Beauty Tool Hygiene

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How should you clean your beauty tools and how often? We have the answers

When was the last time you cleaned your beauty tools? If your makeup tools are dirty, they can cause more harm than good. The build-up of germs can cause skin problems such as acne. Think of it as using a dirty kitchen sponge without ever sanitizing it. A 2015 study, by Dr Paul Matewele of the London Metropolitan University, found bacteria, which causes neonatal meningitis and septicaemia, on old foundation brushes, lip gloss and lipstick (one more reason also not to use makeup products that have expired). You need to clean your brushes, sponges and everything else in your makeup bag regularly to prevent build-up of oil from your face, food particles from your lips and dirt from the environment. Here’s how.

Makeup Brushes

Wet the bristles in warm water (be careful not to fully submerge the brush barrel in water if you want the brushes to last longer), and squirt a drop of brush cleaner, gentle shampoo (such as baby shampoo), or liquid soap in the palm of your hand.  Gently swirl the brush on your palm and massage the bristles to work the soap in. Rinse the brush. You’re good to go once the water runs clear, and the soap suds are gone. Squeeze out excess water and shape the bristles. Lay them flat on the edge of a counter to dry. (Let them dry before using them again). Do this weekly. However, consider tossing the brush, if it starts shedding or if it is not getting the job done as effectively as it once did.

Makeup Sponges

As with brushes, you can use gentle shampoo or liquid soap. Lather the sponge with soap, and gently work it in. Keep squeezing as you rinse it under running water until it runs clear. Lay it on a paper towel to dry. Do this after every use. Unlike a brush, get rid of sponges after one or two months or sooner if they’re not working as effectively as before, or if they are getting harder to clean. Thankfully, they’re much cheaper than brushes.

Makeup Bag

Yes, this too needs cleaning. What is the point of having clean tools only to store them in a dirty bag? But, thankfully, cleaning it is easy and takes less than a minute. Simply empty it, and turn it inside out then wipe it with a cleansing wipe.

Eyelash Curler

We know what you’re thinking, because you use it before applying mascara you’re off the hook? Not so fast. Think about the particles from the environment, eye shadow and liner and, yes, dead skin.  Curlers also need cleaning, at least once a week. Wipe it with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. Rinse off the alcohol with water and dry it. (A makeup wipe is also effective.) Do change the rubber strip every other month.

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