The bathroom counter or vanity is every beauty maven’s heaven. To make magic happen, you turn to various tools, like brushes, face rollers, tweezers, and so much more. While it’s super-fun to use these goodies, how often do you clean them? Likely, not enough. However, it’s an essential part of care — not only for the products themselves but for your own health, too.
As Natasha Moor, an international makeup artist and the founder and chief empowerment officer of Natasha Moor Cosmetics, explains, care and maintenance will preserve the life of your goods and prevent breakouts of spreading bacteria. She explains why:
- Improve functionality: Clean brushes, sponges and tools work more effectively and efficiently.
- Prevent cross-contamination: When you use the same brush or sponge with multiple products, you can spread germs and bacteria quickly between the products and yourskin.
- Prevent the blending of colors: If you’re using a brush for several different product colors, you run the risk of spreading color in unwanted places.
- Prolong the life of the brushes and tools: When they’re washed and dried properly, they will last longer.
Keep reading for Moor’s guide on how to give your beauty products the thorough TLC they need and you deserve.
When: Every 2-3 days
Why: “With regular use, your brushes pick up dirt and oils from your skin. Plus, if you leave them sitting out on your bathroom vanity or loose in your handbag, they can pick up dirt and bacteria. That can lead to breakouts and irritate sensitive skin,” she says.
How: Moor suggests washing makeup brushes with warm water and baby shampoo since it leaves the least residue. Clean them manually in a little bowl or on the back of your hand. “Rub them gently with the warm water and baby shampoo and then rinse, avoiding the ferrule,” she adds.
How to know it’s time to replace them: If they begin fraying and falling apart, especially when the ferrule (the metal or plastic part that holds the bristles) starts to weaken. Or when the bristles harden, become discolored, misshapen or lose flexibility.
How often you should replace them: Moor says this really depends on the quality of the brush. “Makeup brushes run the gamut from almost disposable to those designed to last many years. If you’re really into makeup and wear it daily, investing in a high-quality set of makeup brushes will save you money over the long run,” she says.
When: Every day
Why: “Daily cleaning also allows it to work as effectively as possible and last as long as possible. With regular use, your sponges pick up dirt and oils from your skin,” she explains.
How: Be gentle and run your makeup sponge under warm water and a dab of your go-to facial cleanser. After cleansing, Moor says to squeeze it gently in a clean towel to remove most water. Then, it’s ready to use as soon as you need it!
How to know it’s time to replace them: When it’s time, Moor says you’ll notice that it’s not picking up or distributing product on your skin as smooth as you’d like. And if you see your sponge is starting to discolor, it’s time to switch it out immediately.
How often you should replace them: While it depends on the sponge, Moor says most will last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
When: Every day
Why: Like any other product, running a smooth tool — like a Gua Sha or a face roller — over your face picks up any bacteria. If you use it again without cleaning it, you’re putting that gunk back in your pores.
How: Moor says first to remove any debris off the tools. Next, soak in alcohol overnight. Remove and rinse, then dry thoroughly to prevent rust. However, because there are so many kinds of devices, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions just to be safe and keep your tools in the best condition possible, she warns.
How to know it’s time to replace them: If you see any signs of rust or the tool is flaking, scratchy, or otherwise uncomfortable, it’s time to find another one.
How often you should replace them: Most high-quality tools will last 1-2 years.
How often: Every day
Why: It’s essential to clean your tweezers after every use to avoid cross-contamination between your skin, hands, and products. It’s also important not to transfer dirt, oil and bacteria back and forth. Cleaning every time you use them also helps extend their life.
How: Remove any skin or hair from the tweezers. Rinse in hot water. Spray with or soak in alcohol overnight. Rinse. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
How to know it’s time to replace them: Moor says when they start getting loose or dull, it’s time to replace your tweezers.
How often you should replace them: Most professional tweezers have a lifetime warranty and can be returned to the manufacturer for sharpening. Generally speaking, though, they will last for several years.
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