Do you ever wonder why cosmetics and makeup productsnow carry a ‘best before’ date? It does seem a bit silly, doesn’t it – after all, you’re going to use themon your skin, not eat them! Why is it so important to keep them in a hygienic condition? Well, cosmetics and makeup can easily get contaminated with bacteria, thus causing infections and passing on germs. So here are some simple ways to keep those products clean and safe …
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It’s a good idea to start with washingyour hands before using cosmetics. However, avoid touching the products if possible. If you need to take a small amount out of a jar, use a spatula, spoon or other utensil to take out as much as you need, and place it on your hand to use. Just think that if you place the product on your face, then dip your finger in again, you are transferring any germs on your skin into the jar.
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Share makeup and share germs! This is especially important with eye makeup, as you don’t want somebody else’s eye infection. So never, ever share. If you want to try makeup in a store, ask for a fresh tester sample – if there aren’t any, either buy without trying or don’t buy at all. You don’t know what could be on a sample that dozens of people have touched.
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The best place to keep your makeup, cosmetics and brushes is in your bedroom. Avoid leaving them in the bathroom, as germs can easily be transmitted (just think for a moment about what happens in the bathroom …). A bedroom will probably have better light for putting on makeup anyway.
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I’ll admit that I’m terrible about cleaning my makeup brushes, and don’t do it nearly as often as I should. Time to reform, I think! Brushes should be kept clean, washed regularly and left to air dry (use a mild shampoo, for example, and rinse thoroughly). Replace them if they get too clogged up or lose too many hairs.
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Conduct a periodic cull of your makeup bagand cosmetic products. Anything that smells as though it has gone off or has a strange texture should be discarded. Look at it this way – it will give you a great opportunity to go out and buy some lovely new makeup! There really is no point hanging on to products past their best, as in addition to the hygiene risks, the product won’t do its job properly.
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Wherever possible, opt for products that come in tubes rather than pots. As I mentioned above, if you have jars then use a spatula rather than dip your fingers in. However, many products, such as cleanser or foundation, come in tubes. This means that you can squeeze out just as much of the product as you need, without contaminating the contents.
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Make sure that after each and every use, all your makeupand cosmetics are firmly closed, so that they stay fresher longer. It’s also important to keep them out of direct sunlight (just think how hot it can get!). In fact, during particularly warm weather you may want to keep them in the fridge (this will also make them more refreshing to use).
So, do you adhere strictly to the ‘use by’ dates on cosmetics, or do you happily use them years after purchase? Is your makeup bag full of geriatric lipstick stubs and ancientmascara? Have you ever learnt the importance of cosmetic hygiene the hard way?
Top Photo Credit: Jacklyn DL
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