Help! Should I Throw Away Lipstick After A Cold Sore?

Let’s get one thing straight. Cold sores aren’t fun or pretty. And having to part with your fave lipstick after a cold sore just doesn’t seem fair! Do you really have to throw away lipstick after a cold sore ? Or is there another solution to this unjust? 

Woman holding a lipstick wondering, Should I Throw Away Lipstick After A Cold Sore?

What Is A Cold Sore?

Firstly, let’s get the facts straight on what exactly a cold sore is. A cold sore, or fever blister, is caused by the herpes simplex virus. They are small blisters that typically appear on the mouth, lips, cheeks, or chin. Less frequently appearing on the insides of the mouth. 

Cold sores are extremely common, with 50-80% of adults having experienced cold sores in their lifetime. So, if you’re currently dealing with a cold sore, know that you’re not alone in this unfortunate struggle. 

What Causes A Cold Sore?

The initial cold sore infection is contracted when you’re in close physical contact with someone who currently has an active infection. 

But here’s the thing about cold sores, once you have them, the virus lives within your nerves for the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have a visible cold sore forever, though! What it means is that the cold sores can become active again. 

What Triggers A Cold Sore To Reappear?

Factors like stress, burnout, a lowered immune system, fever, exposure to sunlight, and physical injury can all trigger cold sores to reappear. The cold sores typically show up in the places you previously had them.

The good news is, cold sores won’t be showing up at your doorstep weekly, or even monthly for that matter. Most people only get a recurrence once a year. Phew.

Are Cold Sores Contagious?

Yes, cold sores are contagious from the moment you feel the tingling sensation coming on up until the sore goes away. So to avoid spreading the virus, avoid close physical contact with others. And do not share food or personal items like lipstick. (More on that below!)

Should I Throw Away Lipstick After A Cold Sore?

Now we know what cold sores are and how they spread, let’s talk about what to do with your beloved lipstick. 

Since the virus remains in your body after you contract it, you don’t have to throw away lipstick after a cold sore. Thank goodness!

But what you must do, is keep all lipsticks, lip balms, and makeup brushes to yourself. Do not share them with others, especially after an active cold sore. And don’t think about using other people’s cosmetics or makeup products either!

With that said, we do recommend giving your makeup brushes and cosmetics a thorough clean and sanitize. Even though you don’t have to toss your lipstick, frequent use of your cosmetics and brushes will cause a build-up of bacteria. And what will dirty brushes and cosmetics cause? Acne. Something we all want to avoid!

How To Clean Your Cosmetic Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes is easier than you might think. All you need is water and a makeup brush cleanser (or a gentle soap.)

Makeup Brushes

To wash your brushes, first, run them under warm water. Then, massage the brush bristles with a dash of soap and rinse them out until the water runs clear. After they’re all clean, squeeze out any excess liquid and lay them on a clean towel to dry overnight. 

Beauty Blenders

We can’t forget to clean our beloved beauty blenders. Wet your beauty blender, grab your soap or makeup brush cleaner and work it in by gently massaging it with your fingers. 

A hand holding up a beauty blender to check if beauty blenders get moldy.

If you notice some stubborn stains that aren’t coming off, give your BB a soak. Grab a bowl of hot water and add a dollop of your makeup cleanser. Put your beauty blender in the bowl and let it soak for 5 minutes. The soak helps loosen and remove the stains. Then, give it a good rinse underwater and gently squeeze out any excess water.

How To Clean Your Cosmetics

Did you know you can sanitize your cosmetic products? Well, most of them, at least. All you need is isopropyl alcohol to kill bacteria and a spray bottle to pour it in for ease of use. We also recommend stocking up on some cotton pads – you’ll be needing those! 

Lip Products – Lipstick, Lip Balm, Lip Liner

To clean your lipstick, lip balm, and lip liners, lightly spray them with your alcohol solution, then wipe them clean with a cotton pad. Easy right? Make sure you wait for them to dry overnight before using them.

Powders – Blush, Bronzer, Eyeshadow, Pressed Powder Foundation

To clean your powders, gently scrape off the top layer, taking care not to take off too much product. Then, spray your alcohol solution over all of your powders, making sure to coat the entire surface. Wait a day for them to dry. 

Liquids – Foundation, Highlighter

While you can’t sanitize inside your liquid foundation or highlighter, you can throughout clean around it. Spray your alcohol solution onto a cotton pad and wipe the outside of the bottle. Then, thoroughly clean any residue from the nozzle and inside the cap. 

Creams – Concealer, Blush

For your cream products, you’ll want to follow the same method as your powders. Gently scrape off the top layer and spray your alcohol solution all over.

TIP: When using cream products, make sure you never dip your fingers in the pot! It is a surefire way for bacteria to spread. Alternatively, use a clean makeup brush or a handy cosmetic spatula.

Should I Throw Away Lipstick After A Cold Sore? The Takeaway

Cold sores suck, but thankfully, you can prevent them from reoccurring. Following good hygiene, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress are a few ways you can stop those annoying sores from showing up uninvited.

But if they do make an appearance, know that you’ll be able to get back to rocking your lipstick in no time! 

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