People are being extra vigilant about washing their hands and sanitizing surfaces for fear of spreading the coronavirus. It’s also a good time to think about the hygiene of other daily use items.
Consider your makeup and the tools you use to apply it. Precautions need to be taken to ensure proper hygiene and peak performance. In fact, these tips should be used even when there are not extra health concerns driven by COVID-19.
Old makeup brushes that are not stored properly or cleaned regularly don’t perform well and can harbor harmful bacteria. We went to Rick DiCecca, creative director of makeup design for the Artistry™ beauty brand, to get his expert advice on makeup hygiene.
“It’s important to follow proper protocols to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses,” Rick said. “These pathogens can be abundant on the skin, including on the face around the eyes, nose and mouth. Always pay careful attention to hygiene.”
When it comes to makeup hygiene, it’s important to start with yourself.
“First and foremost, wash your hands and clean under your fingernails,” Rick said. “When you wash your hands, you should use soap and hot water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.” (Read Hand hygiene: How often do you wash your hands for more tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Next, make sure you have a handy supply of hand sanitizer to refresh your hands throughout the makeup session.
“And avoid touching your own face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth,” he said. “If you must, use a tissue followed by hand sanitizer.”
How to sanitize makeup
It’s important to take steps toward sanitizing your makeup. Rick recommends keeping a spray bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol on hand, which you can typically purchase at a pharmacy or grocery store.
“This is a key tool for keeping your makeup clean,” he said. “Isopropyl alcohol dries within minutes and leaves no residue. It does have a strong smell, and it’s flammable, so always exercise caution when using it.”
For blush or lip products, spray them with the alcohol and allow to dry naturally or wait for a minute before wiping it on a clean tissue. Lip glosses and lipsticks can also be scraped with a clean spatula to reveal a clean surface.
Pencil products should be sharpened to remove the outer layer of product, then sprayed with 70% isopropyl alcohol. “With eye products, always wipe with a tissue before applying to prevent a burning sensation,” Rick said.
Loose powder should be put into a separate sanitized container or surface, such a fresh tissue, before application.
“It’s also a good idea to spray compact and palette products with alcohol after you use them, such as blush, bronzer, foundation or eyeshadow,” Rick said. “Allow them to dry naturally.”
Clean makeup tools are key
Single-use, disposable applicators are best for hygiene, and you should never apply makeup directly from the container to your face, Rick said.
“Use a fresh spatula or cotton swab every time to scoop out product from its container and onto the back of your clean hand or a clean sanitized palette,” he said. That’s especially important for liquid products such as concealer or foundation.
“Makeup sponges are single-client only and should never be used on someone else unless they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized,” he said. The same goes for brushes used for liquid products.
How to clean makeup brushes
“Clean and sterilize brushes for dry products using a makeup brush cleaning spray,” Rick said. “Spray each brush with cleaner and then sweep back and forth over a clean white terry cloth towel until the brush is clean.”
All brushes should be thoroughly cleaned regularly or after particularly heavy use, Rick said. “I use the Artistry Hydra-V™ Fresh Foaming Cleanser to clean my brushes. This mild cleanser cleans thoroughly and leaves behind a fresh clean scent.
“Wet each brush with warm water and work into a rich lather with your brush cleaner, then rinse until the water runs clear. Shake out all excess water and lay it on a clean towel to air dry.”
Once dry, they’re ready for your next beautiful creation! For more tips on cleaning and storing your makeup brushes, read Great makeup starts with great tools: How to care for makeup brushes. While you’re there, you can check out other beauty blogs.
And to learn more about Artistry beauty products, including brushes and sponges, visit Amway.com.