YOUR make-up kit could be rife with nasty germs, scientists have warned.
Microbiologist Dr David Caballero-Lima says: “A brush that has not been washed in three months could contain more bacteria than a toilet.”
Lisa Armstrong gives tips on how to clean your make-up kit like a professionalCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
The contents of your make-up bag could be dirtier than your looCredit: Shutterstock
The baddies lurking include bacteria E.coli and staphylococcus aureus. Dr Caballero-Lima adds: “The result of using dirty make-up tools on the unique microbiome of your skin is the disturbance of healthy balance, inducing irritation and in some cases infections, worsening acne and dermatitis.”
LISA says: “As professional make-up artists, we clean our brushes after every application and use an alcohol-based product that sterilises bristles.
“If you are regularly using your make-up brushes, give them a deep clean every couple of weeks.
“Use Fairy liquid or an anti-bacterial shampoo that will work on grease and oils.
“Add to warm water and swirl the brushes around with their tips pointed down to minimise the amount of water collected where the bristle reaches the base, as mould can form here.
“Invest in a spray-and-go cleaner like Beauty Hygiene Plus quick-dry brush-cleaning spray (£11.99, feelunique.com).
“You can use this a few times a week to give your brushes a quick clean, spritzing the bristles and rubbing on kitchen roll to get rid of dirt. Dry by laying them flat with the bristles hanging off the edge of a surface. Storing them wet and upright can damage the hairs and loosen the glue.”
BACTERIA can build quickly on beauty blenders if left damp after use.
Lisa says: “Wash them in mild baby shampoo. Squeeze under hot water until the water runs clean. Then I like to run mine under a cold tap. I pop it on to a clean flannel and rest it on the radiator to completely dry out.
“If you have a lot of beauty blenders, add them to a delicates bag — like those used for lingerie and silk shirts — zip them up and pop them in the washing machine.”
LISA says: “A tell-tale sign that your eyelash curlers need changing is when a crack begins to appear in the rubber. Lashes, old mascara and bacteria can build in the crevice, putting you at risk of eye infections and also making the curlers more blunt, which means they are more likely to rip out your lashes.
“Replace the rubber and clean the rest of the tool with Beauty Hygiene Plus beauty tools sanitising spray (£11.99, feelunique.com) and a wipe. Or, clean with anti-bacterial shampoo.”
“WE often forget about our liners but if they look blunt, chances are they are harbouring harmful bacteria,” warns Lisa.
“Sharpening them regularly will shave off any bacteria. Don’t forget to clean the sharpener too, using a misting spray. The old shavings can accumulate inside. Just be careful, as the blade is often sharp.”
LISA says: “Every time I wash my hair, I sort out my brush, lifting the dead hair out with a fine-tooth comb and giving it a soak with Fairy liquid every few weeks.
“The comb makes it easy to lift off all the dead hair and debris so you can get down to the nitty-gritty of the brush. There’s no point washing your hair then running a dirty, greasy brush through it.”
WHERE possible, avoid the temptation to share make-up brushes.
Lisa says: “At Strictly, we label pots for each dancer to hold their brushes.
“The brushes then stay with the dancer the entire time to ensure there is no cross-contamination.
“Even sharing powders, cream blush, bronzers and lippies can infect your product. We all do it, of course, especially in the loos on a night out.
“The next time someone asks, scoop it out yourself and wipe it on the back of their hand, then let them apply it with their finger.
“For powders, eyeshadow palettes and cream products, spritz with an antibacterial mist.”
Try Labology 3 Super antibacterial mist (£8, arkskincare.com).
LISA says: “It’s important to keep the home for your make-up nice and tidy. Chucking clean tools back into a grimy bag defeats the purpose.
“If your make- up bag is fabric, take it in the shower with you. Add a dollop of shampoo when you do your hair and rub the bag’s sides together to clean it.
“For clear plastic bags, wipe them with a cloth or biodegradable wipe.”
“MASCARAS have a lifelong symbol on them for a reason,” according to Lisa.
“So when that expires, chuck them. We don’t see mascaras as being dirty.
“But they can quickly clog around the rim and on the comb, so make sure you give it a regular wipe.
“If you want to keep the comb, clean it in Fairy washing-up liquid until the bristles are clear.”