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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