Everybody is asking for clean beauty these days; skincare and make up that doesn’t come at a huge environmental cost, that is cognizant about what should and shouldn’t go on our skin and that doesn’t test on animals. And as more brands emerge with these principles and give us more choices we are able to find the things we want and that work for us.
However, while all this good stuff is piling up on our shelves and bathroom counters, its probably a good idea to practice another kind of clean beauty right at home. How to do that you ask?
Make-up and skin care have varying expiry dates depending upon what active ingredients they contain. But apart from that, when we use them, we tend to contaminate them with our sponges and applicators. We touch surfaces of tubs and take creams with our fingers. We load bacteria onto brushes and we are often in too much of a hurry when we’re using them to take proper care of them then.
Its a good idea to sort through all your make-up and skincare every 2 months and make sure you are using products that are still safe and clean. Skin care is usually alright if you’re using a squeeze tube or pump because this keeps the contents from being exposed to air and our hands, which are real hotbeds for passing on infection. But make up like foundation, liquid eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow are all things we use often moving from skin to bottle and back again. So here are a couple of rules of the thumb to help you steer clear of skin breakouts and eye infections:
Follow expiry dates for products. It's always painful to toss your favorite lipstick or mascara, especially if getting that particular shade was difficult. We know! But you will do yourself a huge service. Mascara is always coming in contact with our eyes and end up putting all sorts of gunk back in the bottle. Its like a greenhouse for bacterial growth! Same goes for liquid eyeliner. When cake make up changes colour or smells different its definitely time to get rid of it. So remember to do regular checks so you can order another batch and never be without your favorites.
Clean applicators regularly. Liquid foundation in pumps work well because you can’t contaminate the contents during use. But foundation cakes and sponges need to be taken care of. Sponges can be soaked in hot soapy water and rinsed thoroughly till the water runs clear. You could also place them in a microwave in a bowl of soapy water for a couple of minutes. (Be careful not to burn yourself taking them out!). Brushes can be washed weekly with soap water and left to air dry on a towel. The one exception is mascara brushes. Letting any kind of water into a mascara bottle is as dangerous for bacterial and fungal growth. So don’t wash those and always store them inside the bottle.
Decontaminate make-up surfaces.
Since we can’t help touching make-up and foundation cakes with hands and skin, its a good idea to use an alcohol swab or a tissue with some sanitizer to lightly clean surfaces from time to time. Wipe your lipsticks as well. This will keep them in good shape for longer.
You never know; these small regular steps might be the key to avoiding breakouts and rashes eye infections. When we take so much care of our skin, making sure its moisturized and radiant and in the best shape we can get it, it's worth investing this little bit of time in housekeeping. Consider it self-care.