When is the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Or anything else in your beauty/medicine cabinet? If you can’t remember, it’s okay. Even I’m guilty (sometimes.) But in the essence of Spring cleaning, there are a few habits you can establish to keep your cosmetics and tools in tip top shape all year round. And for years to come.
Think of it as preventative maintenance.
I got bitten by the cleaning bug when I was on the sales floor, selling cosmetics. Testers were cleaned on a daily basis because people touched them nonstop. Grime would build up on the inside of jar lids, on the openings of pump and spray tops, and sticky fingerprints would be left behind on the surface of, well, pretty much everything.
Testers will forever gross me out. How do I put this? Once you see something, you can't un-see it, know what I mean? That's how I feel about testers (Eeek!) So I adopted the habit of cleaning everything in my beauty repertoire on a regular basis. I really take pride in my cosmetics. Now everything stays clean and in mint condition. It’s a win-win.
I've outlined a few things you can do to get your makeup, skincare, haircare, and tools looking and performing their best while also preventing germs and bacteria from spreading like wildfire.
You will need nothing unordinary, just some cleaning supplies, including dish detergent and rubbing alcohol. And best of all, you can get Spring cleaning this weekend!
Deep Clean Your Devices
I'm talking: Clarisonic facial brushes, sonic toothbrushes, hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons, etc. For the tools that come in contact with water, take them apart carefully and with a scrubbing brush, q-tips, paper towels (or whatever you need) give them a good cleanse. Use soap detergent to get most of the grime out. You may need a pair of tweezers to pry a white plastic disc out. If you’ve never completely disassembled your Clarisonic, you may freak out when you see what’s hiding in there- I warned you! Mold, mildew, and bacteria like to hide out in nooks and crannies- especially when devices don't get aired out or disinfected regularly.
Next, moisten a paper towel with some rubbing alcohol and wipe down the entire device. You can clean sonic toothbrushes with the same technique: disassemble the head from base, get rid of grime with soap and some elbow grease, then sanitize with rubbing alcohol.
For hair tools and items that don't come in contact with water, it’s a good idea to wipe them down with a cloth moistened with hot water and soap. Many times, our fingers leave residue behind of makeup, hairspray, hair gel, etc. If left untouched, you will notice dust and grime like to stick to those areas.
For facial brushes and toothbrushes, I actually disassemble them after each use and let them air dry. I never let them sit in the shower when not in use. (Oh, the horror!) They should be disinfected on the surface every other week. And completely disassembled once a month to be deep cleaned and sanitized (you know, the nooks and crannies bit.)
Other tools, such as hair dryers and flat irons can be cleaned once a month. But more or less depending on how often they're used.
Wash Your Makeup Brushes And Sponges
‘Nuff said. If you can visibly see your makeup building up on your brushes, then it’s time for a good washing. Use dish soap and warm water, get a nice lather going, and massage the brush fibers gently. Then rinse with warm water until you can no longer see any pigment coming out of the brush. Squeeze out all the moisture and shape the brush bristles with your fingers. Let dry overnight in a well-ventilated area. Flip your brushes over once so they can dry evenly. Also take care to sanitize the handles of your brushes.
If you wear makeup daily, it’s a good idea to wash your brushes once a week. If you don’t wear makeup daily and aren’t using brushes as frequently, you can wash every other week. If you think that's a bit much, aim for once a month.
Although I haven't used a sponge to apply my makeup in years, they should be washed after each use! Perhaps that's why I stopped using them ;)
No seriously- every tube, every bottle, every compact, every jar. Moisten a paper towel with some rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the surfaces of everything you own. Take extra care to wipe nozzles, pump tops, and applicators, too. Our hands transfer bacteria so, so easily. Just think about when you pick up a bottle or tube (has it been sanitized lately?) then apply the contents to your hands, and finally rub the product into your face! Talk about a germ fest.
For products I don't use very often, I'll sanitize them once a month. Items I use frequently and items that are oil-based should be sanitized once a week and wiped down in between.
Care For Your Hairbrush
This is a new habit of mine. And I’m not sure why I waited so long. But after I purchased a big girl brush, I started caring for it appropriately. My hair is incredibly thick, so I brush it each night before bed. To clean my brush, I use my fingers or a fine tooth comb and essentially, comb the bristles of my hairbrush, loosening the hair that has been collected. I should probably buy the cleaning tool made especially for my brush but, for now, I’ll keep doing what I do.
If your hairbrush looks like Chewbacca, check out this helpful tutorial.
It’s a good idea to remove the hair that’s matted down between the bristles of your brush every week or every other week. Although depending on how often you brush and how thick your hair is, removing built up hair from your brush every few days doesn't hurt. I also keep my handle clean with some alcohol once a week.
And there you have it- four practices for better, cleaner, safer cosmetics and tools! I'm curious- do you guys clean and sanitize as much as I do? If so, tell me more! Perhaps I go a bit overboard. But the good news is, that with these habits, less germs are spread, your face will be clearer, and your products will stay in better shape, longer. Happy Spring cleaning!