Keep Your Makeup Clean by Following These Simple Steps

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In the crazy and busy world we live in, we are constantly reminded to wash our hands.  But how often do we think about keeping our skincare products and makeup clean? Take these proactive steps to keep your skin as clean as it can be.  

1. Clean your makeup brushes every 2 weeks


Dermatologists recommend washing your makeup brushes, especially foundation and concealer brushes, at least every two weeks.  This not only prevents the chance of bacteria from finding a home in your brushes, but it also prevents breakouts. Makeup sponges such as Beauty Blenders should be replaced every one to three months. 

To clean brushes the “old fashioned way”, I like to use a gentle makeup remover (like this one!) and warm water.  This method works great for foundation, powder, blush, and bronzing brushes.  Wet the brush in warm water, avoiding hot water, as this will loosen the glue that holds in the bristles.  Pour the makeup remover into the wet brush and gently massage. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.  Let dry brush-side-down in a ventilated area to allow the excess water drip out. This process can also be used on makeup sponges!

If you're looking for a method that's a bit quicker, check out the Color Switch Brush Cleaner by Vera Mona.  This works well for smaller tools such as eyeshadow, eyebrow, and lip brushes.  The Color Switch Brush Cleaner removes powder from tools without the drying time of traditional brush cleaners.  Simply swipe the brush over the reusable sponge until the pigment is gone, then move onto the next! To wash the sponge, use warm water and soap.  

***Pro Tip: a drugstore makeup remover or brush cleaner will work perfectly fine for washing your brushes! You may go through the remover pretty quick so save some “moola” and go for the cheaper option!

2. Check the expiration date


Did you know that makeup can expire? Time to ditch that mascara you've been using for the past year!  As a basic rule of thumb, liquid products tend to have a shorter shelf life than powders and compacts.  Saving old makeup can cause major bacteria growth which introduces all kinds of germs to the skin - yuck!  You can usually find the shelf life icon on the back of the box or for larger products, the back of the bottle. If you’re having trouble finding it, here’s some general numbers to go by:

Lipstick: 2 years

Mascara: 3 to 6 months

Liquid Eyeliner: 6 months

Foundation and Concealer: 1 to 2 years

Eyeshadows, Blush, Bronzers, and Powders: 1 to 2 years

3. Avoid double-dipping


No, I'm not talking about chips and guac!  I'm talking about your products without a pump or pipette.  Repeatedly using your fingers and nails to dip into your favorite eye cream or foundation introduces bacteria into the product.  It then sits there and breeds until the next time you use it, unfortunately bringing all those germs with. Instead of founding your own little bacteria farm, try a makeup spatula.  

The silicone Beauty Smarts Makeup Spatulas by Ulta are reusable and so cute!  Not only do these adorable spoons eliminate bacteria from spreading, but they also make sure you aren't wasting any product.  Make sure to wash after every use with hot water and mild soap.  

For face masks and denser creams, check out the skincare spatula that we featured in our Get Handy with These Must-Have Skincare Gadgets blog post.  

4. Take caution when sharing eye products

eye makeup

Once again with the germs!  Sharing is the number one way to spread those icky little bugs.  I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of giant eye styes and infections.  Trust me, they aren't pretty. Even though it may be hard when your BFF asks if she can borrow your mascara, resist the urge to say yes. 

If you think it’s going to break their heart, keep some of these cute disposable mascara wands in your purse!  Although you are still sharing the product, the bacteria on the wand isn't being shared.  Sounds like a better plan than pink eye, doesn't it?

5. Give it a good deep clean

cosmetic products

I don't know about you, but especially after I travel or have a big event, my makeup bag looks ridiculous.  The same goes for my makeup drawer after a few months (it gets gross!).  Every now and then it’s a good idea to dump out all of your makeup and wipe it down.  This will also give you an inventory of what you have and what you need to throw out.  

Start by pouring some rubbing alcohol into a travel size bottle.  Spray and wipe down all of your lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, powder, etc. containers.  This is also safe to spray directly onto your powders and lipsticks to kill bacteria living on the product.  Don't forget to spray your eyelash curler, eyelash scissors, tweezers, and anything else that you might not use on a day-to-day basis.  Lastly, wipe off all the loose powder and whatever else lives in your makeup bag by flipping the bag inside out. When putting it all back in, ditch what's expired and keep your favorite products. Happy cleaning!