Are you a beauty enthusiast and someone who likes to experiment with makeup? Perhaps you are the type who is first in line at the MAC Cosmetics or Bobbi Brown counters to pick-up the latest limited edition products. Like many women you may have a drawer full of cosmetics that you rarely use. Having spent hundreds of dollars on these top quality cosmetics, you are probably hesitant to throw anything away. But learn what may be lurking in your cosmetics and you may think twice about holding on to your old makeup.
Makeup is a virtual feeding ground for bacteria. If a test swab was taken from your cosmetics and sent to the laboratory for analysis, most results would show varying forms of bacteria breeding in your lipstick, eyeshadow, blush and concealer. These strains of bacterium are the same ones that can cause pink-eye, strep throat and other infections. And, can also make you break-out or develop a rash. So how do you stay safe?
Avoid using your fingers for applying your makeup. Your fingers can transmit germs to your cosmetics. Use either disposable applicators or makeup brushes that you clean on a regular basis.Sharpen your eyeliner and lip liners before using them. This will remove the old dirty section and will give you a fresh application with only new,clean makeup touching your skin. You can also do this with your lipstick, blushes and pressed powders by wiping off the top layer with a tissue.Clean your professional makeup brushes. Although using a makeup brush is one way to help protect your cosmetics, they are only hygienic if they are being cleaned on a regular basis. It is good to do a spot cleaning after each use with a spray brush cleaner that will disinfect your brushes. And, a deep cleansing every week or two.Avoid store testers. Although you may enjoy going to your local Sephora store and testing cosmetics before you make a purchase, think about the number of people using those testers daily and how infrequently people abide by the rules of using the disposable applicators provided. Stand and watch people the next time you’re in the store and you’ll notice how many times people put their finger tips in the makeup. Can’t resist from testing? Then wipe away the top layer of the makeup so that you are applying a fresh, unused sample.Keep the lids on all products and make sure that the covers are tightly closed so that dust can not get into it. If you’ve lost the cover then you should discard the item.Discard your old makeup. All makeup has a shelf life. Mascara should be discarded after 3 months. Cream products like blush, eyeshadow and concealer are good for 12-18 months. Your lipsticks, eyeliners, powder and powder products are all OK for up to two years.
In addition to following the steps above, we should all demand proper hygiene from our local cosmetics counter as well. Just as doctors and nurses sanitize their hands both before and after seeing a patient, perhaps we should encourage the same at the cosmetics counter; by requiring spot cleaning of cosmetics and brushes both before and after using them on a client.
So follow the steps above to help stay safe when using your makeup and abide by the old saying, “when in doubt throw it out”. If you have an item that has been in your cosmetic bag forever, it is probably a good idea to throw it out. It is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with makeup that may have become contaminated.