Sanitizing Makeup 101

Makeup brushes and tools need to be cleaned regularly, that’s a fact.

But what most people don’t realize is that your actual makeup probably needs to be cleaned too.

A lot of makeup comes in dispensable tubes these days that really minimize the risk of contamination, think foundations that come in containers with pumps, or squeezable concealer tubes. These types of makeup are relatively easy to keep clean and germ free if you’re dispensing the product on to a clean surface and making sure that nothing dirty comes in contact with the tip of the dispenser tube.

Here were going to talk about keeping your makeup sanitary and sanitizing it regularly to keep you healthy and to minimize the risk of blemishes (or even infections).

why you should be sanitizing your makeup and how to do it

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Makeup Pots

Makeup that comes in tubs or pots is that hardest type to keep sanitary. Dipping some out with your finger is a big no-no, even if you think your hands are clean enough, they probably aren’t. I really like to use this white eyeshadow base from NYX to help make my bright eyeshadow colors pop and its soooo tempting just to swipe my finger in there and pat it right on to my eye. The danger here is that bacteria really likes to hide in the little ridges on your finger tip. Bacteria also really likes to grow in dark and moist areas. I think you know what I’m getting at here. Using you finger can lead to major bacteria growth and that is NOT something I want to put near my eyes.

Solution: Using a clean plastic cosmetic spatula prevents potentially spreading bacteria into your makeup and helps keep it clean and sanitary. I like these, and I usually wash them after every use so they’re ready to go the next time I need them!

Makeup Tubes

Tubes of makeup are another area where bacteria can really thrive. This includes liquid lipsticks, cream eyeshadows, and lip glosses. Anything that comes in a tube with an applicator wand. There isn’t really anything you can do to sanitize these products after they have been contaminated, so preventing contamination in the first place is super important. I know it seems like you should be using these wands to apply your makeup, that’s what they’re there for right? Well, yes but also no. They are manufactured with the intentions of you using them, but say you swiped your lipstick on and then came down with strep throat later in the day, would you want to use it again? Even if you think it’s okay, it really isn’t. That bacteria can live and multiply in that tube and re-infect you after your better. No fun.

Solution: The best way to use these products is to use the wand to scoop out some product on to a clean surface and use a separate makeup brush to apply the product to your skin. This stainless steel cosmetic palette is perfect and so easy to wash off with antibacterial soap when you’re done so you always have a sanitary surface to work with.


Lipstick is probably the most commonly shared makeup product between friends. But even if you don’t share your lipstick, your mouth still carries tons of bacteria. Prevention methods can work here if you use a lip brush to wipe the color off of the stick of color and on top your mouth, but what about double dipping? Or if you’re in a hurry and just swipe it on. Once you put that cap back on, it becomes that dark, damp bacteria heaven that is just the perfect breeding ground. Ew.

Solution: Using a lip brush is perfect to help minimize contamination, but your actual lipstick should still be sanitized occasionally, and it’s super easy! Just twist your lipstick out a little bit and wipe the top layer off with a bit of tissue. Then you’re going to put some rubbing alcohol in to a container and hold the lipstick into the alcohol for about 30 seconds. After that, just blot a little bit with a tissue and let air dry before you put the cap back on. This will get rid of any little bacterium hanging around and potentially avoid and infection for you!

Eyelash Curlers

I bet you don’t think about cleaning them, but you’re putting these little tools right against your eye! If you’ve ever shared one, that’s dangerous too. Not to mention the build up that happens if you like to do multiple layers of mascara and curling like I do. There are definitely areas for bacteria to hide out here, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of putting that anywhere near my eye ball.

Solution: These is probably the easiest thing to clean because all you need is rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball or round! Just soak your cotton in the alcohol and rub your eyelash curler all the way clean! Mae sure your getting all of the buildup off and getting the alcohol into all the nooks and crannies. Ideally, this should be done daily, but weekly at minimum is the best!

Pressed Powders

Eyeshadows and blushes and highlighters, oh my! Sound strange? Pressed powders may not be damp, but they can still be a breeding ground for all types of microscopic critters. Eeewwwww. Especially because there aren’t really any preventative measures we can take here. You can just scrape out some eyeshadow on to a cosmetic palette and it’s not like one dip of your shadow brush is going to give you the result you want, especially because you have to do both eyes! Plus, if you use your shadow one day and get sick the next, would you want to risk getting sick again? I wouldn’t.

Solution: Cleaning pressed powders is actually really simple! Just wipe off the top layer with a tissue and spritz with rubbing alcohol and then let it dry! Ideally this should be done once a month, but if you end up sick of someone borrows your powder, just give it a quick sanitizing session to make sure. The alcohol won’t harm the shadow either of affect the performance, it’ll just kill the germs. Just make sure not to totally soak it, a light spritz over the surface will do the trick.

Keeping your makeup sanitized is just as important as keeping your tools sanitized.

Do you regularly sanitize your makeup?

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