Health Risks Lurking in your Cosmetic Bag

There are a number of health hazards lurking in your cosmetic bag which steadily multiply with time and use. And as the popularity of cushion makeup rapidly growing, this issue is serious as ever. You may remember your mom telling you not to use other girls’ makeup or brushes and not to share your own. Well, once again, mom knows best. The most common bacteria found in makeup is the group known as Streptococcus species (1).

Microscopic Dangers

In a scientific study performed by the NSUO College of Optometry microscopic menaces were found in mascara after only three months of use. The product tested was purchased new and given to a variety of women. After the three-month usage period more than 1/3 of them tested positive for different types of fungi and Streptococcus species.

The Strep species of bacteria cause infections in your blood stream, skin, and respiratory tract. For this reason, the researchers recommend that your mascara should be discarded and you should purchase a new tube at least every three months. You should relate this information to all of your cosmetics and applicators.

Contaminated Cosmetic Applicators

Most dermatologists urge patients to clean their cosmetic brushes and other applicators at least once per month. This is to cleanse them of all the bacteria which has built up with use. It is actually better to wash them weekly. This will also extend their life which is especially important, if you have invested in professional makeup artist brushes.  

Keep it Clean

Run lukewarm water from your faucet through the brush. Gently work a mild soap into the bristles. Plain hand soap and baby shampoo are excellent for cleaning your rushes without damaging them. It may be necessary to add a bit of water to work the soap throughout all of the bristles.  

Allow tepid water to run through the brush again until the water is clear. You should keep all of the bristles pointed downward during the entire cleaning process. Brush a clean, dry paper towel to remove the water from the bristles. Gently smooth them down and set aside to dry.

The same method should be used to clean all of your cosmetic tools. This includes all of your brushes; sponges; pallets; and spatulas. This will not only protect your skin against many types of bacteria and extend the life of all of your applicators, you can apply your makeup much easier and the result will be much smoother using a clean makeup tool.

Hygiene Safety Tips

  • Never share your cosmetics or applicators with any other individual, not even your family.
  • Never use another’s person’s makeup or tools.
  • Only touch makeup with an applicator because your finger can introduce bacteria into your cosmetics.
  • Always wash your hands well before applying your makeup.
  • Use an alcohol swap to carefully wipe your eyeliner after each use to sterilize it.
  • Cosmetics should be removed from their containers with your spatula and place upon your pallet prior to each application.
  • Ensure that all of your artist tools are dry before storing them.
  • A clear or translucent bag is best for storing your applicators and cosmetics because it exposes them to light. Bacteria and fungi do not survive as well in light.

Cited Sources

1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18922495

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7611/


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