The Importance of Hygiene in Skincare and Makeup Application

The Importance of Hygiene in Skincare and Makeup Application

Do you know what's in your makeup bag and no, we don't just mean the products. According to research by the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, your makeup bag might be the perfect breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. The scientists found bacterial contamination in virtually all of the in-use cosmetics included in the study, and around a fifth of them was contaminated by fungus and yeast. Some of the more dangerous perpetrators identified in the study were Candida, Escherichia coli, and even Salmonella. Yikes!

The good news is however that this is entirely preventable. If anything, studies like this highlight the importance of proper hygiene when it comes to handling, storing, and applying your favorite skincare and makeup products. Let's dig deeper and find out how!

Makeup Blush Powder

Preservatives: keeping our skincare products fresh and safe

Preservatives might sound like a dangerous word but in reality, most good makeup and skincare formula contains preservatives to prevent mold and bacterial growth. Like food, cosmetic products can easily spoil, and manufacturers implement both physical (think, proper packaging) and chemical (optimizing ingredients and processes) preservation techniques to ensure your favorite makeup products don't cause you more harm than good.

Choosing the right preservatives is a tricky business. Your skin has an optimal pH of between 4 and 6.5 - the pH level refers to how acid or alkaline the environment is. Many microorganisms such as bacteria can't survive in an environment with a pH below 4 or over 10, but they absolutely thrive in those similar to our skin. However, products at the extreme end of the pH spectrum might prevent bacterial growth, but they can also irritate the skin.

Additionally, bacteria proliferate in water, and as most cosmetic and makeup products are water-based this also makes them the ideal breeding ground for microorganisms, hence the need for preservatives. Remember the advice to never store your cosmetics in the bathroom? That's because your bathroom becomes humid and warm when you shower, which increased bacterial growth.

Preservatives can protect your skincare and makeup as well as your skin, but they have to be designed to also be gentle. Some of the most common preservatives include aldehydes ( for instance formaldehyde or DMDM hydantoin), glycol ethers such as phenoxyethanol, parabens, and organic acids (benzoic acid, sorbic acid, levulinic acid and more), all of which serve to curb bacterial and fungal growth.

How should I store my makeup?

Depending on the preservatives and ingredients, you might have to store certain skincare and cosmetics products differently. As a rule of thumb, keep your cosmetics away from direct sunlight and a humid, hot environment like your bathroom vanity. Look for the storage instructions on every product: read and follow them to protect your skin and enjoy your favorite products for longer.

Some products can also benefit from being stored in the fridge (but avoid freezing temperatures). Natural skincare with short expiration dates, vitamin C serums, and any treatments based on benzoyl peroxide are best kept in the fridge, along with gel-textured or water-based products like sheet masks, face mists, toners and moisturizers. However, never store any fragrances there, and keep the balms, oils and lipsticks away from low temperatures.

Variety of Makeup Brushes and Products

Many makeup products don’t do that well at high temperatures too. Experts say you should never store cosmetics at temperatures higher than 85°F (29°C). This is especially important if you’re traveling: avoid storing your cosmetic bag in a hot car for long periods of time as the heat might compromise the preservative and increase your risk of infection.

How to apply skincare and makeup without causing contamination?

A few short tips:

  • Avoid store testers: as tempting as it might be to test a certain product on your skin, store testers are ripe with bacteria.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before using any skincare or makeup (make sure to use soap and/or sanitizer).
  • Clean your brushes regularly - you don't need anything fancy, just spray them with isopropyl alcohol and brush against a paper towel until the makeup is removed. However, it's recommended that you do a deep clean every now and then: invest in a professional product that will not only sanitize your brushes but also maintain the condition of the brush hair.
  • Sharpen your pencils and liners before every use: this removes any bacteria that might be sitting on the surface.
  • Wipe the top layer of your lipstick before you apply it. Experts recommend following up by dipping it in isopropyl alcohol for 30 seconds.
  • Gently wipe the top layer of any pressed powders and eyeshadows and spray them with makeup cleaner before each use. Let air dry and go wild!

Never use makeup and skincare past its expiry date.

With that being said, we at Uzza Lash, place emphasis on quality, high-end and natural products designed with the perfect ingredients to keep them fresh and safe, while also being gentle to the skin and lashes. Follow our tips for choosing, handling, and taking care of your skincare and makeup products to enjoy healthy, radiant and beautiful skin!

 Cheers to a more beautiful, and healthy you!

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First image: Photo by tijmen van dobbenburgh from FreeImages
Second image: Photo by Valentina Jori from FreeImages


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