• Alyssa Williamson

Clean Your Makeup Brushes: Safe and Healthy Makeup Tips

Makeup can carry bacteria the same way any other surface can, so regular cleanings are important for preventing the spread of germs.

Below are a few of the ways you can keep your makeup sanitized and germ-free. 

1. Wash your hands before doing your makeup.

This seems like a no-brainer, but washing your hands before doing your makeup can dramatically reduce the spread of germs. If you’re prone to acne, this simple step could help decrease the breakouts on your skin. If you don’t have access to a sink, use a hand sanitizer. 

2. Deep clean your makeup brushes with soap and water.

Common wisdom says you should be washing your makeup brushes every 2-3 weeks, or more often if you’re prone to breakouts. You don’t need to use fancy brush soap—good, old-fashioned soap (or shampoo) and water are just as effective. Lather the bristles, rinse, and repeat until the water runs clear and there’s no more soap in the bristles. Lay flat to dry overnight. 

Mary Kay's Brush Cleaner is an effective way to keep your brushes clean between washes. Use daily by spritzing on brushing and wiping them clean on a paper towel.

3. Sanitize makeup packaging and powders with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

If you’ve never properly cleaned your makeup before, your makeup bag likely has more germs than a bowl of candy during Halloween. To disinfect, decant 70% isopropyl alcohol into a reusable spray bottle. The percentage is important because anything in a higher percentage evaporates too quickly to properly disinfect. Open your powder products, like powder foundations, blushes, bronzers, and eyeshadows, and spray until the entire pan is evenly saturated. Leave products open until the alcohol evaporates, and then spray the outside packaging to disinfect. You can also do the same thing with any of your wooden pencils, like eyeliners and lipliners, and tools like eyelash curlers and brush handles. Don’t worry, the 70% isopropyl alcohol doesn’t disrupt or change the formula of any of your products. Once the alcohol evaporates (it shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes), your products are sanitized and ready to use. 

4. Avoid double-dipping into creams and liquid products.

Avoid applying products directly from their packaging to your face. When you do, you’re putting the germs from your face onto the product, and then repeating that over and over again with new germs. Instead, swipe the amount of product you think you’ll need on the back of your (clean) hand, and then apply it on your face with your fingers or a brush. This goes for concealer wands, cream blushes, bronzers, and eyeshadows. Creams can’t be sanitized the way that powder products can, as stated above, so the best way to ward off against the spread of bacteria is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

5. Toss the sponges and powder puffs that come included with your face products.

Those sponges that come with face powder aren’t individually packaged like other sponges, so you can’t be sure they’re clean the first time you use them. They’re also loaded with bacteria after just one use, and putting it back into that small container is like creating a tropical oasis for bacteria to multiply. You’re better off touching up with a small brush, or sponge, and washing it every 2-3 weeks.

6. Be aware of expiration dates.

Did you know all makeup has an expiration date? It’s printed on the back of all makeup packaging in the form of a tiny, open jar, and inside the jar states how many months the product is good for. Mascara and liquid eyeliner should be tossed and replaced most often at every three months, liquid foundation, concealers every 6-12 months, cream blushes and lipsticks every 12-18 months, and powders every two years. Powders can last longer if you properly disinfect them regularly, using the advice outlined above. When all else fails, always trust your nose. If a product smells off, toss it. 

7. Wash (and replace) your makeup sponges regularly. 

Makeup artists never use the same sponge on multiple people because they’re the perfect vehicle for spreading bacteria. For personal use, sponges are a great tool to apply liquids, creams, and touch up with, but like your kitchen sponges, they need to be washed and replaced regularly.

How to use the Mary Kay Brush Cleaner:

Here's the link to the original article.

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