Is Your Make Up Bag Bad Foryour Health?
Is Your Make Up Bag Bad Foryour Health?

Spotless tools will reward you with better results and healthier skin.

Be honest. How many of us can hand-on-heart say that we wash our make-up brushes regularly?

The good news is we’re not alone, with a recent survey revealing that one in four UK women have never cleaned their brushes.

Guidance surrounding this year’s Covid-19 pandemic has meant increased vigilance around hygiene with a recommended increase in handwashing, and a decrease in face touching.

And with that in mind, there’s never been a better time to commit to a new toolcleansing regime.

Why Is Washing Our Brushes So Important?

If you’re squeamish, look away now. According to Dr Jonquille Chantrey, cosmetic surgeon and founder of ONE Aesthetic Studio, ‘most brushes have been found to harbour bacteria such as staphylococcus, E. coli and even mites.

It’s no surprise then, that grubby brushes can lead to unwanted skin complaints. Clogged pores, viral infections, rashes, redness and acne can all occur, says Dr Chantrey.

Worse-case scenario, by using dirty implements near an open wound, you can cause a widespread infection. Consider us told.

How Shouldi Clean My Tools?

Whether you’re using a liquid cleanser, a balm or even a drop of fairy liquid, the way you wash your tools remains the same.

Work the product in to your brushes or sponge to gently loosen pigments and rinse thoroughly in warm water, advises make-up artist Ruby Hammer MBE. Dry with a tissue or kitchen roll before leaving flat to air dry.

A deep clean once a week should be enough to keep germs at bay, but make-up artist Caroline Barnes also recommends a quick spritz of sanitiser between washes.

They dry quickly and kill most bacteria. Use after each application with wet products like foundation and gloss.

Are Some Products And Toolsdirtier Than Others?

The fastest route to an unhygienic beauty stash is to share it with others, so keep your products to yourself to reduce the spread of bacteria.

After that, it’s all about texture. ‘Wet’ make-up tends to cause more issues, as ‘moisture is a breeding place for bacteria and fungus,’ explains Caroline.

Mascara is one of the worst offenders,’ adds Ruby, ‘as air is pumped into the barrel with every use. Foundation brushes are problematic too, as they travel all over the face, and near the lips and eyes.

They’re in contact with skin oils, sebum, dead skin cells, as well as bacteria and environmental pollution that we can’t see.

What About The Outside Of My Products?

Applying make-up on the go and resting your bag on public surfaces, such as train seats and bathroom counters, will only increase your chances of picking up germs.

Keep nozzles on product bottles clean, make sure you wipe after use with a tissue, and seal the lids properly, advises Ruby.

As for your actual make-up bag, that needs to be cleaned regularly too. Tip the whole bag out and use anti-bacterial wipes to clean the outer packaging and the bag itself.

Check the texture or smell of everything and be ruthless: throw out products and brushes that look or smell bad.


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