The Dirty on Makeup Brushes


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If you haven’t cleaned your makeup brushes in a while, you may want to – and quickly! With weeks or (shock) months of old makeup left to fester on your favorite makeup brush, not only are you putting your skin at risk of clogged pores, you could also be introducing some nasty bacteria.

According to Good Housekeeping, dirty makeup brushes can lead to premature aging, aggravated skin and even the possibility of a staph infection!

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PSA FOR THE LADIES OUT THERE! the first two pictures are the day I went to the hospital, I had no idea what was happening to my face. It had felt like a giant pimple was forming on my face. However, that was not the case. This is what's known as cellulitis staph infection and it's serious business. The cause of this? Dirty makeup brushes, spoolies, tweezers, and foundation blenders. Also just bacteria making it all worse. I'm lucky I went to the hospital when I did. I could have gone blind or even had the infection spread to the occipital lobe in my brain. This is some serious shit. CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES. REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP BEFORE BED. WASH YO FACE. Be aware ladies~ #staphinfection #makeup #publicserviceannouncement #besafe #makeuphorror #cellulitis #dirtymakeupbrushes #fuckthis

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“Through daily use, makeup brushes can accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, pollution and bacteria,” Dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer told Good Housekeeping. “These include staphylococcus, streptococcus and e-coli, fungus and viruses.” According to Good Housekeeping a woman in Australia contract a staph infection after sharing a makeup brush with a friend and was left paralyzed in the arms and legs.

If contracting a staph infection isn’t gruesome enough, Bustle warns of the possibility of attracting a bug infestation into your dirty makeup brushes, which is exactly what happened to one woman who documented her infested makeup sponge!

So knowing all of this, what is the best way to clean your makeup brushes and how often should you give them a good scrubbing?

While there are a number of brush cleaning products you can buy at the beauty store, you probably already have regular household items on hand that can clean the gunk from your favorite makeup applicator.

According to Bustle, Olive Oil is wonderful at removing heavily caked on makeup from brush bristles and you only need a dime sized amount. Baby Shampoo also works wonders thanks to its gentle formula and of course regular antibacterial soap is perfect for killing off germs and bacteria.

Bustle reveals the best way to clean your makeup brushes is to avoid completely submerging them in water. Instead gently run the brush under water and give the bristles a massage to loosen the caked in makeup and work up a good lather using soap, or baby shampoo. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, pat dry and allow to dry properly overnight. Try to clean your makeup brushes once a week, or once every two weeks.