Coronavirus: 'Bin lipstick testers' chemists told

By Michelle Roberts
Health editor, BBC News online

Lipstick samples

High street pharmacy chains say they will be removing all make-up product testers from stores for the foreseeable future, to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The virus is carried in cough droplets and on objects contaminated with them.

Sample lipsticks, eyeliners and other beauty products which can be tried on by lots of different customers are too risky to leave on display, say Boots and Superdrug.

They say stores will act immediately.

Some pharmacies - including large chains and small independent stores - which the BBC visited in London on Saturday had samples on display, despite also carrying warning notices about coronavirus and sticking hazard tape to the floor to help customers keep their distance from one another.

Boots said: "To ensure the health and safety of our customers and colleagues, we introduced new guidance around the use and availability of testers in our stores. In areas where we have beauty consultants, testers have been removed from open display.

"For all other areas of beauty in our stores, including self-selection cosmetics and skincare, we have made the decision to remove all testers.

"We are continuing to make sure that hand sanitiser is available for all of our beauty advisers and customers in stores, to use after handling products. We're also encouraging all colleagues to wash their hands regularly and have introduced additional cleaning across our beauty halls."

Superdrug said: "We have taken the decision to remove all product testers from stores for the foreseeable future as part of our commitment to ensuring the highest standard of safety and hygiene for our customers and colleagues. We will continue to monitor the situation, in line with government, PHE and NHS guidance around Covid-19."