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Cleanliness is Next to Goddessliness

Woman with melanated skintone applying makeup to her forehead with a makeup brush

Establishing a Good Hygiene Routine for your Makeup Tools

Who doesn’t love the glam of a flawless face beat? But no one talks about the ugly underbelly of makeup – washing your tools. [Cue horror movie sound effects]. Trust me, I have a laundry list of reasons why I can’t stand this process. Nonetheless we’re going to face it head on… pun intended.

How to Prevent Your Makeup Brushes from Giving You Acne

Maintaining good hygiene around your makeup routine is vital to clear skin and ensuring that the looks you create are flawless. Brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, so if you’re not washing your makeup tools regularly, you’re putting yourself at risk of acne breakouts; potential eye infections; and exposure to dangerous and infectious bacteria like Staph. Developing a consistent routine around washing your makeup tools is a crucial, if underrated, aspect of an acne skincare regimen. In fact, one of the first questions I ask people who request tips for acne prone skin is, “when was the last time you washed your makeup brushes?”. If your answer to this question is “more than 3 weeks ago”, your next stop should be the sink closest to your makeup tools. Get those suds going, boo!

Makeup tools should be washed at least every 3 weeks (if you suffer from regular breakouts, you might consider washing even more often), but the time commitment and the inconvenience of a still-wet brush when we need to get glammed, often overrides our better judgment. With all that working against us, here are a five tips to keep in mind to make this process a little less intimidating:

  1. Set an alarm! Pick a day when you know you will not need your makeup brushes. Set an alarm that will go off just after you get home for the day. Wash, rinse, and repeat in 3 weeks.
  2. Buy a spray cleanser. If you can’t wet wash your brushes every 2-3 weeks, purchase a good spray cleanser. Spray and wipe clean with a towel to remove build-up and bacteria. You will still need to wet wash your brushes at least once per month, but this will buy you some time.
  3. Time it around your next big event. Set a calendar reminder to give you a heads up that those bad boys need a proper wash before the big day! If you don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, your brushes may go longer than 2-3 weeks between washes due to sporadic usage. This easy tip will ensure you are always ready for your next makeup look.
  4. Be mindful where you store your brushes. Consider storing your brushes in a clean drawer or a plastic baggy that can be sealed. Replace the baggy after each washing session, and this will limit your brushes’ exposure to dust and air born bacteria, while giving you some breathing room between washes.
  5. Get a distraction going. Cue up your favorite podcast or playlist and get to washing! Much like a work commute, washing your brushes is an annoying but unavoidable fact of life. Make the process a little less dreadful by using entertaining distractions to help time go by faster!

Your skin will thank you for taking the steps necessary to establish a wash routine for your makeup tools. Don’t believe me? If you don’t currently wash your brushes regularly, track the impact to your overall skin health with before and after pictures. And remember… #BOB, “Bubbles over Bacteria”!

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