Face Magic: Streamlining Your Makeup Bag for a Healthier Face
Did you know certain beauty habits can lead to nasty overgrowths of bacteria and even microscopic mold on your makeup that’s potentially dangerous? Here’s what you should keep, what you should toss, and other general face magic to store in your brain:
Makeup bag by Quilted Koala, available here.
1. Get rid of the facial sponges and long-term use cleansing aids. If you’re on the go or generally lazy, the best way towipe off your face is with mildly exfoliating, cleansing wipes to avoid the ever-so-common Staphylococcus bacteria that accumulates on washcloths, sponges, and rotating devices.. They get the job done two-fold by removing makeup and keeping bacteria ridden reusable cloths off your face. Remember, breakouts start from bacteria! My personal favorites are the PONDS Towelettes— the texture and formula really gets the job done, and they’re super affordable. Available here.
READ MORE: How to Use Facial Oils
2. Never, ever use a pot of lipgloss. Use a tinted lip balm 100% of the time. All those cutesy flavored lip balms in tins are close to toilet levels of disgusting. You dip your just-touched-the-subway-pole finger in, rub it on your mouth, then repeat. Literally, they’re like flavored petri dishes. Did you know that potted lip balms are one of the major sources of the bacteria that causes strep throat? *gasp* Switch to twist up balms that never make direct contact with your fingers, and offer great color delivery, too. My go to is the NIVEA Kiss of Care & Color in Crimson– the color is universally flattering, it’s available everywhere, and my lips feel smooth for hours with a subtle sheen. Available here.
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3. Did you know that there’s e. Coli on your eyeliner brush? One study showed that most makeup brushes were contaminated with all sorts of disgusting, dangerous bacteria on your makeup brushes. Make a commitment to clean all your brushes in mild soapy water once a week (I use my face wash on my brushes), and then let them air dry as often as possible. Keeping them in a dark, damp medicine cabinet or makeup bag helps bacteria grow at a rapid rate. I like the Ecotools brushes because they’re easy to wash without damaging the bristles or handles, and then I can get back to my regularly schedule face magic. Available here.
4. Use a concealer stick vs a pot. For the same reason as the lipgloss, switch your concealer from the pot or pancake delivery method to a stick. Staph, strep, AND e.Coli– all to potentially go next to your eyes! Most of the big brands have their version of stick concealers, but avoiding finger contact whenever possible is a step in the right direction. You can use your fingers once the product is ON your face, but sticking germ-ridden fingers into makeup containers is like giving bacteria a house in the Hamptons. The LORAC formula is one of my faves for flawless coverage that gives the no-makeup appearance. Available here.
5. Even your nail files and buffers can contain gross germs! Think about it– we eat with our fingers, touch gross doors with them, and then bam! Hang nail, get the file out. No one ever washes and disinfects their hands before filing, so all those lovely germs end up on your cutest printed emory boards, and then your best friend in the cubicle next to you says “can I borrow that? my pinky nail needs reshaping.” Well, you just passed all your best bacteria and fungus to her, and she’ll likely shovel some popcorn into her mouth a few minutes later, leaving her at major risk for Onychomycosis, a nail fungus that grows slowly over time and is very difficult to treat. Keep a small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol or peroxide (even 1 ounce will do!) in your makeup bag to insta-sanitize emory boards, buffers, brushes, and even makeup itself on the go.