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Acne and Make-up Brushes

Aug 18, 2007
Acne can be an extremely irritating, frustrating and embarrassing problem. Often women tend to blame their cosmetics or their diets, but sometimes the real cause of the problem can be something a little unexpected - your make-up brushes.

How Cosmetic Brushes Affect Acne

Cosmetic brushes are used more and more these days with the increasing popularity of high-end cosmetic use and mineral make-up. Generally using a quality cosmetic brush is much better to use in terms of overall cosmetic application and end result than using your fingers or a piece of tissue. However, you need to remember that without regular and thorough cleaning, cosmetic brushes can and often do harbour bacteria and dirt.

Your cosmetic brushes can contain millions of little bacteria and can cause various infections and skin problems such as acne. If you have been breaking-out often lately then take a look at your cosmetic brushes and see if they are as clean as they could be.

Think about it. When you wake-up each and every single morning you are putting your make-up on with your cosmetic brushes. You place them back in your bottomless make-up bag or your drawer and leave them there until the next time you apply your make-up.
You may also occasionally set your cosmetic brushes on your sink which may not be pristine. Perhaps they momentarily fall on the floor. You might not be able to bring yourself to throw away that discontinued blush (now expired as well) that you have had for 3 years now.

Your counter, drawer, cosmetic bag, floor and potentially expired cosmetics can all deposit bacteria into your cosmetic brush which you, in turn, brush on your face. Day after day you are potentially buffing bacteria picked up from dirty surfaces bags and floors onto your face, infecting your skin and clogging up your pores at the same time.

What Should You Do to Protect The Skin?

So now that you know your brushes could be a problem, what should you do to help your skin? There are many cosmetic brush cleaners on the market. Some are washes that resemble a shampoo and others are alcohol based sprays. If you use one of these products keep in mind that any chemical based residue from the cleaner could end up on your face. If your skin is sensitive this could further irritate you.

Want to really clean your cosmetic bushes? A good wash will really help.

1. First rinse each cosmetic brush under warm water to remove the superficial cosmetics from the brush.
2. Place a dot of natural, gentle shampoo on the bristle of each cosmetic brush and massage between your fingers.
3. Fill the bathroom sink with warm water and place the cosmetic brushes in there to soak for a few minutes.
4. Once the cosmetic brushes have had a chance to soak, rinse each brush under warm running water.
5. Dry each brush by first gently squeezing out any excess water.
6. Allow the brushes to air dry on a clean towel.

If your brushes are really dirty then it is possible that they may have contaminated your make-up, regardless how well your make-up is preserved. If you suspect this, throw away your cosmetics and replace them with new products. Always use a clean brush with a new product to ensure that you aren't contaminating the new product.

Also, remember that the majority of cosmetics don't have an indefinite shelf life so be sure to mark the date with a pen when you first open your cosmetics and throw them away when you have reached the standard expiration date.

Overall cosmetic brushes really do come in handy but their usefulness is entirely counterproductive to creating that flawless look if they are causing acne or skin issues. Acne is just one of the many skin conditions you can develop through dirty brushes and so it really is important to keep them as clean as possible. Rinse all your cosmetic brushes under the tap at least once a week and wash them properly at least once a month to prevent possible infections.
About the Author
Kristin Adams is Founder and President of Afterglow Cosmetics, an all natural line of color cosmetics including certified organic ingredients. Discover your natural beauty at http://www.afterglowcosmetics.com
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