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Prone to crashing at friends’ in party season? Read our hygiene watch-outs
Disclaimer: You’ll never borrow their toothbrush again
You were so busy having a dance-off at the office party, you missed the last train. A friend’s sofa beckons but, as it’s so late, you’ll keep your contacts in overnight and splash them with water tomorrow, right? Wrong. Never leave lenses in overnight unless specifically advised to by your optician. ‘Remember to wash your hands and fingertips thoroughly with soap and dry them with a clean, lint-free towel before taking your contacts out or putting them in,’ says Boots Optician Hayley Rowbotham. As for washing lenses with water? ‘Whether in the shower or from the tap, it’s a no-no,’ says Hayley. Water can contain organisms, which may cause a serious, painful infection on the cornea.
Your back-up plan: If couch-surfing’s a habit, before your next do, pop to your local Boots Opticians to discuss whether daily disposable contact lenses are an option. If so, keep a pair on standby in your bag. Go to boots.com/contactlenses
Surely it’s OK to use a close friend’s or partner’s toothbrush occasionally, if needs must? We’ve all been there! But it’s not just food debris you need to worry about: studies have shown that nasties such as Staphylococcus and E. coli could be lingering on those bristles. Want to play it safe? Try this if your mouth is feeling a bit gritty: put a dab of toothpaste on a paper towel and use it to wipe around your teeth. It’ll help you feel fresher until you can get home. Or, if it’s a work day (poor you!), pick up a toothbrush on the way in.
Your back-up plan: Make Swish To Go Cool Mint, £3/300 points (6x2g sachets), your handbag staple. Swill the dissolving powder (no water required) around your mouth for cleaner teeth and fresher breath. Genius!
Think it’s harmless to pinch your mate’s for a speedy de-fuzz? Actually, it’s not a smart move. The likes of Staph skin infections – which can cause painful red lumps, sores or blisters – and even Hepatitis C can be passed on by sharing razors. And remember that your mate might have a blood-borne virus such as Hep B or C, without even realising it. Add to that the fact that nasties such as warts can be spread by surface contact, and suddenly that stubble doesn’t look so bad.
Your back-up plan: Pack a BIC Twin Lady Sensitive Disposable Razor, £2.69/ 269 points (8-pack), in the pocket of your handbag before you head out – or hey, embrace the ‘Hair? Don’t care!’ attitude.
Get this: scientists have discovered that the rich texture of cosmetics makes them a perfect breeding ground for micro-organisms such as bacteria. But not all bacteria are bad; the ones that have set up home on your mate’s skin (and therefore her make-up) might be harmless to her. Problem is, everyone’s skin microflora are unique, so that same bacteria could cause an infection when they land on you via her make-up. Spreading nasties, such as cold sores, by sharing lippy is another watch-out. Remember, your friend might have one brewing even if it hasn’t erupted!
Your back up-plan: Keep the Collection Primed and Ready Concealer Kit, £4.99/499 points, in your bag for on-the-go touch-ups. (It contains liquid and cream concealers and a setting powder. Sorted.)
*Available in selected stores.
Words Danielle Hine Photography Stocksy