Using the same products day after day introduces some hygiene risks and developing makeup hygiene takes time and practice. Are you really cleaning your brushes properly? Find out if you need to revamp your cleaning techniques!
1. Using old products
Makeup has an expiry date for a reason! Old products that are past their due date can be extremely unhygienic, particularly if it’s a product that you use on clients. The older makeup gets, the more susceptible it is to germs and bacteria. These will collect on the surface of the product over time. The greater the build-up is, the more difficult it becomes to clean that product, increasing the risk of transferring bacteria between clients. The composition of the product also changes over time, which means that using expired makeup can cause irritation. Even if a product is full, throwing it out is safer than keeping expired makeup because you don’t want to waste it.
2. Clean your tools!
Keeping your makeup tools hygienic is crucial for working with clients and for applying makeup on yourself. Professional makeup artists must clean and sanitize their brushes thoroughly between every single client. If a brush has touched a person’s face or body, it should always be cleaned before it touches someone else. Forgetting to clean your brushes is one of the worst culprits when it comes to transferring bacteria between people. Even your personal brushes should be cleaned after every use. Some products don’t need to be transferred to a clean palette because they can be cleaned. Remembering to actually sanitize your product is key. Sharpen each pencil after you’ve used it to shed the outer layer where the bacteria collect. Spray the top surface of compact powders and gently wipe to remove the contaminated layer, particularly if you ‘double dipped’.
3. Sharing isn’t always caring!
Letting friends use your makeup without cleaning the products in between is a serious hygiene mistake. No matter how close you are to a person, you should still avoid sharing the bacteria on your faces. Pinkeye and cold sores can be easily transmitted through these beauty products.
4. Clean your makeup bag!
Even makeup artists with good hygiene habits are prone to forgetting about their makeup bag. If you take dirty makeup brushes out of their case, clean them, and put them right back, you’re re-contaminating the brushes before you’ve even closed the case. The bacteria that the brushes picked up in their last use are still present in the case unless you clean and sanitize that too.
5. Do not ‘double dip’:
Particularly for cream and loose powder products, which can’t be cleaned on the surface like compact powders, you should always avoid ‘double dipping’. If you take product with your brush, touch the brush to a client’s face, and then put that brush back into the product, you contaminate the rest of that makeup. You therefore can’t use that product on another client without exposing them to the first client’s bacteria. Instead, use a clean palette knife to scoop what you need onto a clean palette. You can work freely from the palette if you use it exclusively for that client until you clean and sanitize it.
6. Using disposable applicators:
Some products, like lip gloss and mascara, need a wand to retrieve them from the container but will be contaminated if you ‘double dip’. This is what disposable applicators are for. Dip your disposable mascara spooley into the tube once, apply the mascara to your client, and throw that spooley away. Your client gets mascara, but your mascara stays bacteria free. Disposable tools are also good when it comes to sponges, which harvest bacteria badly and should never be used on more than one client. Sponges are useful for blending, but cleaning them completely between clients is difficult and disposing of them is safest.
7. Wash your hands!
Washing your hands before makeup applications and between clients seems like common sense, but sometimes it’s the simplest steps that we forget. You should even wash or sanitize your hands before you start a makeup application on yourself. This prevents you from transferring whatever bacteria you’ve picked up throughout your day onto your skin or your client’s face.