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The Dirty Truth About Your Makeup Brushes

The Dirty Truth About Your Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes are some of the most  valuable products in your makeup bag.   However, makeup brushes are usually  much more filthy than you could   ever imagine. In fact, your  makeup brushes can actually   wreak absolute havoc on your skin.

Here’s a look  at the dirty truth about your makeup brushes.  Makeup brushes may be more high  maintenance than you probably realize. If you are someone who wears makeup every day,   it’s safe to say that makeup  brushes are a necessity for you.

“Makeup is awesome… I love makeup so much.” And even if you only wear makeup a few times  a week, your makeup brushes probably see quite   a bit of action. Because of that your makeup  brushes should be washed regularly.

In fact,   Stowaway Cosmetics founder Julie Fredrickson told  The Fashion Spot that she recommends people clean   their makeup brushes after every single use,  even if that means you have to wash them daily.

   She told the publication the proper  way to clean the brushes, explaining – “Dab some on a cotton swab, twirl the brush  and that is enough. Then, once a week,   do a thorough cleaning with a cleanser that  isn’t too harsh.

I personally use Dr. Bronner’s.” If you have sensitive skin, then you  know how awful it can feel when something   irritates your face. Unfortunately, that might  become the new normal for you if you never wash   your makeup brushes, as these applicators can  seriously irritate your skin when they’re dirty.

Not only does not washing your makeup brushes  cause them to become dirty, but it dries out your   brush’s bristles, which can seriously hurt your  skin next time you go to powder your forehead.   Shawn Towne, global educator for Jane Iredale told  New Beauty that a brush with dirty, dry bristles   can end up pushing the makeup into your skin,  causing your pores to clog and become irritated.

If you’re using makeup brushes  that aren’t regularly cleaned,   you may find your glow  growing dimmer with every use. As it turns out, you need to wash  your makeup brushes regularly   if you want your radiant, summertime glow  to remain constant.

Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi,   a dermatologist and the founder of Capital Laser  and Skin Care, spoke of this topic to Redbook. “Sebum is the waxy or oily material produced by  the skin that comes out through the pores.

[…]   When that sebum builds up on a brush, it just gets  applied right back to the skin. Too much sebum on   the surface of the skin reduces the reflection of  light off the skin, which can make it look dull.

” Sure, you could buy a $300 serum that’s supposed  to brighten your skin tone — but if you aren’t   cleaning your makeup brushes, even the most  expensive products won’t do much for your skin. They can cause wrinkles While it’s virtually impossible to avoid getting  any wrinkles during your life, it’s understandable   to want to do what you can to avoid them.

  And there are definitely things you can do   to prevent wrinkles, such as using sunscreen,  watching your diet, or just springing for Botox.   Unfortunately, dirty makeup brushes can throw  all that hard work away if you aren’t careful.

   Dr. Debbie Palmer, a dermatologist and the  co-founder of Dermatology Associates of New York,   told Good Housekeeping that your makeup brushes  can actually age you if you don’t wash them. “Dirty makeup brushes can expose the skin  to oxidative stress from free radicals,   which causes a breakdown of collagen and  elastin and can result in premature aging.

” For most people, the point of makeup and  skincare is to preserve your skin’s youth   and look as radiant as possible,  so having your makeup brushes   actually make you look older  definitely defeats the purpose.

Just how dirty do your brushes actually get? Well, as it turns out, there’s a  reason experts recommend regularly   washing them — and it’s not just to remove old  makeup products that are stuck on the bristles.

   According to the American Academy of Dermatology,  makeup brushes that aren’t regularly cleaned can   actually cause fungal infections,  such E.coli which can cause diarrhea,   urinary tract infections, and respiratory  illnesses.

If that wasn’t bad enough,   those infections could even cause  a life-threatening staph infection. A study published in The Journal of Applied  Microbiology looked at the presence of bacteria   in makeup products and found that 70% to 90%  of the products contained fungus and bacteria,   including E.

coli. Since you probably  don’t want to spread that all of that   bacteria around your face, cleaning your  makeup brushes is of utmost importance.   No one wants fungus on their cheekbones, no matter  how much glow your favorite bronzer gives you.

“All of that was going on  my face. That’s just gross.” As if E. Coli wasn’t bad enough, there’s  other types of bacteria that can cause   inadvertent damage thanks to your  makeup brushes. They’re helpful when   trying to make your eyes pop with the right  eyeshadow combo, but if you’re not careful,   your makeup brushes could accentuate  your eyes in a completely different way.

When you think of pinkeye,  you probably picture red,   watery eyes caused by a disease that  usually only affects schoolchildren.   But as it turns out, your unwashed makeup brushes  could potentially be carrying pinkeye bacteria,   which means you could be just one smokey-eye  look away from contracting the nasty disease.

Now, while it’s unlikely that you’ll get pinkeye  from just not washing your makeup brushes,   your chance increases when you share  makeup brushes with other people. “If you think about toothbrushes, you know people  don’t share toothbrushes very often do they?”  “No!” “But in a way, makeup’s exactly the same.

” In fact, the Missouri Department  of Health and Human Services even   gives a warning about sharing makeup  tools on the department’s website – “Do not share eye makeup,  face make-up, make-up brushes,   contact lenses and containers, or eyeglasses.

” Aside from deadly bacteria and makeup brushes  just being plain dirty and gross in general,   they can cause a lot of other  issues for your skin, such as acne. Even if you wash your face regularly or  even if you use clean makeup products that   claim they don’t clog up your pores, your  makeup brushes can still cause breakouts.

   Laramie Glen, a professional makeup  artist and the founder of Book Your Look,   told Good Housekeeping that dirty makeup  brushes are to blame for a lot of skin issues. “If you’ve been breaking out and you’ve  tried or ruled out everything else,   your makeup brushes could be at fault.

” It’s probably safe to say that  no one wants to revisit those   old breakouts from their hormonal  high school years – like, ever. Believe it or not, even after all you’ve  heard, we’re here to tell you that it gets   even more disturbing when you take a  closer look at your makeup brushes.

As it turns out, your makeup brushes can  also attract an entirely different kind of   disgusting creature: bugs. That’s  right, the bristles that you use   every day to apply your makeup can  have tiny bugs hidden amongst them.

Lynne Sanders, a cosmetic scientist and  the founder of Cosmetics a La Carte,   told Glamour that even though you  can’t see them, there are probably   bugs hiding out within the bristles of  your makeup brushes.

As Sanders explained – “Under the microscope, you  may see the remains of mites   on your brushes. Most of us have these tiny  creatures, about a third of a millimeter long,   residing at the base of our eyelashes  and nose hairs, living off old skin cells   and sebum.

They’re generally considered  harmless, but they may be implicated in acne.” While most can agree that the germs, bacteria,  fungi, and sometimes even bugs hiding out in your   makeup brushes are disgusting, some folks still  might not think that it’s really necessary to wash   their handy brushes every day.

However, there’s  another, somewhat more obvious side effect of   using dirty makeup brushes that may make you want  to invest in a good brush cleaner like yesterday. The dirtier your makeup brush is, the less  effective it becomes.

Not only are you spreading   around germs on your face by using a makeup brush  that hasn’t been properly cleaned in months,   but you’re also not getting your money’s  worth out of your go-to applicator.

   Artis founder Matthew Waitesmith  had this to say to The Fashion   Spot when comparing the usefulness  of a dirty brush to a clean one. “A dirty brush doesn’t perform as  well [when] distributing product.

   When a brush is dirty, many people try to  push harder on the brush to get a result.” And with all we’ve learned about dirty brushes,   it’s probably not the best idea to be  pressing it even harder against your face.

If you’re the type of person who stays on top  of their makeup brushes’ cleaning routine,   good for you! But regularly cleaning your  brushes doesn’t mean they’re going to last   forever — nor should they.

Sure, you might  have spent a large amount of money on your   beloved and durable makeup brushes, but  if you don’t replace them when needed,   those expensive brushes aren’t  doing you or your skin any good.

Famous makeup artist Bobbi Brown  told Allure that it’s important   to spend time going through your old  makeup brushes and throwing some away. “It’s time to toss your makeup brush  when the bristles start to fray, shed,   or lose their shape.

I can’t emphasize enough  that the right tools are as important in getting   the look you want as the actual makeup itself.  If your brushes become too pinched or squashed,   then they simply will not be up to the job.

” Makeup brushes aren’t the only items in your   makeup bag that need to be thrown  away and replaced from time to time. Beauty and skincare products like foundation,  eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, and even sunscreen   all have expiration dates — and if you  choose to apply expired makeup with old,   dirty makeup brushes, you’ll only be worsening the  negative effects old makeup can have on your skin.

According to Insider, a study from The  Journal of Applied Microbiology found   that people who used expired makeup products had  even more bacteria on their makeup brushes. Most   products have an expiration date spanning  anywhere from three to 12 months,   according to the website.

However, many people  didn’t pay attention to the expiration date   on their makeup products, which caused  any antibacterial ingredients within   those makeup products to lose their power, and  left room for more and more bacteria to form.

   So if you add the bacteria from expired  makeup products to the bacteria in old,   unwashed makeup products, you can guess what  happens – even more bacteria on your face. “When you’re using contaminated  makeup you can get mild breakouts,   all the way to boils and  even abscesses on your face.

” You might use makeup brushes to cover blemishes  on your face — but if you’re not careful,   making this makeup mistake might actually  cause that pesky blemish to reappear. One of the most annoying, uncomfortable things  that can happen to your face is a cold sore.

   According to the Mayo Clinic, this blemish is  actually caused by a strain of the herpes virus—   and if you get one, it may seem like it  takes forever for it to fully go away.   And if you aren’t careful, you could  prolong a cold sore’s unexpected visit.

Sonia Kashuk- makeup artist and  owner of her own brand of makeup,   told Refinery29 that after battling an  infection of the eye or a cold sore,   one of the most important things you  can do is to wash your makeup tools.

“If you have an eye infection  or a cold sore, you should wash   all of your tools and throw away any  cosmetics you used during that time.” Cold sores are bad enough, but can makeup  brushes cause you to catch herpes itself?   According to some experts, the answer is yes.

In fact, in 2017, CNN reported that a woman who  claimed she caught herpes from testing makeup   was actually totally valid in her assumption.  According to CNN, since herpes on your face   can last for ten days or so, any makeup brushes  used within this timespan could pick up the virus   and spread it to other parts of your face.

  As microbiologist Amreen Bashir explained- “Makeup brushes that touch these  [herpes-infected] parts of the face   can then spread the infection to other people.” Be especially careful if you have any kinds  of cuts or sores, as Dr.

Bethanee Schlosser,   the director of the Women’s Skin Health Program  at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told Self, “The risk is always greater if there’s an open  sore already, or an irritation of the skin.

[…]   Any kind of microscopic nick in the skin could  set you up for potentially getting an infection.” Check out one of our newest  videos right here! Plus,   even more List videos about your favorite  makeup accessories are coming soon.

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