Raise your hand if you’d feel even a twinge of embarrassment letting someone peek inside the contents of your cosmetic bag, skin care shelves, or even the area around your sink? As is the case with other household chores, it’s far too easy to neglect our beauty loot when it comes to keeping things sanitary.
Because we use these products on our face and around our eyes, nose, and mouth, it’s particularly important to remain diligent about cleanliness. To help you jump start a deep clean, and maintain the best sanitary practices when applying makeup and skin care, here I share with you my best advice.
Wash Your Hands Thoroughly Before Beginning Your Regimen
We ought to regularly wash our hands throughout the day, but the task becomes even more important right before we begin touching our faces for our skin care or makeup regimens.
Ground Rules For The Best Hand Washing Practices
Hands should be washed with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you’re in a bind, hand sanitisers are effective if they contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
When washing, it is important to wash all surfaces including between fingers and thumb, palms, and the back of your hand.
I usually suggest using nails to clean under other nails. You can also utilize a nail brush for an extra deep clean.
Dry your hands with a clean towel or disposable paper!
You can go the extra mile by wiping down the exterior of any products you plan to use, as well. I recommend using sanitising wipes with a solution that contains between 60 to 90 percent alcohol. Antibacterials do not necessarily address viruses. There are also sanitising mists, like Isoclean Antibacterial Makeup Brush Cleaner: The Cleaner, that you can spray on brushes, tools, and products before using (note they’re not a replacement for washing your hands) just before use.
Don’t Dip Your Fingers In The Product
More and more products are switching to airtight containers which are more sanitary in general, but there are still products stored in jars and pots. Even if your hands are clean, avoid dipping your fingers into the product. Use a sanitary beauty spatula or a spoon from your kitchen to keep germs and bacteria from living on the surface of your favourite creams.
Use Freshly Laundered Face Mitts
To wash your face, it’s important to use freshly laundered face mitts.
Face mitts or flannels are often not cleaned properly between uses and are therefore full of bacteria and germs. Using fresh mitts is a much more sanitary option in my opinion. I like to use them to take off every trace of makeup. My 100% Cotton Face Mitts are an efficacious face-cleansing alternative, you'll ask yourself why you haven't used them sooner
Don’t Pick At Your Skin
Picking at our skin can be a mindless habit throughout the day, and it can ramp up when we’re standing in front of a mirror (especially those of the magnified variety). In general, you should not pick at your skin. Use gentle exfoliants, for example, a cleanser containing an AHA or BHA such as Salicylic Acid. Perhaps in the case of a whitehead that’s on the cusp already, grab a clean, fresh face mitt and soak it with warm water, squeeze it out and gently compress the whitehead, this will help prevent the spread of bacteria from exposed acne and oils and help calm any inflammation.
Toss Expired Makeup and Skin Care Products — Seriously
Makeup and skin care products do expire, and i've covered this in depth here and there. Not only do these products lose their potency as they approach and pass expiration, but they can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause infections, breakouts, and skin flare ups. Instead of feeling like you’re throwing away money, consider that you didn’t like the product enough to use it within the allotted time frame.
Some makeup can be salvaged and kept fresher for longer with a few techniques. “You can clean a lip gloss wand with alcohol and it will last longer, and you can remove the top layer of your lipstick if you have had it for a long time.
You can also wipe the blades of your makeup sharpeners with alcohol, which will help keep your lip liners and eye liners bacteria free.
Routinely Clean Your Brushes, Tools, and Sponges
On that note, it’s wise to clean all your tools, brushes, spatulas, and sponges at least once per week, but more frequently during cold and flu season, or if you’ve been sick. Dilute a little dish soap or gentle makeup brush cleanser with water to wash out dirt, makeup, and grime from your sponges and brushes, then lay out to dry. For tools, wipe or spray down with an alcohol solution.
Wash Your Pillowcase Weekly
Beauty sleep totally counts as part of your beauty regimen, and the cleanliness of your bedding — particularly your pillow case — matters. Sleeping on dirty pillowcases will increase the risk of acne breakouts and bacteria on your face. I personally recommend silk pillowcases since silk doesn’t absorb moisture, leaving you looking fresh-faced when you wake up.
Protip: keep a few folded and laundered pillowcases in your bedside drawer to make swapping out your pillowcase a breeze (even when you’re feeling super lazy).
Deep Clean Your Cosmetic Bags and Bathroom Surfaces
Like our purses, cosmetic bags tend to become a catch-all. In no time at all, a clean bag goes from dusty and grimy, and every time we reach inside it’s like putting our hands into a bacteria battlefield. Make it a habit to deep clean your cosmetic bags once a week. Take everything out and wipe down with an alcohol solution, then wash the bag itself with soapy water before allowing it to dry. While you’re at it, do the same with products sitting in your shelves and on your sink. Listen to a fun podcast to help pass the time!