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  #1  
Old 04 December 2010, 04:09 AM
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Icon02 Lipstick in the freezer kills germs

Comment: Dr Oz is appearing on my local TV station telling a female anchor
that putting her lipstick in the freezer overnight will kill the bacteria
and viruses. It's driving me mad. As a PhD microbiologist, I know that
freezing doesn't kill viruses, and that freezing only kills some bacteria,
but others will survive unharmed. Yet he's been getting away with it
since September 2009
(http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/BeautySecr...ory?id=8543211),
and as long as it's on the internet and Dr Qz says
it, people keep spreading it as truth. Please debunk.
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  #2  
Old 04 December 2010, 08:47 AM
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Bonsai Kitten

Just ten minutes ago I finished watching some documentary on Antartica and it showed scientist drilling in to the ice shelf to get to the (very alive) bacteria.
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  #3  
Old 04 December 2010, 09:07 AM
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Maybe ionizing radiation would be more effective at killing the lipstick germs, but I don't know how many people would want irradiated lipstick.
Home irradiation machines are probably a bad idea.
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  #4  
Old 04 December 2010, 09:47 AM
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Why would you want to kill the germs anyway, unless you're sharing lipstick...
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  #5  
Old 04 December 2010, 12:49 PM
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Lipstick in your freezer,
Kills the germs for you-ou!
Lipstick in your freezer
Says you're safer too!
Bet your bottom dollar
You won't get sick through
The lipstick in your freezer
Safe as when it's new!
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  #6  
Old 04 December 2010, 01:11 PM
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If you're really worried about your lipstick being contaminated, just scrape off the surface layer before you apply it. But your lipstick's germs are your germs. So if that bothers you, I suspect you should give up lipstick altogether.

Cold lipstick sounds really unpleasant to apply! I've heard of putting your eye and lip pencils in the fridge/freezer to make them easier to sharpen, but never anything about bacteria/viruses.

Actually, if people applied much common sense, they would know this is absurd. Otherwise, when food became contaminated, all it would need would be to be frozen, and everybody knows you can still get food poisoning from food that has been frozen.
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  #7  
Old 04 December 2010, 01:29 PM
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Freezing your lipstick would retard the growth of bacteria, but since they wouldn't have anything to feed on in a lipstick, other than a few skin cells, that shouldn't be a big problem. At least, I'm assuming there's nothing for them to feed on. I don't wear lipstick regularly; does it have sugar or flour in it?

And yeah, a doctor should know that. Granted, a doctor is not a microbiologist; still....

Not to mention, the fact that the bacteria have few things to feed on probably means that putting them in the freezer preserves them, whereas leaving them at room temperature would let them starve.

Does this Dr. Oz person know the difference between a home freezer, and say, the sort that might be in a lab, that uses liquid nitrogen, and gets stuff much colder? IIRC, that kills a lot of things. Not everything though; human sperm, for example.

If you have a cold, though, I wonder if you might prolong it by using lipsick, and reintrudicing viral particles? I always toss a toothbrush after I've been sick. I don't do that with a chapstick, although I do wipe them off every few days.
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  #8  
Old 04 December 2010, 01:41 PM
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If the freezer trick worked, wouldn't you be better off putting your mascara in it than your lipstick? I don't think lipstick is a particularly hospitable environment for bacteria, and if it were, as Avril points out, you can scrape the top layer off.
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  #9  
Old 04 December 2010, 04:39 PM
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I think it would be harder to apply frozen mascara than frozen lipstick, and that doing it would change it's consistency after it thawed.
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  #10  
Old 04 December 2010, 04:50 PM
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"Dr. Oz is a moron" is not exactly new news. As for the germ thing, I semi-look forward to the day when we finally realize that, far from being malignant evils that we have to combat against every day, bacteria are a huge part of being alive. Our bodies are made up of more bacteria than human cells and it's not particularly close.
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  #11  
Old 04 December 2010, 04:51 PM
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Isn't the cold virus susceptible to cold? It specifically might die if frozen, though others might not, and that's what a lot of people get most often.

I had strep throat six times one year - I clearly had a carrier in one of my JK classes - and I got into a discussion on another board over whether I had given it to myself once by using a pot of flavoured lip balm that I had also used when I was sick. I used it and 24-48 hours later got strep AGAIN. Most people were of the opinion that I had given it to myself that particular time.

After being on the antibiotics for three days, I threw out all my lip balms, toothbrushes, the one lipstick I had used, etc. to avoid a possible reinfection but I still kept getting it. Man I was glad when that year was over.

Now I have a UV light that sanitizes my toothbrush head every day. It's called zap! or some such. I use it primarily because I use Sonicare and their brush heads are over $30 each. I'm not going to throw one out after a cold.

ETA: When I stopped fanatically washing my hands and refusing anything I thought mught be germ laden, I stopped getting every stinking cold and virus that entered the school. I think your immune system needs to be poked regularly to be able to fight off things effectively.
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  #12  
Old 05 December 2010, 07:58 AM
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I like the UV light thing better than the ionizing radiation.
All it needs is a little rotisserie thing inside to rotate the lipstick so all sides get exposed.
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  #13  
Old 05 December 2010, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
I had strep throat six times one year - I clearly had a carrier in one of my JK classes.
From my experience working in a preschool, I would guess that you had an antibiotic-resistent strain. You get several cases in the class at once, with all the kids' doctors giving the typical antibiotics-- penicillin or amoxycillin, and just a couple of parents don't give their kids the whole course-- symptoms are gone in 5 days, and the parent stops the medication-- and then the class has a resistent strain. Sometimes, with those, you'll take a course of a typical antibiotic, and then get better for a week or two, but you are still harboring the bacteria, just in low numbers, so you're asymptomatic. Then it resurges, and the next bout is even more resistent.

We had something going around that wouldn't go away, and that I had in my sinuses. I'd do a Z-pac course, because I'm allergic to the penicillin family, and my choices were limited. After the fourth time, which was just two weeks after the one before, the doctor said it was unlikely I was bacteria free and reinfected. She took a culture to see exactly what it was, then gave me a six week course of erythromycin, and for the first week, I also took cipro, which isn't very effective against sinus infections in and of itself, but regular doses of two antibiotics is safer than a high dose of one, especially in me, who has a lot of antibiotic allergies, and with luck, the cipro would knock out the highly erythro-resistent bacteria.

At the end of six weeks, my doctor cultured me again, and the particular bacterium was gone.

If you get two strep infections close together, ask your doctor for a throat culture right after you finish your second antibiotics. If it's positive, you can continue with antibiotics without a break, and not lose ground, and maybe your doctor will want to try something different. Doctors usually start with cheap and common drugs, which have few side effects in non-allergic people, but once one of those hasn't worked, the doctor might want to try something more expensive, more complicated in that you have to take it on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, and avoid direct sunlight while you are on it, or that has a greater tendency for producing diarrhea, nausea, yeast infectons, and such, and you'll need a second prescription for the side effects.

Those are too much trouble if you don't need to go through them, but if you've been fighting something in your sinuses for over a month, and the drug you're taking isn't helping, you'll pay the money, avoid the sunlight, and use the Monostat.
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  #14  
Old 05 December 2010, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
I think it would be harder to apply frozen mascara than frozen lipstick, and that doing it would change it's consistency after it thawed.
That was a lame attempt at a quip. I've been using mascara for about 35 years now, I do know it's (semi) liquid.
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  #15  
Old 05 December 2010, 02:24 PM
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I'm not sure it was a resistant strain - I had strep six times spread out over the course of ten months, not all at once with a few weeks in between. I'd usually be fine for four to six weeks, then bam - back again, though I did have it back to back once, so it might have been resistant to amoxicillin. The doc switched it up after that. I know what you're talking about - I had an antibiotic resistant sinus infection that didn't go away for months once, even with more potent antibiotics. We eventually gave up and it went away on it's own in the warmer weather in March. At this point it was so entrenched that you could feel the warmth over my sinus cavities by touching them, it caused reddened patches on my skin, and they looked like rosacea (with little bumps and knots) for a week or two.
Come to think of it, I haven't had a sinus infection in a long time (I just literally knocked on wood). Whenever they bother me I take a sinus decongestant for a few days right away and it seems to help.

I hated that year - waking up with the intensely sore throat and thinking, "Oh NFBSK, not AGAIN?" (icon checking for pus patches)

Last edited by Latiam; 05 December 2010 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Aparently I don't no how too spel.
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  #16  
Old 17 December 2010, 07:48 AM
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About 15years ago I worked in Strep vaccine research and I am pretty sure we stored our strep cultures in liquid nitrogen. We were definitely storing something in there, although it may have been the peptide strings from the outer coat of the bacteria that we had sequenced and were using to try to get an on infecting immune response to. (I had a few storage tubes explode in my hand when they couldn't handle the sudden the rapid expansion due to quick temperature increase. Should have use the proper cryo storage tubes but I had no say in that, I just dealt with the consequences.

We also cultured live bacteria on open bench, another Heath and Safety no no, but none of us ever got strep while I was there.

Since I can't say for sure if we did store our cultures in liquid nitrogen I can't rule out that type of freezing will kill the little devils but going by my (unreliable) memory I would say no.
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  #17  
Old 17 December 2010, 10:47 AM
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I've had lipstick that got very-cold-but-not-quite-frozen from leaving it in my car, and it was ruined. Not quite as ruined as when I've left it in a hot car, but still unusable.
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  #18  
Old 17 December 2010, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasla View Post
Since I can't say for sure if we did store our cultures in liquid nitrogen I can't rule out that type of freezing will kill the little devils but going by my (unreliable) memory I would say no.
It sounds reasonable, given this this site's article, Preservation of Bacteria in Liquid Nitrogen.

However, based on this book's description, I'd say that liquid nitrogen versus a home freezer would have pretty different effects. There seems to be a difference between a really, really low temperature and a moderately low one.

I still think putting lipstick in the freezer is stupid, though.
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  #19  
Old 18 December 2010, 05:27 AM
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I agree totally with Johnny Slick, this constant battle with "germs" that the advertising industry is encouraging us to engage in is doing more harm than good, to the environment, our health and our hip pocket. Like I have said to people "there are bacteria every-where, some bad (for us) many good, most completely harmless.

Incase any-one is interested here is where I used to work.

http://www.qimr.edu.au/

and here is the strep page http://www.qimr.edu.au/page/Our_Rese...Streptococcus/

hmmm I no longer recognise anyone that works there.
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  #20  
Old 20 December 2010, 05:48 PM
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I was always told dipping a tube of lipstick in alcohol would kill the bacteria.
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