As I get older, I find myself chasing this idea of being a more “put together” woman. Maybe it is an archaic mindset, but I want to be someone with impeccable style who washes her sheets weekly, changes her skincare routine with the seasons and is committed to a life of hygiene.
Disclaimer: In the midst of my chaotic life, I do not always get a chance to organize and clean as regularly as I would like to. There are a few things from the beauty bible that I abide by; replacing my mascara every three months to beat expiration and germ build-up, washing my Déjá pillowcase every Sunday and cleansing my face each night —regardless of how exhausted I am. However, there are plenty of items I overlook that harbor far too many germs, a conclusion I came to in the midst of my annual spring cleaning. After a few minutes of panicking and wondering what Marie Kondo would do in this situation, I bit the bullet and tossed everything that needed replacing.
Keep scrolling to see what common beauty products needed a cleanse — or germ-free solution.
The bathtub was the first spot I hit in my hygiene heist. The pop of color a loofah adds to your tub distracts you from the fact that according to the American Society for Microbiology, loofahs are a breeding ground for bacteria. I quickly tossed my loofah out and opted for a BPA-Free Silicone Body Scrubber — silicone is known for its antimicrobial properties. A silicone body brush dries quickly, lasts longer, wastes less body wash and frees up space in your shower! After each use, I clean it with hot water and silicone cleaning spray to remove any accumulated dirt.
A Face Towel a Day Keeps Acne at Bay
Now that the tub is taken care of, I move my way over to the sink. My dingy facial towels have been glaring at me for the past couple of months. Because washcloths reside in damp heated areas, they are a great place for bacteria and mold to playhouse. “The use of a clean facial towel is of the utmost importance when it comes to preventing acne breakouts,” says Shereene Idriss, M.D., a New York-based dermatologist. “Acne can be induced by various factors but bacteria is often the most common underlying source. Dirty towels are harboring grounds for such elements.” When that bacteria reaches your skin, you are at risk for irritation or infections. As someone who has acne-prone skin, I know that I need to be more diligent about replacing my towel after each use. And this baby soft pack makes it easier for me to stick to this goal. The more muslin washcloths, the better.
Brush up on Your Hygiene Knowledge
From the corner of my eye, I spot my makeup brushes and deeply sigh. While I wash them bi-weekly with cleansing soap, I know that they could always be cleaner. “Keeping your makeup brushes sanitary is key to clear skin. The more you clean your personal brushes the less chance you have of getting a breakout. As a professional makeup artist, I have to clean my brushes after every client to stay germ-free of bacteria,” says Ashley K. Holm, makeup artist to Ariana Grande, the Kardashians and Chanel Iman. As for cleaning spray? “Brush cleaner is a great way to sanitize brushes fast. I love Cinema Secrets brush cleaner because it instantly dries the brushes so you can use them right away. It also cleans, conditions and deodorizes brushes in one step,” she adds.
Soaking up the Sunshine (and Bacteria)
According to the Beautyblender website, this miracle egg has a shelf life of three months — I stare in shock at the one I have been using for … more than three months. During those precious three months, it is important to wash your Beautyblender with cleaning solution after each use. “Dirty Beautyblenders are doing your face no favors! By not cleaning your blender, you are consistently reintroducing unwanted bacteria on your face and risking a potential breakout,” says Idriss. And when traveling, I often fret over the number of germs in my makeup bag that will cling to my damp Beautyblender. This protective case is a game-changer as it allows for ventilation and protects up to two sponges from dirt and grime.
Ring Ring, Germs are Calling
A study found that a median of 17,032 different types of bacterial genes live on our cell phones. If that thought does not haunt you in the middle of the night, I cannot help you. You are too far gone. The oil, dirt and makeup residue on your smartphone can clog your pores and leaves your skin at risk for acne. To avoid potential breakouts, use an alcohol pad to wipe down your phone daily. These bad boys are now a permanent weapon in my fight against germs — and acne on one cheek.
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