to try a product before buying it. But one woman took it a step too far when she applied a full face of makeup, using only the testers.
Now, a skincare expert is using her video to caution viewers that these testers can contain mold, fungus, and even traces of feces.
@maximumskin This video is of a tiktok user doing a full face of skincare and makeup using sephora testers without realizing that this is not the “norm”. If you haven’t seen my video on why using ANY testers is not a good idea, you can go watch that. A short recap: a study was done where testers were swabbed at various department stores and they found fungus, mold, and FECES. You may say “ive done this before and nothing happened” to which I say great. You’re playing a game of russian roulette with acne breakouts, pink eye, cellulitis, and other skin problems… end the game while you’re winning. #makeuptesters #skincaretesters #sephora #sephoravibsale #sephorasale #sephoratesters #medicalaesthetician ♬ original sound – Justin | Skincare + Laser
“This video is of a tiktok user doing a full face of skincare and makeup using sephora testers without realizing that this is not the ‘norm,’” esthetician Justin Spracklin (@maximumskin) captioned his video.
He looks on in shock as he shares the video of a woman doing a full face of makeup in Sephora. She applies everything from concealer under her eyes to eyeshadow to mascara to lipstick—most of which came straight from the bottle.
At the end of the video, he tells viewers, “Don’t be this person.” Spracklin used his caption to explain why he’s so adamantly against makeup testers at stores.
“A short recap: a study was done where testers were swabbed at various department stores and they found fungus, mold, and FECES,” he wrote.
Spracklin went on to say that these testers have shoppers playing “Russian roulette” with their health.
“You may say ‘ive done this before and nothing happened’ to which I say great,” he wrote. “You’re playing a game of russian roulette with acne breakouts, pink eye, cellulitis, and other skin problems… end the game while you’re winning.”
Spracklin was likely referring to the 2012 undercover operation by Good Morning America. Floor samples at 10 department stores were tested by the New York University Microbiology Department.
It was found that one out of every five samples contained mold, yeast, and fecal matter. Brushes and foundations were the worst offenders.
Today carried out a similar undercover operation in 2017. Their Rossen Reports team secretly collected makeup tester samples from three popular stores and had them tested at a certified microbiology lab.
All of the samples contained harmful bacteria—including some linked to fecal matter—such as E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus.
By Thursday, Spracklin’s video garnered 324,400 views. Many commenters didn’t need much convincing not to go near the testers at Sephora.
“I’ve never touched a tester again after watching a girl apply a lipgloss directly from the applicator,” one user wrote.
Another shared that she stopped after contracting a fungus. “I swatched some lipstick on the back of my hand in Sephora and got THE most disgusting fungus,” they wrote. “Skin felt like a gator. NEVER again.”
People who claimed to work at Sephora gave their take. “Seriously do not be this person. As a former Sephora employee, I wouldn’t even get my makeup done with sanitized testers. It’s bad,” one wrote.
“As a new sephora employee it BAFFLES me what testers go through everyday I have seen countless homeless people spit on them,” another added.
If you must try a sample in the store, it’s recommended to swatch it on the back of your hands and use the disposable applicators. The best course of action, however, is to purchase the product, try it at home, and return if needed.
The Daily Dot reached out to Spracklin via TikTok comment and Sephora via email.