How To Clean Your Beauty Tools Correctly

How To Clean Your Beauty Tools Correctly

Studies show that 92% of our beauty tools – from sponges to brushes, and even mitts – harbour destructive germs and bacteria. And while we all know we should be regularly cleaning them as a matter of course, in light of the ongoing pandemic, it’s never been more important. To find out how to safely disinfect and clean everything properly, we asked professional make-up artist, Warren Dowdall, for his advice.

Understand Why It's Important

It’s worth noting that a coronavirus is able to survive on different materials for up to three days – this alone should motivate you to clean all your tools on a regular basis. "On top of that, oils from our skin and bacteria can build up very quickly (usually within days), which also compromises performance, while transferring germs onto the products we use daily," advises Warren. "Eventually, this will lead to breakouts, irritation and possibly infections – especially around the eye area.” 

Know Which Tools Require What 

“As a general rule, brushes should be cleaned at least once a week to get rid of bacteria, keep them hygienic and in the best possible condition. Sponges and tanning mitts, however, require more immediate action. You should never leave a damp sponge in your make-up bag as this can encourage the growth of bacteria and mould. If you leave it to dry, be sure to leave it to air in an open space.” 

Invest In The Right Cleaning Equipment

“Using a gentle cleanser is vital. You can try a silicone-free shampoo if you’re on a budget, but ideally, try to invest in a conditioning brush cleanser to give your beauty tools a thorough clean, as well as leaving them soft and free from damage. Steer clear of harsh, abrasive formulas, including dish soap which can end up leaving the fibres on your tools dry and textured. Instead, look for ingredients like witch hazel and nourishing almond oil. If you have used a strong ingredient and your bristles feel rough, clean them again and try adding a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to your cleanser. This is guaranteed to bring them back to life.” 

Look For Spray Formulas 

“If you want to minimise the build-up of daily germs, use a cleaning spray between washes. The same applies to your bag or anything you put your products and tools into – think drawers and make-up containers. Keep all of them clean and disinfected by using an alcohol spray of between 62-71%, and wipe them down weekly to ensure your storage is as hygienic as possible. You can also look for sprays that contain hydrogen peroxide – both will kill microbes and bacteria effectively.”

Be Careful With The Drying Process

“Never leave your brushes standing up to dry as this will cause the moisture to seep into the glue in the base, which in turn, can dissolve and cause the brush hairs to become loose. Instead, once you’ve cleaned them, reshape the hair gently, then leave your brushes on a towel on a countertop with the brush hairs hanging over the edge. This will allow excess moisture to drain off and the brushes to air dry.” 

Don’t Forget Your Make-Up Bag 

“You should wash your make-up bag once a month, on top of regular alcohol spritzing. This not only keeps everything inside clean, but it’s also an opportunity to stay organised, switch up your products and throw away anything that may have expired.” 

Store Your Beauty Items Wisely 

“Where you can, try to store make-up in a cool, dark place. Direct sunlight can interfere with colour, but what’s more, warm conditions encourage the growth of bacteria. It’s also worth sharpening your eye pencils every time you use them and wiping them down weekly to minimise contact with your skin, and in turn, reduce the chance of infection.” 

Remember To Chuck Items Out

"We can all become cleaning pros, but it pays to know when you should simply throw things away. As a general rule, get rid of cream or sponge-style foundations and concealers after a year or so, as these are easily contaminated with bacteria. Likewise, lip gloss and lipsticks should follow a similar timeline. Eyeliners and powders can last you for two years, unless they begin to discolour or suddenly cause irritation.” 

Folllow @BBPro_WarrenDowdall

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