7 ways to keep makeup germ-free

Keep our makeup clean and bacteria-free from those pesky, sneaky little germs.

Life&Style April 09, 2015
Don't let those pesky bacteria ruin your skin! PHOTO: HDWallpaper

We all know the drill when it comes to makeup; wash your brush once a week and toss out your expired products. However, regardless of our efforts to keep our makeup clean and bacteria-free those pesky, sneaky little germs still manage to find a way to infect our beauty products.

Women’s Health Magazine, Glo and Oprah show 7 ways to keep makeup bacteria-free so your skin can stay pimple and infection free. Here’s how:

1. Tubes over jars

PHOTO: Weddingbell

If you’re using beauty products which come in jars, you’re doing your skin more harm than good. Jars have a wide open surface and when you put your fingers in, you’re giving the bacteria in your hands free access into the jar. It’s always safer to use a tube because you only squeeze out the little that you need, the rest stays germ-free. Nonetheless, you should always wash your hands when using makeup, and clean the tip of the tube periodically to kill the bacteria build up.


2. Sharpen pencil

PHOTO: Yummymummybeauty

Every time you use your pencil, you’re putting bacteria on it. What do we recommend? Sharpen your pencil with every use to shave off the bacteria laden bit, "Shaving the top layer off will remove infection-causing bacteria—plus, it's much easier to apply," says celebrity makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. You could also use a disinfectant wipe between every use.


3. On-The-Go Bag

PHOTO: Liagriffith

Although it’s hassle-free and convenient, keeping your makeup bag in the glove compartment of your car only makes things worse for your skin and products. Your sacred products are not only burning in the car but the heat causes the preservatives inside the cosmetics to degenerate, so your anti-aging cream will definitely be doing wonders for your skin but for all the wrong reasons.


4. Sharing is NOT caring

PHOTO: Beautylish

Sleeping over at a friend’s and using her makeup when heading out is not a good decision. While you may be two peas in a pod, your makeup is not share-friendly. Might we bring to your attention the most recent case of a mother who used her friend’s makeup brush and ended up on a wheelchair? It’s true, a woman in Australia became infected with life-threatening meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that left her in a wheelchair after she used a friend’s make-up brush to cover a blemish.

Eye makeup is the most susceptible to bacteria, so keep your mascara, eye pencils, etc out of your friends’ reach.


5. Makeup (read: bacteria) bag

PHOTO: Sayyes

Taking the necessary precautions to keep your makeup clean does not always warrant germ-free makeup bag. Clean your pouch thoroughly once a month so that there’s no bacteria in the pouch. It’s also not a great idea to take your bag into the bathroom and rest it atop counters. "Women often carry their makeup bags with them and set it, and other beauty products, down on top of counters in public spaces and restrooms where they pick up bacteria," says Dr Tierno. Place a paper towel before keeping your bag. And don’t even make the mistake of leaving your beauty products lying in the open in the bathroom after use.


6. Lipstick Magnet

PHOTO: Essiebutton

When putting on lipstick, make sure that you wipe the tip clean before use, according to Oprah, "Germs can live on the tip of your lipstick and you're more vulnerable to other bugs if your immune system is already compromised.” Cleaning/ disinfecting the tip with a wipe will ensure that your lipstick is not carrying your flu germs, but even otherwise your mouth carries bacteria and the safest way to avoid any skin problems is to keep your lipsticks clean.


7. Caked Lash curler

PHOTO: Paperblog

The extra oomph to your lashes may cost you. Your eyelash curler keeps clumpin’ with more and more mascara which helps the bacteria grow and find a safe haven. Glo says, "Un-cleaned, the device can harbour organisms that may get into your eyes and cause irritation and infection.” Disinfect it after use and keep it clean, after all, if you won’t eat from a used kitchen utensil, why would you use an eyelash curler with old mascara clumped on it.

It's a good rule of thumb to wash all your products and throw away makeup which has been in your pouch for decades, yes, we all have that one product which lasts a lifetime no matter how frequently you use it, but do yourself a favor and throw it away.

One last thing, did you know that your body absorbs 2.3 kg of cosmetics every year? Shocking, right? So try to ditch the makeup once in a while and let your skin breathe. And be extra cautious with these chemicals, because it's your face you're dealing with.


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