Life Hack: How to Sanitize Makeup

Ethyl alcohol

How do makeup artists sanitize their makeup? 90% alcohol

Do you ever worry about how many microbes might be hanging out on the surface of your makeup? As a self-confessed germophobe, I’ll admit that I like to make sure that the products I’m putting on my face, particularly around my eyes, are as sanitary as they possibly can be. This is especially important when you have a lot of makeup and can have items in your collection – like eye shadows or blushes – for several years. Of course, if any product starts to look or smell different, its always best to err on the side of caution and just toss it. I thought I would share my quick tips for keeping your makeup germ free.

Always wash your hands before applying makeup
It might seem super obvious, but I actually do wash my hands before I put on my makeup. This will significantly reduce the number of germs you are exposing your products to in the first place.

Alcohol: Not just for drinking!
Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and isopropyl alcohol have been proven to kill most bacteria, fungi, and viruses, according to the Center for Disease Control. Pick up a bottle of rubbing alcohol from the drugstore, but make sure its at least 90% alcohol. Most rubbing alcohol is only 70%, and the 30% water content may harm powder products. In Canada, for safety reasons, the more concentrated 90-95% rubbing alcohol is usually kept behind the counter and you have to ask for it. I picked up a little plastic spray bottle in the travel section of the drugstore and keep it filled with 95% ethyl alcohol that I spritz on any pressed powders, blushes, eye shadows, lip and eye pencils. I even spritz the nozzles and caps of products like foundation or primer and use it on my sharpeners too. For lipsticks, you can fill a small container (like a shot glass) and dip it in the alcohol for 10 seconds.

makeup sponges

30 seconds in the microwave and they’re germ free

Microwave your sponges
I did a previous post about how microwaving your reusable sponges, like the Beauty Blender,Ā  actually works because science! Just make sure to place it in a glass bowl of water (do not microwave them dry!) for 30 seconds. I do this every morning before applying my foundation because I am prone to breakouts. I feel better knowing I’m not patting more bacteria onto my face.

anti-bacterial makeup brush cleaner

I use my anti-bacterial facial cleanser to clean brushes

Wash your brushes regularly
Just like washing your hands, using clean brushes will also reduce the number of germs you’re exposing your makeup to (and your skin!). I use an anti-bacterial cleanser and wash my makeup brushes weekly. I make it a part of my weekend schedule, on a Saturday or a Sunday, to wash all of the brushes I’ve used that week. Its not recommended to use alcohol on makeup brushes though, because it can weaken the glue that holds the bristles.

Try not to use really old makeup products
This is a hard one for everybody, but sometimes its best to just say goodbye. I’m particularly strict about mascara, which cannot be sanitized like other products. I stick to the not longer than 3 months rule. I would be very careful about eye makeup because you really don’t want to risk an eye infection.

Do you have any tips that you use for keeping your makeup clean? Feel free to share them. I hope this post helped any of my fellow germophobes out there feel better šŸ™‚

Thanks so much for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ā¤


Filed under Health & Skincare

9 responses to “Life Hack: How to Sanitize Makeup

  1. Pingback: NARS Velvet Shadow Stick Review | nerdylibrariangirl

  2. Pingback: Can a Silicone “Sponge” Compete with the Beauty Blender? | nerdylibrariangirl

  3. I wash my Beauty Blender after every use. I do the same for eye brushes. Face brushes get washed once a week.


  4. I will have to do that to my beautyblenders! Such a great guide šŸ™‚


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