As a makeup artist, I deal with two things specifically: Makeup and hygiene. To be honest, I’ve seen some pretty iffy practices in my world of makeup artistry that have given me the chills! Since makeup is all about enhancing our facial features and skin, hygiene has to come into play, but it is a very personal matter and often a sensitive subject. But it has to be discussed, because the fact is simple: If it’s not something I’d put on my body, I’m not going to put it on my clients. It should also be the same for you: If the products you’re using aren’t hygienic and clean (and will likely compromise the health of your skin), then don’t use it!
I recommend doing a proper “makeup kit detox” routinely so that you do not compromise your personal hygiene or your looks! Let’s go per product in your makeup kit, to make things easier.
1. Check and toss products past their expiry dates.
Makeup, like any other product made from natural ingredients, has a proper shelf life. If you use products close to or after their expiry date, then you will likely have to deal with microscopic elements that are on these products, which may find their way to your skin. We’re talking mold (yikes), yeast (ew), bacteria and germs that can lead to skin infections and other complications.
As a rule, you should throw out your makeup products as follows:
- Mascara: Three months maximum for mascara, because its bottle is the perfect host environment for bacteria. Using three-month old mascara increases your chances for eye infections like stys. They also become chalky after three months, making them caky on your lashes.
- Eyeshadows, liners: Pencil liners can last up to two years, with regular sharpening. Cream shadows should be thrown out after six months, due to water content, which means bacteria and yeast can more easily thrive.
- Lip makeup: Lip glosses should be thrown out after two years because (1) they lose their quality over time (i.e. fade in color, less adherent), and (2) gloss containers attract bacteria because their are damp.
- Face powders, cream foundations: Six months for liquids; two years for powders. Over time, liquid products become breeding ground for bacteria. Powders have more longevity, but they will be more prone to crumbling and caking the older they get.
- Brushes, accessories, sponges: Wash and thoroughly dry your brushes and sponges every week, to avoid the growth of bacteria.
The number one rule to ensure the hygienic quality of your makeup? Maintain good habits. Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you use a product. This is the case with palettes that you use with your fingers, or tubes of cream foundation. Also, if you have an infection, like sore eyes or cold sores in your mouth: Throw away or stop using certain products. Don’t use the same tube of mascara again after you’ve had a sty. Don’t re-use lip products if you have a cold sore. If you have a zit, don’t use your makeup brush to apply product. Instead use a cotton-tipped swab or disposable sponge to apply makeup from a foundation cake. Avoid going back and forth from the product to the affected area!