Now that I’ve started upgrading my makeup collection, I want to be able to take better care of what I buy. Spending at least $35 for a foundation makes you think at least twice before having to replace it because it was somehow “contaminated.”
After all, makeup that has not been taken care of properly can cause such gruesome things as breakouts, acne, pink eye, infections, the common cold, flu, cold sores, hepatitis…need I say more?
And replacing the “better stuff” hurts alot more than replacing a $2 eyeliner that you can’t get to sharpen or $8 mascara that gets ooey and gooey.
Treat your products with care and attention…and they will last longer and look healthier.
First things first…It may seem like common sense, but don’t bother cleaning anything if you don’t first wash your hands…it’s kinda pointless, right?!
Washing your hands keeps you from transferring whatever bacteria may be having a field day on your hands…ever since you handed that Kleenex to the fat lady on the seat next to you in the plane or rummaged through library books that no telling who already touched…from being transferred to your face.
Whether you prefer hand sanitizer or just soap and water, clean hands are the foundation of not only good makeup hygiene, but of a good life.
I always keep a medium hand sanitizer on my desk, in my kitchen, in my car, anywhere and everywhere else that I can think of…and one in every pocket of the outfit I am wearing and every section of my purse. That’s how obsessive-compulsive germophones function, right?!
Anyway, moving onto your “stash”…
Lips…Some people freeze lipstick overnight to weaken and help get rid of any germs and bacteria. (The fact that you should let lipstick “thaw” a little before applying to your lips the next day probably could be go unsaid)..
However, freezing only cripples the microorganisms to some degree without actuall killing it.
Instead, spray your lipstick once with a light mist of rubbing alcohol or use a cosmetic sanitizer wipe to remove the top layer.
You would also be smart to use a lip brush perhaps.
Mascara…Mascara is one of the highest risk products as far as infections go. In order to avoid eye infections, you might want to consider using a disposable mascara spooley instead of the wand that came with your mascara every single day and rubbing the same whatever-the-heck-that-was onto your eyelashes every single day.
Pencils…Sanitize makeup pencils by spritzing them with alcohol and sharpening each pencil after you’ve used it to shed the outer layer where the bacteria collect. Remember to clean your sharpener also.
Powders…(eyeshadow, powders, blush)…Powders do not harbor bacteria, and for this reason these products have the longest shelf life of all cosmetics.
Once you are finished using the product, wipe the top layer off of your product with a tissue. Wiping down the first layer of your powder products removes any oil that has settled on the top of your product…meaning that the oil cannot collect on the product and produce harmful bacteria.
Fill a small spray bottle with alcohol and mist the alcohol onto the surface of the powder to help remove bacteria and keep your products looking new. Just be careful that the alcohol does not compromise the texture of the product and allow the alcohol to evaporate from the product before putting the lid back on.
Another option is Beauty So Clean, a cosmetic sanitizer mist whose main ingredient is alcohol.
Creams…Bacteria can form rapidly in any wet producr…so cream foundation, lipsticks, and blushes are all prime breeding ground for bacteria due to their dark, warm moist atmospheres. Never dip a brush directly into cream makeup. Instead use a palette knife or disposable spatula to scoop these products out so that you will not contaminate your product’s container.
Brushes...Makeup brushes come into contact with your face on a daily basis and require proper cleaning to remove caked-on makeup, dirt, and bacteria…and to avoid infection, inflammation and irritation.
Clean brushes last longer, stay softer, feel better on your face, and keep you from applying any extra makeup that has caked up on the bristles.
High-quality brushes require special attention because the bristles may easily distort, curl, or become damaged. It is important to use a cleaner that gets rid of bacteria and dirt without damaging or altering the brush hairs. If your brushes are made of expensive natural fibers or hair, consider using a professional brush cleansing spray.
After each use, lightly wipe your makeup brushes with an antibacterial wipe.
Powder brushes, blush brushes, and foundation brushes should be cleaned once a week…eye shadow brushes, every other day.
The longer you let bacteria and old makeup build up on your brushes, the more risk you’re exposing your skin to. The more regularly you disinfect your brushes, the quicker and easier they’ll be to clean and the safer they’ll be to use.
- Pour a sink of warm water. Do not use water higher than the temperature of your body, as the makeup brush’s bristles are quite sensitive to heat. The finer the bristles of the brush are, the easier they could be damaged by temperature.
- Add 1tsp cleaning product. (I use blue Dawn dish soap. Dish soap removes all the oils and excess product without having to scrub brushes and disturb the fibers too much.)
- Place the brushes into water. Do not soak your brushes for longer than fifteen minutes. The fine hairs of high quality makeup brushes get damaged by over-soaking in water.
- Work the soap gently into the bristles of the brush using your fingers. Gentle cleaning will avoid warping the brush shape and prevent the fibers from getting warped.
- Completely rinse the dish soap from the brush.
- Use lukewarm water to rinse your brushes.
- Squeeze extra moisture out of the bristles.
- Place wet brushes so that bristle is facing down as they dry. The water can ruin the glue attaching the bristles to the handle.
- Brush handles should also be wiped down with this or a Clorox Wipe before being deep cleaned.
- Dry the brushes for forty-eight hours or more. Do not place them near heat or blow them dry. Heat will damage your makeup brushes.
- Make sure that every brush is completely dry before you use them to avoid the overgrowth of bacteria.
Tools…Clean tools…tweezers, scissors, sharpeners, spatulas, mixing palettes, eyelash curlers…with spritz of alcohol and a tissue.
Sharpeners…Soak sharpeners in hot water and some cleaner. Dry with a tissue. Use Q-tips to clean out any stuck sharpenings.
Eyelash Curlers…Use a lighter to remove the gunk of your eyelash curler. Light the lighter, gently put the fire into the curler for about five till ten seconds top. Clean the residue off the curler using tissue, and then you can clean your curler up thoroughly.
Sponges/Powder Puffs…Use liquid soap on your makeup sponge at least once each week to ensure that they are free from bacteria. Dip the sponge in water. Let soak for fifteen minutes.Be sure to get a nice lather and to clean it thoroughly. Rinse until it is completely clean. Let it dry. Squeeze any excess water out before putting it back into your makeup bag or organizer.
Beauty Blenders...Sanitize Beauty Blenders by running them through a wash cycle in the washing machine, or by soaking overnight in brush cleaner.
The Makeup Bag Itself…Finally, clean your makeup bag before putting your newly cleaned cosmetics and brushes back into it.
Putting the brushes back without cleaning the bag re-contaminates the brushes before you’ve even zipped the case. The bacteria that the brushes may have picked up are still present in the case unless you clean and sanitize the bag also.
Empty everything from your makeup bag. Flip the bag inside out. Gently use makeup remover wipes to clean the lining. Another option is to flip the bag inside out and simply wash the makeup bag in the washing machine along with your next load of dark-colored clothes.