The Dirty Secret About Sharing Cosmetics

Rule number one-too-many: NEVER share your makeup–even with your bestie. This is not violating any girl code. In fact, NOT sharing is actually caring.

Makeup brushes and applicators can easily carry bacteria from one person to another, and moist, dark containers allow such germs to thrive. So, aside from making sure that you clean your brushes regularly, did you know that you have to de-germ your cosmetics as well?

Here are the ways you can sanitize your makeup, according to Modern Rosies:

  • Pressed Powders. This includes eyeshadow, face powder, blushes, bronzers, etc. Using a paper towel, lightly pat the top layer of your pressed powders to remove any oils that may have come off from your fingers. (tip: you should always avoid putting your fingers in your makeup, especially pressed powders. Oil from your hands could potentially ruin your pressed products either changing their texture or rendering them useless all together). Spritz the top of your powders with the spray bottle of alcohol and set aside to dry.
  • Pencil Liners. During this process I prefer to clean the entire pencil. Spritz the outside of the pencil and the top and wipe with a paper towel. Next, spritz your pencil sharpener with the alcohol. Sharpen and spritz (or dunk) the tip of the freshly sharpened pencil and set aside to dry. Remember, if it has a cap, sanitize that as well.
  • Cream/Gel Products. These items are a bit trickier. It’s always best of these products have a smooth surface to work with (like when they are brand new) however they usually have divots in them from brushes and spatulas. You can still sanitize them using the spritzing method. After doing so, flip the product upside down on a few paper towels and let it dry. This way there won’t be any “puddles” of rubbing alcohol in your product.
  • Lipstick. Lipstick is one of the easiest items to sanitize.Using the paper towel, gently wipe the tip of the lip stick getting rid of any residue that may sit on top. Fully extend the lipstick and dunk into a cup of rubbing alcohol. At this point you can set the lip stick aside to dry while you clean the cap.

As a rule of thumb, you should NEVER share lip and eye products (e.g. lipsticks, lipgloss, mascara, eyeliners, etc) as these products are those having the most bacteria contaminants–and you don’t want to be swapping germs with anybody else!

Sadly, there are also cosmetic products that you can not sanitize. Here they are:

  • Loose Powders. Because these are loose powders I would suggest separating the product from the container before using (i.e. avoid the double dip) because there isn’t really a way to go about properly sanitizing these products. Some studies show that you can place loose powders in the freezer overnight and it will kill the bacteria however there is some controversy over this because other scientist are claiming that it would be even more susceptible to germs after reaching room temperature. Regardless of these studies, bacteria is drawn to moisture. Since these products are very dry then I wouldn’t worry too much about these as long as they are properly cared for.
  • Wand Applicators. This includes lip gloss, mascaras, concealers, and anything else that comes in a wand applicator. These items are the toughest. You could cut the original wand portions from these items and stick to using disposable however, unless you are makeup artist, this is very wasteful (and we want to love our mother earth, not trash it). The only tip I can give you here, other than being aware of the expiration date, is to never pump your wands. Doing so pushes air into the tube which promotes rapid bacteria growth.
  • Squeeze tube applicators: Notably, these are the most sanitary of applicators however they can still become contaminated if not used properly. Avoid applying product directly to your lips/fingers. Instead, use a clean brush to wipe product from the tip or squeeze onto a palette. During the sanitation process, simply spritz the applicator with alcohol… and don’t forget the cap!

If bacteria can thrive in your own personal makeup, I’m sure you have figured out the horror of trying out those cosmetics on the makeup counter.

When trying out sample testers, make sure NEVER to apply them anywhere near your eyes or lips. Be wary of even disposable wands because you never know how many people double-dip the samples. Swatching the product on your hand will do and always use alcohol or antibacterial spray to remove it.

I guess this is all for now.

Happy weekend!


One comment

  1. that is why i separate my personal makeup to those makeup i used when i do makeup services (weddings and events)

    i always make sure to clean-dry my brushes before keeping them, i dont share my lipstick to others and even my pressed powder..

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