Hygiene is important in every aspect of our lives, including our makeup routine. Practicing proper hygiene in our makeup routine is just as important as our daily skincare routines because poor makeup hygiene can lead to building up of germs, infections, and skin breakouts.

Makeup hygiene should be practiced on a personal level and not just for makeup artists. Whether you’re a makeup enthusiast or just someone who uses makeup occasionally, this article will remind you of some forgotten hygiene habits.

First of all. Wash your hands!

Imagine transferring all the bacteria you picked up from your phone, food, cash, right on to your face. By doing that, you’ll be creating more room for bacteria growth when the fluids mix with the dirt you put on your face. Gross. Always wash your hand before you begin makeup application. You can also keep a hand sanitizer on-the-go.

Cleaning your tools

As much as everyone preaches this, most women don’t actually wash their makeup brushes regularly. Using dirty brushes is one of the easiest ways to get a breakout. It’s okay if you’re guilty. It’s not too late to start. Brushes should be cleaned after use with wipes, or by spraying them with a makeup remover and wiping on a paper towel. 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol can also be used for this. It is cheap but can dry out the bristles in the long run so beware of that.

Deep cleaning your brushes can be done once, twice a week or every two weeks depending on how often you use them. You can use a baby shampoo for this if you don’t have a brush cleansing solution and conditioner as it helps to keep the bristles softer. For foundation brushes which carry heavy cream products, oils can be used to melt the product.

For beauty sponges, personally, I find that soaking them in hot water with liquid soap or shampoo for some minutes before washing makes the process easier. Don’t forget to clean your makeup bags too.

Get rid of expired products

Yes just like food and anything else, makeup does expire. The shelf-life of some products is indicated on them with the “period-after-opening symbol”. Using expired makeup breeds room for bacteria as the preservatives become less effective. Liquids such as mascara, lipstick are usually the first to expire. One way to find out if makeup is expired is by the change in texture, smell or color. So, check your makeup stash regularly and toss out the expired products.

Sanitizing your makeup

This can be done routinely by spraying isopropyl alcohol on powders, eyeshadows, eyelash curlers, tweezers. Allow a few seconds for it to dry before use.

Sharing makeup

Most of us are guilty of this one. I know how tempting it can be to want to try the new eyeshadow palette your girlfriend just got. Sharing makeup can transfer bacteria enough to cause infection. If at all you must share makeup, in between cleaning must be done. Also, this doesn’t apply to every product as some products such as lip gloss, mascara, liquid concealers shouldn’t even be shared.

For products such as compact powders, eyeshadows, blush or any pressed powders, sanitize them by spraying 90% isopropyl alcohol in between use. For pencils, sharpening them get rids of any possible bacteria on the surface. For lipsticks, and by this, I mean solid lipsticks, you can spray the top layer with 90% alcohol and wipe off that layer with tissue. Then scrape off some onto a palette and use a brush to apply. This reduces the chances of contamination. Tips of liquid eyeliners can also be sanitized by this method.

Never double dip! This is why makeup artists use palettes, disposable mascara wands, and applicators. Of course, disposables only apply to products that haven’t been used on someone before. Products such as mascara, liquid lipsticks, or anything with tubes shouldn’t be shared except if you want to invite pink eye or any other infection. The moister a product is, the more bacteria it will breed.

If you’ve survived poor makeup hygiene all this while, it’s never too late to take a turn. You may not always be lucky, and prevention is better than cure! If you have more makeup hygiene tips I missed out on, please share it below. Share this article with anyone you think it will be relevant to xx.



  1. Hi dear. Thanks for this. How do you wash foundation brushes?? Plus I washed my blender with shampoo by soaking it first but then it seems like my face started reacting to it afterwards.

    • Hawwa

      Hey dear! I’m glad you liked this post. For the foundation brushes, I run the bristles under the tap first to get them wet, then I put some shampoo and oil (if needed) in my hand and swirl the brush around it… Then, I repeat this step (without the oil) till it’s thoroughly clean. Rinse off and dry it upside down on a paper towel to prevent water from going back to the brush handle. Also, for the blender, maybe you should try a mild baby shampoo instead xx.

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