You've Been Cleaning Your Makeup Sponges Wrong Your Entire Life

There are so many different ways to clean your makeup applicators, it's hard to know what's the right way and what's wrong. As celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau told Women's Health, "A Beautyblender [a brand of makeup sponge] holds on to bacteria, so when you use it in the morning, you're spreading germs and oil all over the face." She continued, "You're creating an environment in the skin where, potentially, breakouts could be exacerbated and the skin is not in optimum skin health." 

In other words, it's crucial that you clean your sponges correctly. And it's even more crucial that you do it ASAP. But if you think water alone is going to get rid of the buildup of foundation, concealer, highlighter, and whatever other beauty product you use that may be hiding inside your sponge, you've probably been cleaning your makeup sponges wrong your entire life. Read on to discover the correct way to clean your makeup sponges.

There are four proven methods for cleaning makeup sponges

According to Cosmopolitan, there are four different ways to clean your makeup sponges. The first method involves water, soap, and a cleansing pad, which works to provide a certain amount of friction when you scrub. The key here is to keep cleaning until the water runs clear while being extra careful not to damage the sponge by rubbing too hard. The second method simply involves soap. Whether you opt for a liquid cleanser or traditional bar of soap, Cosmopolitan warns that using a harsh soap can be damaging, so only clean your sponges this way once a month. 

For a slightly gentler method, meaning the chances that your sponge gets ruined are much lower, opt for the third method, which involves soaking your makeup sponges in a bowl of soapy water before you start scrubbing. Or, if you want to get your scientist on, Cosmopolitan recommends the fourth method, where you put the sponge in the soapy water then pop it in the microwave for a minute before wringing it out.