The Danger of Sharing Makeup Brushes


Women are fond of sharing beauty products and even makeup brushes. This practice may seem harmless but what they don’t know is that it can cause fungal and viral infections. Sharing makeup brushes is very dangerous since you never know what someone has or what bacteria have been growing on it.

A case worth mentioning is that of Jo Gilchrist, a 27-year old currently confined to a wheelchair. When she was getting ready to go out on Valentine’s Day, she borrowed a brush to apply concealer to a pimple. After some time, she began to feel some pain that started as a little ache in her back. At first she thought it was due to her bad posture but the pain kept getting worse.

Infection Traced Back To The Makeup Brush

Jo Gilchrist

Jo Gilchrist then experienced numbness in her arms and horrific pain in her back. She also lost feeling in her legs. Jo Gilchrist had to go for an emergency surgery, and the doctors found that she had contracted MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus that had spread to her spine. The doctors traced her infection back to the makeup brush she had borrowed. Gilchrist’s friend had a staphylococcus infection on her face that she wasn’t aware of at the time when they shared brushes.

She Might Not Be Able To Walk Again!

Jo Gilchrist was told at her bedside that she would never walk again! She just felt numb and had tears rolling down her cheeks. But she said she was fighting this with all she had got and was starting to learn to walk again. Two weeks ago she was told that she might be able to walk for an hour or two a day. For example, while washing up and hanging the washing out, and while grocery shopping. She is euphoric with that and says she didn’t even expect it.

Jo Gilchrist’s story is quite frightening, but experts say the probability of this happening is tiny. A dermatologist, Dr. Sejal Shah says that spinal paralysis due to staph is one in a million chance issue because not all staphylococcus is as dangerous as MRSA; that is an antibiotic-resistant form.

Symptoms And Prevention

The symptoms of a skin infection include skin rashes and outbreaks with red, swollen but tender skin bumps that may or may not produce pus. To prevent infections, Dr. Shah recommends that you avoid sharing brushes and also follow the manufacturer’s guidelines while applying makeup.


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