You’d be surprised to discover what ugly creatures can live in your beauty products. Find out what you need to do to fight these germs and look great.
By Rose L. Thayer
What’s Living in Your Makeup Bag?
Take a look inside your makeup bag and you’ll likely see your favorite lip gloss, maybe a well-used mascara, and a few battered compacts. But what you don’t see is the real problem. Microorganisms can colonize your cosmetics, creating unhealthy conditions that can make you sick and wreck your skin.
Among the most common bad guys found in makeup are Staphylococcus epidermidis (which causes staph infection), the cold-sore-causing strain of herpes, and mold. Before you consider adding Lysol to your makeup routine, check out these easy guidelines from Dr. Jessica Wu, a Los Angeles dermatologist, and Dr. Alfredo Torres, an associate professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch and an expert on infectious diseases, to keep your makeup clean and your health in the clear.
The rest of the article from The Daily Glow gives some great suggestions for doing your best to minimize germs in your own make-up and when you’re using in-store testers. Here’s my quick overview:
- Throw out your old makeup. 3 months is the rule-of-thumb. Though few of us are probably that vigilant, don’t let it go too long! If you notice a color change in your product, toss it. If the makeup has an expiration date, don’t ignore it. Specific ingredients may have a shelf-life and can affect the safety and the efficacy of the product.
- Think before you use that in-store tester. Use a new cotton swab, mascara wand, sponge applicator to apply make-up from a tester. Test lipstick on your hand: the woman who tried it before you may have had a cold sore!
- Powder foundation and eyeshadow is less likely to grow micro-organisms than liquids or creams.
- Clean your makeup brushes and applicators including mascara wands. When was the last time you washed your brushes? The rule-of-thumb here is once a week in a gentle cleaning solution: e.g. shampoo, Dr. Bronner’s soap etc. Not only will your brushes and applicators be safer, your make-up will go on better. Further, if you’re sick, don’t use your regular brushes/applicators. Switch to disposables till you’re well.
- Don’t blow the excess powder off of your brush! You could be blowing germs onto your brush. Tap the brush instead.
We all know this stuff, but we don’t often do it. So do it!