Should You Be Sanitizing Your Makeup?

We've all been there: Perusing the makeup aisle, entranced by the colors and sleek packaging. New cosmetics are fun to purchase, but it isn't long before they lose their shine. We try our best to keep our beauty products clean, but the fact is makeup tends to be moved around a lot! From purse switches, to travel, to the hasty bathroom clean up of beauty products on the countertop — swept into your makeup bag when expecting company. It's zero fun to think about bacteria while performing your dewy skin and perfect pout makeup ritual, but take a moment to consider what you are actually putting on your skin. You should be sanitizing your makeup!

In a perfect world, acne and skin breakouts would have stopped as soon as we kissed our hormonal teenage years goodbye. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Consider that our fingers are some of the best makeup tools we have. New York City makeup artist, Andrew Sotomayor, explains, "Oils, bacteria, and germs can transfer from your skin and hands to makeup, possibly leading to breakouts or infections. To prevent this, wash your hands and dry them on a clean towel before handling your makeup, especially before putting your fingers in a jar of moisturizer" (via Glamour).

Do not share your makeup

Most of us are also guilty of sharing makeup. Dr. Robb Akridge, co-founder of Clarisonic and skin expert, notes, "The best practice is to not share your makeup or brushes with anyone else" (via Byrdie). It can be oh-so tempting to borrow your bestie's lip balm or sample her new blush to see if it looks just as good on you. But hold up, and think about those germs first. 

Meanwhile, Akridge explains, "The process of sanitizing your makeup with alcohol might ruin it if you're not careful (like powder products and eyeshadows), so the main focus should be on the brushes, sponges, and applicators." So how often should we be cleaning our brushes? Since most makeup brushes are made with synthetic bristles or natural hairs, a cleaning once a week will suffice in preventing too much build-up of product. Akridge also warns us of when sanitizing isn't good enough saying, "Keep in mind that sanitizing makeup isn't a solution for replacing old products," he says, adding, "items shouldn't be used past their expiration date under any circumstances." 

After reading this, if you're just itching to drop what you're doing and go clean out your makeup bag, go ahead and succumb to that urge. Your beautiful skin will thank you.