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Brush and Makeup Hygiene

It is more important now than ever to practice proper hygiene in order to kill germs and bacteria. While makeup is often glamorous there is a crucial, not-so-fun side to it as well. Hygiene. Hygiene includes washing your makeup brushes and sponges, throwing out old making, and just general care of your tools.

You may often experience breakouts and wonder why that is. You take your makeup off before bed, drink water and wash your face twice daily. It could be because you haven't washed your makeup brushes in two years. A lot of people are guilty of this and simply don't know the importance of clean brushes and tools. The bristles on the brushes trap makeup product, oil, dead skin cells and dust in them over time, even from one use, and so should be cleaned regularly, at least once a month but more if you have the time. It really depends on how often you use your brushes and how you store them (letting them gather dust on your vanity isn't doing your skin any good either). Your makeup sponges absorb lots of product, oil and gunk too, so make sure to clean them properly and replace them every few months.

To wash your makeup brushes you'll need:

  • Dish washing soap, regular soap or shampoo (up to you - dish soap is great because it thoroughly cleans and kills germs).

  • A cup or mug

  • A brush cleaning mat (not essential but does make it a whole lot easier)

  • A towel (preferably dark and old)

Begin by pouring about 2 tablespoons of dish soap into a cup or mug. If you're using soap or shampoo, you can simply squeeze some into your hands and work it into the brushes. Turn on warm water in a sink and wet your brush, making sure to hold the brush facing downwards so that water doesn't get inside the ferule (metal part on the handle which holds the bristles in place). Then squeeze some soap or conditioner onto the brush mat or into your hand and gently work the soap into the brush. Rinse the brush facing downwards and make sure to get all of the soap out. Gently squeeze the excess water out and lay flat on a towel to dry. Finish off with the rest and you're good to go. You can quickly sanitise your brushes using rubbing alcohol and cleaning them on a towel, but this is a quick fix. When it comes to beauty blenders, clean them the same way or throw them in the washing machine inside a pillowcase.

Hygienic makeup products are just as important as makeup tools. If, for example, you're experiencing a breakout, don't apply your concealer wand directly onto the pimple, and then spread it over the rest of your face or put it back in the bottle. This is simply spreading acne-causing bacteria and won't help your skin situation. Make sure to wipe down the nozzles of your bottles with rubbing alcohol to kill any germs every few months, and avoid touching product onto your face directly in general.

You should also wipe down your makeup bags or storage every few months to reduce dust build-up. Every few months, scrape the top of your lipstick off with a makeup spatula, and sharpen your pencils before each use. Wipe down your powders and eyeshadow palettes with a makeup wipe or alcohol wipe. Instead of applying lip gloss directly out of the tube, decant some onto your hand and then apply it, especially if it isn't yours or if you're a makeup artist. The same goes for other products that are in containers or bottles: DON'T DOUBLE DIP!

Try to use tools and brushes where possible as you don't want to spread oil from your fingers onto your face. Make sure to always wash your hands before applying makeup and make sure your face is cleansed and moisturised.

Do you know how long you should have makeup products for before throwing them out? Because yes, makeup can expire, and i'm sure many of you will recall a lipstick that's 5 years old sitting in your makeup bag that you still use. Yup, it's time to throw that out. So let's see how long certain makeup products last before they should be thrown away.

Mascara should be replaced every 2 - 3 months! the pumping action you use when opening and closing it forces air inside the tube, which can cause it to dry out as well. Liquid eyeliner, liquid foundation, face wash, serums and concealer should all be replaced roughly every 6 months. Lip gloss, cream eyeshadow and eyebrow gel should be replaced every 1 to 1 and a half years, whereas lipsticks, lip and eye pencils, powder eyeshadow, blush and other powder products can last up to 2 years before they should be thrown out.

So go do a clean out of your makeup bag and vanity and throw out items according to their expiry date. You should be able to find the expiry term on the packaging as well. Makeup needs to be replaced and using old, cracked, dried out products is not going to be good for your skin, or your makeup look in general. Make sure to keep things clean, practice good hygiene and clean your products and makeup brushes regularly.

Check out this quick video tutorial on how to clean your makeup brushes and sponges!

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