Too many of us are guilty of keeping makeup products for far longer than we should—maybe cleaning them once, if that, the entire time we own them. When we avoid taking care of products we put on our bodies every day, we can suffer the consequences without even realizing it. Using uncleaned, old makeup can lead to breakouts and expose our skin to harmful bacteria.
Before your cleaning spree, you should get rid of a few things right now
All beauty products have expiration dates, whether we’ve chosen to ignore them or not. Mascara and eyeliner should last anywhere between three to six months. Foundations, concealers, and cream blushes are good for six months to one year. You can hang onto powder-based blushes, bronzers, highlighters, eyeshadows, lipstick, lip gloss, and lip pencils for two to three years. Throw out lip balm or chapstick after one year (I know—we were shocked, too). Make sure you examine all your products to determine when they’re ready for the garbage can. For example, if you’ve had your mascara for three months but it looks or smells like it needs to be thrown away, trust your judgment and don’t push it to the six-month limit.
Cleaning your makeup bag
Wipe down the makeup bag itself with a makeup removing wipe. You don’t want to clean all of your products and brushes just to dirty them as soon as they go back into your bag again.
Disinfecting your makeup brushes
Wet the bristles of the brush (carefully avoiding the bristles bases) with warm water. Then, add a drop of cleanser, like a dish soap or shampoo, into the palm of your hand. Swirl the bristles around your hand and rise the brush completely. Blot the brushes dry with a towel and rearrange the bristles back into their original form. Lay them out to air dry.
Cleaning liquid foundation
If you dip your fingertip into your foundation before applying it to your face, pour out a tiny bit of foundation. This helps keep the foundation clean since you’re constantly touching that area with fingers that have bacteria on them. You can also clean the cap of the bottle with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. If you want to use this type of foundation more hygienically, start to apply your foundation by dipping a Q-tip into the bottle to scoop out the product before putting it onto your face.
Cleaning powder-based makeup
For eyeshadow, blush, and powder foundation, put rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and lightly spray it directly onto the powder makeup. Allow each product to air dry.
Cleaning lip products.
If you want to clean your lipstick or lip balm, twist the tube so that the product comes out of the top of the tube a little higher than it normally would. Then, scrape off the top layer of product. Dip the fresh top layer into a small container of alcohol and hold it there for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can leave lip products in the freezer overnight to eliminate viruses and bacteria.
Cleaning your mascara and eyeliner
Wipe these brushes clean with a paper towel to remove residue, and then let them sit in hot water for a few minutes. Then, place the brushes in rubbing alcohol to remove the bacteria that builds up when you use products in your eye area. When you’re finished cleaning, you can pat the brushes dry with a paper towel.
It can be tempting to neglect your makeup bag and rarely (or never) clean everything in it. But once you think about all that bacteria that builds up on your makeup products, there’s nothing more satisfying than cleaning everything and knowing you’re making healthy choices for your body.