Whether you are a beauty junkie or just keeping it simple there is usually something we all either forget entirely or neglect for far longer then we should!
What might you say? Well it’s simple, cleaning our makeup and application tools (brushes, beauty blenders, lashes, etc.).
This simple task is extremely important! Not just for the longevity of our tools and makeup but also for our skin! So much bacteria can grow on our tools and our makeup itself and if left unkept and well it’s just nasty. Studies have found Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E-coli, viruses, and bugs…yuck and dangerous! Bacteria, Viruses and Bugs are just one factor to consider even, dirty application tools can also lead to poor application of makeup, promote acne, and wrinkles just to name a few extras if the bacteria and bugs didn’t convince you.
So how do we deal with this quickly and easily? Well it’s pretty simple actually, clean everything and regularly! For brushes and other application tools, such as beauty blenders, eyelash curlers, etc., all you need to do is wash them. You can use a gentle soap or a brush specific cleaner, some warm water and lather away until the water runs clear, then reshape and lay flat or hang to dry.
Some tools I like to use to make the task easier are a scrub mat and a brush drying rack. I have been using Quo brushes for as long as I can remember and I also use Quo brush cleaner as I find it does a great job while keeping my brushes supple and not dried out. The Quo cleaner is always available and inexpensive at $12 at Shopper’s Drug Mart.
The brush scrub mat is an alternative to using the palm of your hand and it provides a variety of textures to maximize the cleaning based on what brush you are cleaning, equaling a faster clean. These are also inexpensive, anywhere from $5 and up depending on the size mat you get and where you are getting it from.
I recently got a drying rack (it was in my stocking this Christmas) which allows you to hang your brushes upside down, why does that matter you might ask, well it matters because you don’t want water to get into the base of the bristles where they connect to the handle. Water infiltration here will weaken the bond between the handle and the bristles and will also cause the bristles to come apart and that will shorten the lifespan of your brushes. These drying racks are inexpensive, starting around $10 and up and they are available in different sizes, so if you have a lot of different brushes you may need more slots. They quickly click together and apart for easy storage after use so no need for a ton of space. I place mine on a towel and let my brushes dry for 24 hours to ensure they are fully dry.
How often are we supposed to wash our tools? Well we are supposed to do it every week. You might be thinking, I don’t have time for that! So I think there are some things to consider for how often to clean. First of all, how often do you wear makeup, if you are a infrequent user you might want to do every other week instead of every week, but the longer you go between cleaning the longer the bacteria has to grow and develop. Also the more often you clean your tools the faster it is every time because there is less built up in the brush or on the tool to clean off. If you really can’t manage every week you should at minimum spray your tools with alcohol between washes to help kill off growing bacteria. Just grab a little spray bottle, new or reuse your setting spray bottle when it is empty (just be sure to clean it well beforehand) and fill it with rubbing alcohol and you are ready to go.
Having a little spray bottle of straight alcohol is a super handy tool and not just for your application tools between washes….So we have cleaned all of our tools and think we are done and ready for another week, right? Wrong! You can’t forget about your makeup itself. If you are using clean tools but never cleaning your makeup you are just reintroducing the bacteria to the tools immediately. This is very easily solved however, the answer is that little spray bottle of alcohol. Open each palette, lipstick, mascara, and liner, everything and spray it with the alcohol and let it dry. This task only takes a few minutes and it will keep your makeup from growing that dangerous and gross bacteria and that will also lengthen the life of your makeup.
These simple actions will increase the life of your tools and makeup and protect your skin. Don’t take for granted how harmful dirty tools and makeup can be!
So next time you have 10 minutes, perhaps on self care Sunday, clean up and enjoy all of the benefits it will bring!