You may not realize it but your cosmetics can easily become contaminated with a variety of yukky stuff, from oil and dirt, to bacteria and fungal spores! In the process it can become potentially harmful for your skin, causing an uneven complexion and breakouts. Here are 10 tips to keep your make-up fresh and germ-free.
- Wash your hands. Before touching your make-up try to wash your hands or use a little hand sanitizer – this can reduce the transfer of bacteria into your makeup by as much as 99%.
- Keep your brushes clean. Try to keep your make-up brushes clean by washing them once a week. Follow these guidelines. You don’t need any elaborate cleansing solutions either – you can use baby shampoo and place the brush just off the edge of your bathroom shelf. This way the brush dries completely.
- Sharing makeup. Yes, we know it’s fun but sharing lipsticks or mascaras is unfortunately an ideal way to spread infections, like conjunctivitis and cold sores etc. Do try to keep the sharing to a minimum if you can!
- Expired products – Most make-up products have an expiry date. Keeping make-up for months – or even years – isn’t the best idea. Aside from contamination concerns, product performance will be degraded over time so foundations look more cakey and mascaras look more clumpy. Be sure to replace your collection regularly. Here are some recommendations:
- Mascara: 2-3 months
- Foundation: 6-12 months
- Concealer: 1 year (liquid) or 2 years (stick)
- Powder: 1 year
- Eye shadow and eyeliner: 2-3 months
- Lipstick and lip gloss: 1 year
5. Make-up storage – Humidity – which is often higher in bathrooms – can be a problem for make-up. Warmth and humidity can ‘assist’ microbial growth. Also, makeup should be kept away from extreme heat – never glove compartment of your car for example! Light can cause pigments to fade, so find some space inside a cool, dark cupboard to keep your precious make-up in tip top condition.
6. Sharpen your pencils. Keep sharpening as regular sharpening can shave away contaminated surfaces on your pencils.
7. Don’t allow your wet brushes to stay damp. If you like to wet your brushes and pencils with water to intensify the effect of your eyeshadow for example, make sure the brush is stored so that the bristles can dry quickly afterwards. This will help to prevent fungal and bacterial growth.
8. Always use makeup for its intended purpose. Using lip liner as eyeliner can spread dangerous bacteria from your mouth to your eyes or introduce ingredients to your eyes that could cause irritation.
9. Pay attention to skin irritations or infections. Throw out old cosmetics and stop wearing makeup if you experience any irritation like a cold sore or eye infection. It’s best to play it safe and discard any products you’ve used within two weeks of spotting the infection.
10. Be smart about testers. If you do want to try the latest shades in the store, be sure to use single-use testers or clean cotton swabs. If the consultant doesn’t seem to care about hygeine, walk away and find someone who does!
If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear about them.