We have all heard the basic rules a million times – don’t share mascara with your friends, use your finger or an applicator when trying on lipstick at the beauty store, and don’t store your makeup or skincare products in warm places. But have we ever stopped to think about why these hygiene guidelines exist, and what might happen if we slip up on them a few times – or every day? As someone who has shrugged off every one of these rules at one time or another (haven’t we all?), especially when it came to keeping my makeup brushes clean, after doing a little research, I’ve learned that these things really matter when it comes to keeping your skin clean and your body free of nasty contagious diseases.
I checked in with Tata about these things, and she confirmed my suspicions. Using the same makeup brushes or applicators day in and day out without washing them regularly and swapping them for new ones every few months is a sure-fire way to keep your skin problems around for much longer than necessary.
Having a random breakout? Wash whatever brushes you are using on your skin at least after every 2 uses, if not every single time. When you use them over and over again, you are spreading the bacteria from your troubled skin all over your face. If you use a washcloth, keep it clean! Have a few on hand to swap out each day and then give them all a spin in the washer when you’ve run out of your clean stash. Wash your pillowcases – indeed, bacteria hangs out on them, as well.
Throw out your old makeup products – as they age, they become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. Eye infections, acne breakouts and even dermatitis and eczema can be caused or exacerbated when cosmetics that are past their prime (i.e., the power of their preservatives fade). Experts recommend not keeping them around past their expiration date, or if they don’t have one, 3 months is a good rule. Liquid products like liquid foundation, mascara and lip glosses are especially important to routinely replace. Powder products can last up to 2 years.
Avoid beauty-counter testers! Even putting a little on your finger and then spreading it on your lips, eyelids or cheeks is not guaranteed safe. Use an applicator, and try your hardest to find a little spot on the makeup that hasn’t been touched yet – if it’s lipstick, roll the tube all the way down and swipe from the clean side! Every freaky thing you can imagine has been found on these testers when they’ve been tested in labs – the cold virus, herpes simplex virus, e. coli, strep and pinkeye are commonly found. Unless you have the most powerful immune system in the world, it’s best to stay away – or use the back of your hand (and then wash it).
And of course it goes without saying- If you’re sick, don’t visit the beauty store to get a makeover. Use your own cosmetic products – especially lip balm and lipstick – as little as possible, to keep the germs from living there. If it’s pinkeye or some other easily transmittable issue, think back a few weeks – did you borrow somebody’s mascara, or try some liquid eyeliner at the makeup store?
Keeping your body healthy and strong is key for equally healthy, radiant skin. While these practices can be a pain, they are important and could save you a few trips to the doctor over your lifetime, and can help you beat back breakouts and other skin conditions that are exacerbated by the bacteria living in old brushes and makeup tubes. Your skin is your body’s largest organ – treat it with love and care!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.