When you are looking at your favourite lipstick or compact powder, what you cannot see is that these are also the favourite places for germs to thrive on! Until you experience breakouts, infections and rashes, you might not even realise what went wrong.
A few preventive measures, however, will ensure that your cosmetics serve their purpose of making you look good without causing infections. Read on to know how you can keep nasty bacteria away from your cosmetic case.
1. Strict hygiene is a must
You must adhere to the following two rules when it comes to using cosmetics:
- Never share your cosmetics: Even if it is with your best friend or sister, do not share them! Sharing is the best way to infect your make-up with infection-causing bacteria. It can even lead to conjunctivitis or dermatitis. Even when you try out beauty products at cosmetic counters, whenever possible ask for a fresh tester. If that is not possible, just avoid them.
- Always wash your hands before using cosmetics: Especially if you are using a face or body cream, make sure your hands are clean. Otherwise, you might just transfer the germs from your hands to a pot full of cream!
2. What you must never forget to do
The list of “do’s and don’ts” might be a long one, but trust us, it will only assure you better health and hygiene. Here is what you absolutely must keep in mind, when it comes to your cosmetics and other beauty products:
- Make sure you wash your loofah, brushes and sponges with warm water and shampoo every 3-4 days, and dry them thoroughly before using again.
- Applying saliva to wet your make-up brush may be a quick idea, but not a smart one. Saliva has bacteria and when used with make-up, especially eye make-up, can infect your skin and eyes badly.
- Never store your cosmetics in the bathroom, or any place that is humid or wet most of the times. Humidity is an easy ground for germs to multiply. Always store your cosmetics in a cool and dry place.
- When the weather gets too hot, you can actually keep lipsticks and nail polishes in your refrigerator. Make sure the caps are tightly closed after each use.
- Sharpen your eye pencil each time before using it, to scrape off any bacteria.
- Always wipe tweezers with alcohol or spirit before use.
- If you notice a rash or infection, particularly after using a lipstick or mascara, toss it away immediately!
3. Time to say good bye
No matter how much you love your cosmetics, there comes a time when you need to trash them. The good news is that you can have a lot of fun replacing them! Two easy signs to know that a cosmetic has served its purpose: it has been on the shelf for over two years, and smells or looks weird. Holding on to them past their prime is of no use as the preservatives start wearing off and their effectiveness is reduced. The following checklist will help you know what to trash and when:
- Mascara has the shortest life span of all cosmetics and must be replaced every three months.
- Eye and lip pencils, along with lipsticks and powder-based cosmetics, can last up to two years, unless they have been used on infected areas, in which case they must be trashed immediately.
- Foundations can be held on for up to a year while concealers last only half that time.
- Make-up brushes can hold up well for at least three years, but make-up sponges must go every couple of months.
4. Go for tubes over jars or containers
This is so true that if you are using beauty products that come in jars or containers, you are doing more harm than good to your skin. The reason why we are saying so is that when you put the finger in the wide opening of the jar, you are inviting all the bacteria to enter that container yourself. Which is why it is always recommended to us tubes over them as they are safe to use, and you don’t put your finger into it. It’s just that you would squeeze out a bit, as much as you want, and the rest stays intact and germ-free. Having said so, do clean your hands before using your make-up and clean the tip of the tube to get away with the bacteria build up there.