March 02, 2014

Why you should clean your makeup

You often hear about the importance of having clean makeup brushes. But what about your makeup? Sure you know that you shouldn't share your makeup and that the shelf life of mascara is 3 months and powders are typically about 2 years, but lets face it, we spend our hard earned money on makeup and we're going to keep it until it's completely finished! (certain products I strongly advise against doing this).

We clean our brushes for two reasons: to clean old product/colors off and to get rid of the bacteria that they collect so that we don't smear that bacteria all over our face and eyes and lips. But clean brushes mean nothing if your makeup is dirty and harboring bacteria.

Just like our beloved tools, our makeup can be a breeding ground for some pretty nasty bacteria such as E. Coli, Staphylococcus Aureus (aka "staph") and Conjunctivitis (pink eye) and can cause all sorts of infections.

Beautiful and innocent looking, if not taken care of properly, these lovelies can be a breeding ground for some nasty infections and diseases.

Because we usually double dip our brushes from our makeup to our face and back to our makeup, our makeup becomes contaminated, raising the risk of a breakout, reaction or even worse, infection and disease. Even though you may not have an eye infection, the double dipping can put oil and bacteria onto your eye shadows and at a later time, cause an infection. Have you ever wondered what that hard spot on your pressed powders was? The only way to use that spot is to scrape the top layer off. Well, that's oil that got transferred from your face to your makeup brush and then onto your makeup.

These best friends are also each others enemy.
Think your lip products  are any better? Think again! Think about your lip routine. It's probably along the lines of: wake up, exfoliate lips, put some sort of lip balm, maybe apply some lipstick and/or lip gloss, reapply at least one of those products throughout the day and end the night with some lip balm. You might be thinking that it's not bad since you cleansed/exfoliated your lips first thing. But the issue is the next thing you applied to your lips.Is that the same balm that you used the night before and possibly throughout the previous day? During the day we eat, drink, kiss. Your lips have some sort of residue from meals, snacks, drinks and as you reapply your lipstick/gloss/balm, you're transferring that residue onto your product, contaminating it and then being re-deposited the next time you use it.

Lipsticks, lip pencils (twist up & sharpened) and balms (twist up or fully exposed), are the only lip products that can be fully saved.
Lip balms in a twist-up form or like the EOS and lipsticks are bad for this, but the easiest to sanitize. Meanwhile, glosses where you have a wand-applicator are the worst and impossible to sanitize. If the wand touches your lips (or hand or whatever else) and goes back into the tube without being immediately cleaned, the entire tube is contaminated and cannot be cleaned. Glosses that you have to squeeze the product out onto the slanted end are just as bad. Unless you use a brush (or different fingers) and never let any of the product get back in, you cannot clean this. You can clean the slanted side where the product comes out, but chances are very strong that something got in already. Anything that requires the use of your fingers to apply stands somewhere in the middle; you can use a different clean finger each time you have to dip back in and you might be able to scrape the top layer of the product off, but that can be a waste of product.

What Can You Do?

Now that you know and hopefully understand the dangers and risks, you're probably asking how you can clean your makeup. There are two methods that I know of.

1: Using rubbing alcohol

This is a very popular method. Using isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) that is 90% or higher, you can spray your pressed powders and let them sit for several seconds then you're good to go. With lipsticks, you extend your lipstick and dunk it in the alcohol for about 30 seconds, remove and let dry. I have heard that this can actually alter the pigment (colour) of the product. Extended exposure to alcohol raises the risk of drying the product (ever get the rubbing alcohol on your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently in one day? You need hand cream or they'll get really dry). While effective, this is not my favorite method.

2: Using the Beauty So Clean products

This is a Canadian company that seen the issues that everyone faced when sanitizing our makeup. The products contain alcohol to sanitize and disinfect, however it also contains other ingredients that ensure that it doesn't dry out our prized products. Spray the Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist, which is designed for powders and cream based products, let sit for 10 seconds and it's done. For lipsticks and lip balms, they have the Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes which are a one-time use wipe with the same formula as the mist that you gently rub/glide over your product, let sit  and done. And it will not alter the colour of your product. You can also use the wipe for pencil products, mascara wands and lip gloss wands (remember, the minute that wand has been double dipped, the entire product is contaminated. There is no saving it.)
Spray, let sit for 10 seconds, done.

Wipe top and just below, let sit for 10 seconds, done.

The company even has a Conditioning Brush Cleanser. While this does not take the place of a good brush wash & shampoo, this is good when you need to use the same brush but for different colours (not all of us have 10 brushes for the same job!)

Beauty So Clean can be purchased online at beautysoclean.com or where I bought mine, at the Toronto IMATS (check your local IMATS vendors to see if Beauty So Clean will be there)

Up to you which method you want to use, but I strongly encourage everyone to clean & disinfect their makeup on a regular basis. Keep a bottle of your preferred method with your makeup to remind you to do it each time you use it. Keep some of the wipes with you & in your purse for whenever you use your lip products. And whatever you do, don't try a store tester directly on your eyes, lips, face, etc, without first sanitizing it. Most stores can sanitize the item with alcohol before you test it. If not, either test it on your hands (then wash your hands) or walk away. 

**Giveaway is Closed**
I want to give one of my readers a few products to get you started with cleaning your makeup. Open to residents of Canada and US.
 Prize includes:
1 Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist (8ml)
8 Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Products have been purchased with my own money


  1. I don't currently clean my makeup, so this post was quite educational for me (:

  2. I don't currently clean my makeup either :/

  3. I do.. not everything but most..
    for lip products I usually use my fingers or a brush but i do dip it in alcohol once in a while..
    Brushes I clean with a brush cleanser
    eyeliners - no, lipbalms - no,
    mascaras - not anymore.. i used to use toss away wands but eh.. i just hav so many so i throw it away quite often :)

    would love to try the mist-er

  4. Not usually :s haha I guess I should be!

  5. I do spray it with alcohol every once and awhile, but not as often as I should!

  6. I use beauty so clean. I also use alcohol.

  7. A sephora makeup brush shampoo

  8. I have tried using an alcohol solution spray to clean my makeup but I get so lazy! I already have issues finding the time to clean my brushes as it is >.<
    xox, michelle | alovelyallure

  9. I don't. I've never actually thought to! I will be now though!

  10. I clean my brushes religiously but never my make up :(

  11. I clean my brushes every week, but I've never cleaned my make up. Uh oh!

  12. ...Nope I don't currently clean my makeup...I do clean my brushes.

  13. I don't clean my make-up unless I gift a product it to a friend, then I will use rubbing alcohol. I do clean my brushes weekly with baby shampoo.

  14. I have just been wondering about how to clean some eyeshadows that were given to me. Thank you!

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  16. Sometimes I clean my makeup, I have alcohol pads for my hearing aids that I use but that's about it

  17. No I do not clean my makeup as I actually have never thought about that this is something I should do.

  18. thank you for the tips!!

  19. I really need to do this! I was just thinking I need to go through my makeup and discard the old anyways so it's a good time.

  20. I really need to do this! I was just thinking I need to go through my makeup and discard the old anyways so it's a good time.