February 14, 2011

How to Keep Your Makeup Free of Bacteria

Bacteria You may be aware that acne blemishes are mainly caused by a combination of three different culprits: oil produced by your pores, dead skin cells that clog those pores, and bacteria that gets trapped inside and causes a reaction. What you might not realize is how this cycle can be perpetuated by your makeup. You generally remove bacteria from your skin every time you wash it (which should occur at least twice a day). But even if you put your makeup on immediately after your morning cleanse, you could still be loading both your tools and your makeup containers with harmful bacteria that is breeding and returning to your skin with every swipe of a brush or powder puff. So how do you break this vicious cycle? There are a couple of ways to keep your makeup (and your face) free of the bacteria that can cause breakouts and in effect, undermine the whole point of your facial routine.

makeup kit and brushes First and foremost, many women don’t know how long to keep their makeup. Besides being a breeding ground for bacteria, older makeup can start to degrade, potentially causing allergic reactions and certainly losing its potency. As a rule, you should never keep any makeup item longer than three months. For items you use frequently (such as blush and powder), this shouldn’t be a problem since you’ll probably use them up long before you hit that mark. But for things like eye makeup and lipstick that you don’t necessarily use every day, be sure to keep an eye on the expiration date (or simply keep a Sharpie on hand to write the date three months from purchase on each item so you know when to toss it and buy new). Frankly, you should update your palette seasonally anyway.
clean your makeup brushes

As for the items you do have, the best way to cut down on bacteria is to clean your tools regularly or use disposable applicators. Brushes for your face aren’t so easy to throw away, and if you get a good set, it could last you several years with proper care. So make sure to clean them regularly. For most people, a weekly cleaning is sufficient. But those with problem skin will need to clean brushes on a daily basis so as not to spread bacteria. The most common way to clean brushes is with shampoo (baby shampoo is good for sensitive skin types). Just be careful not to get too vigorous or you will pull out hairs and quickly ruin your brushes. For everything else, use q-tips. They are the most versatile (and disposable) tool in your kit.

If you’re still having trouble, you could try wiping your makeup palette after use with a tissue (although you’ll probably notice that you’re going through makeup a lot faster). However, you might want to think about seeing a dermatologist if skin problems like redness or breakouts persist. The problem could be related to hormones (cured with various medications) or you might be allergic to some of the ingredients in your makeup. In any case, you can do your best to keep your makeup free of bacteria and hopefully it will be enough to help you get the clear, beautiful skin you desire.

Carol Montrose writes for Spee-Dee where you can find powder filler and rotary filling machines to meet your packaging needs and increase speed and efficiency in your business.

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