All of the very best skin care products mean nothing if you're just going to slap makeup on your face with brushes hoarding weeks worth of concealer, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, dead cells, and oil. Just as you're keen on washing your face regularly (hopefully), your makeup tools should receive the same attention.
You may be thinking, "It's not like I pile on products every day". I hate to break it to you, but your latest, recurring breakout, or that weird itchy rash may have those dirty brushes and sponges to blame. Considering most women clean their brushes less than once a month, you're not alone if this hits a little too close to home. Not cleaning your tools is the ultimate sin - you don't want to add to the list of mistakes you're making with skincare.
Not motivated to clean them? These gross things can happen when you neglect your makeup brushes and beauty blenders, so hopefully it will trigger some motivation to do so!
BACTERIA, MOLD, & VIRUS BUILD-UP
When you don't wash your brushes, they can accumulate pathogens (harmful germs), dust, and dirt. Artist Brush Founder and Former MAC Senior Executive Matthew Waitesmith says that you reapply the microbes that live on your skin each time you use your unwashed makeup brushes. "The problems can come when the brush you are using provides a moist, warm environment and becomes a petri dish that help the microbes breed faster in the hairs of the brush". These microbe colonies multiply and can then get out of hand. It gets worse! Dirty makeup brushes can lead to viral infections. Reapplying your own dirt and oils with your filthy brushes already upsets your skin. Sharing cosmetics and brushes with others opens up a bigger, grosser can of worms. "Sharing your brush with anyone else complicates the issue by introducing their normal microbes onto your skin, which may not tolerate the "foreign" microbes well, causing a reaction," says Waitesmith. This reaction can be as small as a breakout or as intense as picking up a viral infection like pink eye or herpes. Allowing dirty brushes to become breeding grounds for potentially dangerous pathogens is taking a risk; especially so if you have an unbalanced microbiome/acid mantle, or you are prone to breakouts.
One of the most important take away from this lesson is that dirty brushes and sponges can lead to breakouts. Remember that whole brushes becoming a petri dish scenario we just discussed? Swiping a dirt and bacteria-infested brush all over your face can cause an overload of microbes that your skin isn't used to handling. According to Waitesmith, "That can trigger your skin to try and control the overloaded layer by reacting to it with a rash, or blistering, or skin eruptions." If you're noticing bumps popping up in the same spots that you use your brushes and sponges, it's time to reevaluate your cleanliness.
Our skin reacts to oil and dirt build-up in many ways. Just as an overload of bacteria can trigger breakouts, it can cause your skin to become irritated. Cleaning your brushes regularly will also keep your brush fibers soft, so you won't have to go to town on your face when applying your makeup. The gunkier your brush, the stiffer the bristles become, and stiff bristles may scratch breaching the skin's protective barrier. It shouldn't feel like you're scraping your face when applying your makeup.
You probably saw this one coming. Weeks old makeup that's been settling in your dirty brushes and sponges may contribute to congestion and clogged pores. And, as you probably know, clogged pores may lead to breakouts. As long as your brushes go uncleansed, you'll spread dirt from your face, into your makeup, and back to your face again. Nothing like inoculating new makeup with a bacteria laden brush!
If you thought breakouts were bad, you're probably not prepared to handle the possibility of attracting bugs to your dirty brushes and sponges. No joke! Those 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells we shed every minute, are great food for skin mites (Demodex) and dust mites. Yes, everybody has live mites on them; some extra nasty ones can reside in the lash and eyebrow follicles. Before dismissing the possibility of other critters in your tools, check this out:
(forgive the language, but it's funny!)
BAD MAKEUP APPLICATION
Maybe you're not scared of a little viral infection. In that case, know that dirty brushes will affect the performance of your tools. It's already a struggle enough trying to blend out shadows or perfect a Kim K contour. Grimy brushes complicate matters even more by making the application of certain makeup streaky or uneven. "The user will have to work harder, and take more strokes of the brush against the skin in an attempt to try and get the application to be even and uniform," says Waitesmith. Excerpted from BUSTLE
SO, HOW DO YOU CLEAN THEM?
Nothing outperforms like PureBiotics Green All-Purpose Cleaner! You will never run out of ways to use this (and their other) extraordinary product(s). Put a few drops in the palm of your hand, add a little cool water, and gently massage the bristles from the metal (ferrule) that connects the handle to the bristles. Thoroughly rinse in cool water. Shake out the excess, roll each brush individually in a paper towel to shape the hairs and draw-out moisture, and elevate the handle slightly so the water drains from the ferrule. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before storing them bristles-up. NEVER wipe bristles with wipes (or rubbing alcohol)... wipes do not remove the pathogens thoroughly enough, and they leave behind unsafe chemical residues.
Why is this such a great product? It breaks up bio-film. Pathogens cannot live if the bio-film they create is removed. Natural green cleansers and enzymes breakdown the oil and dirt, probiotics remove harmful allergens and dust mite contamination. It is SAFE, NATURAL, and VERY ECONOMICAL. PureBiotic products will leave behind beneficial, protective probiotics which are good for you & the environment! Buy online, or buy through me and save 20% off retail/online prices.
In my opinion, it's not safe to use disinfecting wipes (and they DO NOT destroy bio-film, so the germs re-populate within minutes). Read this:
NOTE: Brush bristles break, dry up, and lose their flexibility. The ends get feathery and create streaks, particulate matter gets deeply embedded in the ferrule... How do I know this? I have been watercolor and acrylic painting for years (in my free-time, LOL!). At that point, it's time to replace your brushes.
Skinplicity carries a beautiful set of makeup brushes, reasonably priced. Check them out next time you stop in. ~Nancy