Time to clean out your makeup Bag!


If your foundation has separated, if your mascara smells, your compact is hard and shiny around the edges…it has to go!

Are your eyes itchy? Is you skin breaking out? Time to spring clean your Makeup bag!

Every day we introduce dead skin cells, loose eyelashes and bacteria into the cosmetic products we use, through mascara wands and dirty makeup brushes. That is when your makeup becomes prone to bacterial and fungal growth.

Magnified image of eyelashes growing out of the skin

Magnified image of eyelashes growing out of the skin

Flora living on the surface of the skin

Flora living on the surface of the skin

This is not vermicelli on a chocolate cake! This is the surface of your skin and the billions of bacteria that inhibit it. Are you are feeling slightly nauseous? Don’t freak out, they are not all bad bacteria. If you do not practice good hygiene with your cosmetics, you could be transferring bacteria to your cosmetics where they could become harmful and cause uncomfortable skin conditions.

Most cosmetic products are laced with preservatives that ward off these bacteria and fungi. The problem is that preservatives don’t last forever! That’s where the expiry date on your makeup comes in. Take the time to go over the fine print on your cosmetics packaging. Look for the little open pot icon, on the label of your cosmetics. This tells you how long you have, once the product is opened, until the preservatives expire.

This chart depicts the average expiration dates for Make up Products.

NOTE: Be sure to check the individual product packaging, as this is a general guideline.


HOW TO KEEP YOUR MAKEUP BACTERIA FREE  (as much as possible, anyway!)

  • Throw out old sponges.
  • Wash your Brushes at least twice a month with shampoo. Rinse and leave flat on a towel, to air dry.
  • Fill an empty travel spray bottle with rubbing alcohol.
  • Eye shadow, Blush and Compact Powder: lightly mist from about 20cm away with rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle. Allow to dry completely (this should not damage your cosmetics.)
  • Pencil sharpener: Using a clean old toothbrush, gently scrub with a solution of white vinegar, warm water and dish-washing liquid, to disinfect. Rinse and dry in the sun.
  • Eye Pencils: Sharpen to remove bacteria
  • Lip Pencils: Sharpen to remove bacteria
  • Retractable Pencils: wipe with a tissue then spritz with rubbing alcohol.
  • Lipstick: Wipe down your lipstick with a tissue and spritz with alcohol. If you have shared your lippie with someone else, shave off the top layer.
  • Lip Gloss: Use the wand or a cotton bud to put some gloss on the back of your clean hand. Use from there with a clean lip brush. This avoids introducing bacteria from your mouth into the gloss pot.
  • Mascara: You can wipe down the wand with a tissue to reduce clogging and use disposable mascara wands. Toss it into the bin when it reaches the expiry date. If you have had any kind of eye infection, throw that mascara away immediately.
  • Loose Powder: Bacteria does not breed in dry conditions so no need to disinfect.
  • Foundation & Concealer: try to use a foundation with a pump or one that squeezes out of a tube. If it has a wand, put foundation on the back of a clean hand with a clean cotton bud and use from there.
  • Tinted Moisturiser: as above

Main Image from The Original Beauty Box

Image source: Microcosmos- Brandon Brill &  National Geographic





Author: Bernice Dodd

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