Everyday hundreds upon thousands of women apply their make-up without a second thought of the bacteria and germs hiding away in these vital and expensive necessities...

How long have you been using your mascara? When last did you clean you make-up brushes? Do you use your finger tips to apply your foundation? How old is that lipstick?

Our skins are teeming with bacteria and scientists have found there to be more than 100 x times the amount of bacteria on the skin than previously suspected ( WebMD) , however these bacteria are not all bad. In actual fact , some are vital for the functioning of the skin.

What we are not wanting however is foreign bacteria and/or to create a bacterial bloom. It is therefore vital for us ladies to maintain healthy hygiene habits when it comes to make up and the applicators we make use of for our make up.

Here are a few handy tips on how to make your cosmetic bag and drawer less of a bacterial breeding ground ...

FIRSTLY , ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS!!

Foundation ...

I would highly recommend that you apply your foundation and/or primer products using either a foundation brush and/or a blending sponge. Why? Well your hands and fingers touch hundreds of different surfaces every hour, and bacteria love to lurk between the fingers and under the nails. When you use your hands you are introducing new bacteria onto your face which may cause skin irritation , rash and/or breakouts.

See below two applicators that are on my wishlist ...

1.
Bobbi Brown - Foundation Brush

2.
There are a variety of brands when it comes to blending sponges







For both of the above it is of utmost importance to clean regularly. Most make up brands these days have brush cleansers and blending sponge cleansers such as these ...



It is highly recommended to use the same brand cleanser as the applicator you are using, in order to maintain the integrity of the applicator and ensure the longevity of the applicator in question.






Eye Area ...

This is an area where there are many bacteria due to the fact that it is a damp area with folds. It is therefore recommended that you are vigilant with cleaning of your applicators and the length of time that you keep your make up for ...

Eye Pencils - 
These fabulous eye pencils are a favourite for passing around in dressing rooms and powder rooms when ladies are out partying. Making eye pencils a fabulous way to get Conjunctivitis and many other eye infections ...PLEASE DO NOT SHARE MAKE UP!





How can I keep eye pencils hygienic, you may ask?
Well the old fashioned type of pencil (as above) you will need to sharpen regularly, it therefore helps to invest in one of these nifty sharpeners which catch the shavings ...
Or alternatively make use of the new and trendy chubby sticks which do not require sharpening , a simple swipe of a tissue removes the top layer and any bacteria.
Eye Shadows - 
For eye shadows it is highly recommended that you never use a product for more than 6 months to a maximum of 1 year. Always make use of either an eyeshadow brush, and/or disposable applicators ( see below).



Eyeshadow brushes need to be cleansed at least once every fortnight with the appropriate brush cleanser.

** You can cheat and use your favourite shampoo to cleanse this brush


Disposable applicators should be replaced weekly.

Mascara - 
Now these are truly little breeding grounds due to the fact that with each and every removal of the mascara wand you are getting bacteria on the wand , and upon reinserting you are pushing in a whooosh of air and bacteria. Not to mention the multitude of bacteria and germs you have just transferred from your eyelashes onto your mascara wand .....*gulp!*


Ideally it is best to use disposable mascara wands and discard after each use , this however is not practical. 

The best practice with mascara is to replace your tube every 3 months ...never and I mean never! use a mascara for longer than 6months it will cause all sorts of mini irritations to the eyes.

Lip area ...

Our lips touch so many surfaces it is really scary , think about it ...

Let's say you start off your day , you brush your teeth (tooth brush) , your dry your mouth (towel) , you drink your coffee whilst getting dressed (cup) , you apply your make up (blender sponge , lipstick , lipgloss) , you then have breakfast ( your spoon) and rush out of the door ... you kiss your husband/boyfriend (his lips/cheek), you tickle your cat behind the ears/pat your dog and then blow hubby one last kiss( your hands, pets fur) .....you get the picture? ...blegh!

Lip pencils -

Once again rather choose the new age lip pencil, which does not require sharpening (as below). If however you do have the wooden variety please sharpen these at least once a week to maintain a hygienic lip pencil and NEVER SHARE!



Old vs
New









For Lipsticks and Lipbalms always just give them a quick wipe with a tissue before using and try not to wind the lip product up all the way, rather only expose a small surface area to germs and bacteria.

Never use a lipstick for more than 1 year.


I hope this was helpful and I wish you many happy and hygienic make up applications.
x x x H