BlogsHow dirty makeup brushes can affect your skin
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How dirty makeup brushes can affect your skin

This question has always been lingering about in the beauty world, are dirty makeup brushes ruining your skin (and more?). Well, the shorter answer is yes!

Well, first and foremost, dirty brushes are known to transfer germs!

Makeup brushes is the only part of the equation when it comes to application, your makeup products are the other half. Think about your brushes collecting all the dust, dirt, and bacteria, all that germy build-up, will inevitably transfer to your precious products. It is also important to consider that germs can multiply in wet environments, in the same way that cream blushes and eyeliners can. By leaving anything with moisture on your brushes, it can further contaminate them, thus further reinforcing the bacteria cycle.

Due to this, cosmetic acne may arise for certain individuals.
But what is cosmetic acne?

Cosmetic acne is a type of acne resulting from the use of cosmetics and cosmetic applicators. It can form anywhere on the body; however, it is most found on the areas that are more exposed to cosmetic products, thus the face, neck and scalp.

Cosmetic acne can present itself as small bumps, underneath the skin, open or closed comedones, linked with uneven texture and roughness. The main difference with other types of acne, the inflammation is minimal or non-existent. Interestingly, women and men that are not normally prone to acne can develop this condition. If certain actions are not taken to tackle the problem, cosmetic acne can persist for a very long time.

As mentioned before, poor makeup and beauty hygiene can cause infections and further complications. Every time you use your dirty, old makeup brushes, you reintroduced germs and bacteria to your skin, eyes and lips. As a result, skin irritation and blocked pores can lead to the formation of blackheads and breakouts.

Your skin health is incredibly important, particularly if you already suffer from acne or if you have sensitive skin.

However, more serious issues can arise, besides from uneven texture and blackheads; makeup brushes and certain accessories can lead to nasty infections through cross-contamination:

Conjunctivitis: a viral infection of the eye, easily transferred by makeup brushes, used false eyelashes, shared makeup, expired makeup products and dirty eyelines used in the waterline.
Blepharitis: a nasty bacterial inflammation of the eyelid. Once again, dirty and unsanitised makeup and makeup accessories can trigger this.
Eye styes: this is a small, painful lump which can be located on or inside the eyelid or around the eye area is a painful bacterial infection on the eyelash follicle or eyelid gland. This can be avoided by ensuring you do not use old out of date makeup and only use clean and sanitised makeup and brushes.

For more information on acne, click here. 

What is Acne?

So, as we have discussed, your makeup brushes are the backbone of your beauty kit.

how should you clean it? And how often?

Remember all that gross residual makeup, dirt and oil that is building up on your makeup brushes? All you need is a good brush cleaning. A suggestion is that for face brushes like foundation, concealer, or powder, you should be cleaning them once a week. For eye brushes, you can clean in between uses for using different shades and pigments.

The easiest way to clean your makeup brushes is to invest in a silicone brush cleaning mat. Most silicone mats are designed with different textures that can get in between your brushes better than your hands could.

Recommended process:

Squeeze a dollop of a gentle shampoo or a specific makeup brush cleanser into a glass and fill it with warm water.

Swirl your brushes in the water and gently massage the bristles to further remove any build up.

Rinse with clean water and carefully squeeze the water out.



If your brushes are starting to look discoloured or dull you may want to give your brushes a good cleaning. You may also find visible makeup residue on the bristles or sponge and your brushes may feel stiff or scratchy when used.

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There are certain mistakes that one can make whilst washing makeup brushes. The first and main one entails not washing brushes frequently enough; your makeup brushes must be cleaned at regular intervals to ensure the prevention of bacterial spread. Secondly, you may not wash them thoroughly enough, and the brush cleanser used may not be the best.  You can opt for a gentle soap or invest in an affordable cleanser. It will remove the product build-up quite easily without any effort. For makeup brushes with natural bristles, you can opt of oil cleansers.

so, what are you waiting for? get cleaning!

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