Our 9 Best Makeup Hygiene Tips  

There’s a reason why makeup artists always disinfect and sanitize makeup, makeup brushes and their makeup kits. It’s no secret, makeup can grow harmful bacteria. Even more so when shared.   

Sanitation practices are crucial for a professional makeup artist to keep their makeup tools and products clean and sanitary and prevent cross-contamination. Their top priority in doing so is to keep their clients safe from any kind of bacterial infection, such as an eye infection or pink eye.  

makeup brush hygiene

Now, of course, your makeup is probably not being used by others. Regardless, bacterial growth WILL happen in products in our makeup bag that are being used over and over again, even if by just ourselves.

Makeup hygiene is crucial to keeping products clean and sanitary. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep sanitation practices in our makeup routine as well, to keep our makeup clean and safe.  

Our Best 9 Tips for Good Makeup Hygiene  

These are some of the best 9 tips that here, at Red Apple Lipstick, we highly believe are important to maintain good makeup hygiene. They also help extend the shelf life of your makeup, which is a plus as it will help you save money.   

1. Start with a Clean Face  

Always start any makeup application after you have washed your face. Applying makeup on cleansed skin will help prevent dirt and bacteria from being trapped in your pores, therefore also lessening the chances of cross-contamination.  

makeup hygiene is helped when starting with a clean face

2. Wash Your Hands Before Applying Makeup  

Speaking about clean skin, you always want to wash your hands before applying both your skincare products and makeup. Our hands, even more so our fingertips, can carry germs and bacteria from what they have touched.   

To prevent those bacteria from ending up on your face and products, make sure you are washing them before getting started.   

3. Close Your Makeup Products  

To prevent bacteria from getting in, always make sure you properly close any products you use. Closing them tightly will prevent unnecessary air to come in, helping them to last longer as well.  

4. Store Properly   

Bacteria like to grow in warmer temperatures, which is why you want to store your beauty products in an area that is at room temperature. This should also be a dry area. Avoid areas where there is moisture, such as the bathroom, as moisture encourages bacteria growth.   

Another thing to avoid is leaving makeup in the car. The hot temperature there will most definitely promote bacteria growth. Plus, heat and direct sunlight can negatively affect any active ingredients and shorten the shelf life. 

don't leave makeup in a hot car
Don’t leave makeup in a hot car.

So, remember, store in a cool and dry area.  

5. Wash Makeup Brushes and Tools Regularly  

Proper hygiene includes cleaning brushes and tools regularly as bacteria is often transferred to them. To prevent buildup, you can choose to do a light cleaning on brushes in between usage but do a deeper clean every 2 weeks if possible.  

All you need to deep clean your brushes, and sponges, is a gentle soap and water. To clean tools such as lash curlers, simply spray isopropyl alcohol on them and wipe with a clean paper towel. Also, make sure you replace sponges every 2 to 3 months.  

Here is a video showing just how to wash your brushes.

6. Sharpen Eye and Lip Pencils Often  

A good and super easy way to remove any bacteria from makeup pencils (lip and eye liners), is by sharpening them often. Try to make it a habit to sharpen them every time before using them.  

7. Inspect Your Products Often and Check Expiration Dates  

Make sure you are aware of when each type of product expires and check them often to make sure you don’t have any expired products. Some can go bad before their expiry date.   

Be on the lookout for the following signs of expiration: 

  • bad odor 
  • change in texture or consistency 
  • difference in application or pigmentation 
  • separation 

A lot of eye products, liquid and cream in particular, will usually expire within 3 to 6 months. Liquid and cream face products, as well as lipsticks, tend to last about a year. Powder products, including loose powder and eyeshadow palettes, can last longer.    

Make sure to refer to our expiration guide for more in-depth details on this here.   

8. Do Not Share Your Makeup   

Because makeup can harbor bacteria, it is best to avoid sharing to prevent the spread of it. Makeup on its own will start growing some bacteria over time once opened. On top of that, our own bacteria, from our face and hands, is then added to it. 

Try not to share makeup products. Did you know makeup can be spritzed with alcohol and allowed to try as a method of cleaning?

You should especially not share eye products and lipstick, or any lip products. Pink eye and a cold sore can be transmitted easily through those types of products when they are shared with others.  

When trying products at a makeup store or counter, ask the makeup artist there to disinfect them for you first. Many people have been testing them too, some even double dip into them, so you want to make sure they have been sanitized before you try them. And make sure to always use disposable applicators, like mascara wands and eyeshadow applicators. 

9. Always Remove Your Makeup at Night  

Good makeup hygiene includes washing it off before going to bed. Sleeping with makeup is a big no-no for the sake of your skin’s health. It can cause problems such as dry skin, clogged pores, and breakouts just to name a few.  

Always wash your face at the end of the day, making sure to remove all traces of makeup. For tips on doing so, head over to the 4 Great Makeup Removal Tips & The Best Way to Remove Makeup article.  

Is Sanitizing Makeup, or Disinfecting, Necessary for All Makeup Products?  

You’re likely the only one using your makeup products. Since this is the case, sanitizing all of your products will not be necessary as often, as long as you’re cleaning your brushes often and constantly checking that products have not gone bad.   

However, it’s never a bad idea to disinfect your makeup every so often to prevent bacteria buildup, especially if you are concerned about it. Disinfect powder products by simply spraying them with isopropyl alcohol and allowing it to air dry. You can also scrape off the top layer before spraying with alcohol.   

For solid products (such as lipsticks, stick blushes and highlighters), you may wipe the top layer off with paper towels and spray them with alcohol. Make sure to wipe down the actual containers as well.   

Follow these tips to keep your beauty products both clean and safe. Are there any additional tips that you find useful that we didn’t mention here? Feel free to share these in the comments below.  

Rubbing alcohol is the answer. Makeup products that might need this type of sanitation include powder compacts, eyeshadow palettes, foundation bottle heads, and any metal tools, to name a few. 
I keep a small spray bottle of at least 90% isopropyl alcohol in my kit to spray on any product before using it on a client.


Frequently Asked Questions:  

How do you not cross-contaminate makeup?

Some great ways to avoid doing so is by always applying your makeup with clean hands on a clean face. Clean makeup brushes as well as any tools you use often. Constantly check that your products have not expired and avoid sharing, especially eye and lip products.   

How do makeup artists sanitize?

Among other steps, artists are avid users of 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect makeup by spraying them with it.  

How do you clean makeup powder?

By simply spraying with isopropyl alcohol and allowing it to air dry. You can also scrape off the top first and then spray them.  

How often should you clean your makeup?

Try to clean brushes and tools often, about every 2 weeks. When it comes to actual products, it will all depend on the product itself and if you are concerned about bacteria buildup on them. Read this article to learn more about this. 

You might also enjoy our Beginners Guide To Makeup Do’s and Don’ts!

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