Keeping your brushes clean and new can prevent bacteria growth. When most people are putting on their makeup in the morning, they’re probably not thinking about when was the last time they washed their makeup utensils.
But keeping those tools clean can go a long way when it comes to preventing harmful bacteria from getting on the face.
Keeping them clean
Melissa Piliang, M.D., a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, said that how often you clean your brushes depends on what you’re using them for.
“Brushes that are used for wet or liquid products, things like concealer and makeup; those you want to wash a little more often, like maybe once a week,” said Dr. Piliang. “That will clean the product off and let the brush do its function better.”
Products that are used around the eyes should be washed every two weeks, even if it’s used with a dry product, like eye shadow, because the eyes are more prone to infection.
Any other brushes used for dry products, like powders, can be washed once a month.
Sometimes, it’s best just to toss the old brushes and replace them with new ones.
“When the tips look frayed or worn, or when the brush has lost its shape, those are signs that the brush is not going to function as well as it should and if you want your makeup to look the best, you want to use the best tools,” said Dr. Piliang.
Dr. Piliang recommends using a mild soap to wash makeup brushes – like dish soap or even shampoo. Clean them gently with the soap in warm water and let them sit on a towel to dry for a day or overnight.
Risk for infection
According to Dr. Piliang, special attention needs to be paid to applicators that are used for liquid makeup, as the moisture from the makeup can potentially lead to bacteria and yeast overgrowth.
“Most of our makeup products come with preservatives in them, that keep that from happening, but if you let it build up over time and it sits there for months and months, you could develop a bacterial infection if you’ve had a cut in your skin,” said Dr. Piliang.
Dr. Piliang said it’s time to call the doctor if you experience a very red eye, eye drainage or any eye pain after applying makeup.