The dirty truth about makeup brushes
Almost anyone who wear makeup knows the importance of the tools they use.
Maintaining those tools keeps them functional, looking nice, and most importantly, clean.
Makeup brushes and sponges can be a hub for bacteria growth. We use brushes and sponges all over our face, and on our eyes. Bacteria growth on makeup products, like staphylococcus and mold, can lead to pink eye (conjunctivitis), styes, pimples, and boils.
Health Canada states that sharing cosmetics results in higher likelihood of microbial contamination.
In a CBC investigative report, journalists uncovered how unsafe it is to use cosmetic samples found on the shelf in Canadian stores. They discovered that 40% of the samples tested positive for staphylococcus and/or mold.
The investigation also added to not try on any mascara, because it is the most prone to double-dipping.
The National Eye Institute suggests people throw out old makeup that is expired. Makeup brushes should be cleaned regularly depending on how often you use them, and they should be thrown away if you develop any skin or eye infections. Those with eye infections should avoid passing it to others by washing their hands often and not sharing items like pillowcases, towels, or makeup and brushes.
Mascara is the most likely to cause a staph infection, and should hit the trash can after three to four months. Sponges, which not only soak up water but also all of the grime from your face, should also be replaced every three months.
There is no decisive timeline to replace your makeup brushes. High-quality brushes can be washed and reused for up to five years. Low-quality brushes will begin to show signs of wear and tear—the bristles might not hold shape, or the handle is starting to wear—this is a good indicator it is time for new brushes.
If you’re using your makeup brushes every day, they should be cleaned more often.
There could be serious long-term complications for someone who has recurring eye infections. Over a lifetime, eye infections can lead to scarring inside of the eyelids, causing the eyelashes to turn inward and crush against the cornea, damaging vision.