How Clean is Your Makeup Brush?

This article, entitled How Clean Is Your Makeup Brush….Or Your Makeup? comes from partner site

I recently started getting little bumps and break-outs on my face and at first I thought it was from all the “experimenting” I was doing with all the different natural oils and foods I had been putting on my face but even after I stopped, I was still having problems. If I went a couple of days makeup free, my face was fine. But after applying makeup, my face would look irritated again.

After doing some research and talking to a dermatologist, I discovered the irritation was probably coming from my makeup brushes. When I tried to remember the last time I had cleaned any of my brushes, I realized I couldn’t remember…which means it was probably a long time ago. And the more I thought about it, I also started thinking about how my makeup hadn’t been looking so great after applying it.

So I pulled out all my brushes and gave them a good look and was pretty much disgusted of how clumpy and dirty they looked! GROSS! And I had been putting all my makeup on with these…I might as well have not even bothered washing my face before applying makeup. Makeup brushes can harbor lots of dirt, bacteria, old makeup, dead skin cells, dust and oils. A regular cleaning of your brushes not only keeps them clean and healthy, but also your face. It can help your makeup brushes last longer too. You can buy makeup brush cleaners but they can be expensive, especially if you’re cleaning your brushes as often as you should.

Here’s an easy and inexpensive way to keep those brushes clean…you should wash your brushes every two to four weeks.

Basic Makeup Brush Cleaning

  • Run the bristles of the makeup brush under warm running water.
  • Apply a small amount of shampoo to bristles and work into a light lather. (You can use a foaming face wash like Dove, a mild antibacterial soap or what I like best, baby shampoo.)
  • Rinse bristles thoroughly under warm running water. (You’ll see the colored water from all the makeup coming off.)
  • Continue rinsing until the water is clear.
  • Lay flat on a towel with the head of the brush hanging over the sink and allow to air dry.

Tammy’s Tip ‘O the Day!
Don’t soak or dampen the whole brush. The water can loosen the glue holding the bristles in place.

Eventually, it all goes bad…

And while we’re getting our makeup brushes clean…how about checking out the makeup you’re applying to your face. I knew that mascara didn’t last that long and I replace mine on a regular basis but I decided to investigate just how long of a shelf life the rest of my cosmetics had. I went to multiple sites, including the FDA, and there were lots of varying numbers so I’ll give you a range of the recommended time frames I found.

These are all estimates. If you see a color change to your makeup or if it smells rancid, toss it out!

  • Blush and bronzer (powder) – up to 4 years
  • Concealer – up to 1 year
  • Cream and gel cleaners- up to 1 year
  • Eyeshadow – up to 3 years
  • Eye liner pencils – up to 3 years
  • Eyeliner (liquid) – 6 to 9 months
  • Eye creams – 6 to 12 months
  • Face powder – up to 1 to 3 years
  • Face creams – 6 to 12 months
  • Foundation (water based) – 6 to 12 months
  • Foundation (oil based) – 8 to 18 months
  • Lip pencils – 2 to 3 years
  • Lipsticks – 1 to 2 years
  • Mascara - 3 to 4 months *The FDA says NEVER add water, or worse, spit to your mascara when it dries out.

The way you store and handle your makeup contributes to how short or long of a shelf life it has. Don’t share or store in the sun and make sure your face and fingers are clean when applying makeup (including makeup sponges and brushes.)

And if you’re like me and find it hard to remember what you did yesterday, much less when you bought that tube of mascara or your foundation, you can write the month and year you purchase a product in permanent marker on the container and you’ll always know.

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