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How To Clean and Sanitize Your Makeup—And Why It’s So Important These Days

Yes, it’s an essential part of your beauty routine, with or without a virus threat!

Touching any surface suddenly seems so dangerous in the era of the COVID-19 threat. In fact, studies have found that the novel coronavirus, can survive on some surfaces for hours up to nine days. 


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has virus on it, then touching one’s mouth, nose or possibly eyes. 


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To reduce the spread of the virus, many experts suggest to carefully disinfect surfaces with various solutions made from sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, or ethanol—in their study, they found these particular recommendations to be very affective against the SARS and MERS outbreaks.


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For us beauty lovers, included in the list of the things that we use daily are our beloved makeup products. With that, it means that any bacteria, virus or other germs that make its way onto our makeup could easily transfer to our skin, and eventually, our eyes, nose, and mouth. 


Washing our hands the right way can help keep from getting the virus, but what about our makeup products? The good news is that there are products that can be easily used to disinfect them. 


Sure, some of the basic rules have stuck with us since high school; like to never share our mascara with others, and keep our lipsticks to ourselves, but when it comes to germs, bacteria, and virus, there should be no second guessing on the proper sanitary guidelines. 


First, let’s start with the basics. The makeup that we use every single day should be sanitized every few weeks, especially if we’ve been traveling or sick. If someone else has used your makeup for whatever reason, like forgetting their own makeup or simply wanting to experiment with your favorite products and test them out, it’s best to clean it immediately after each use to ensure no germs have spread. This is important, as we all are exposed to different things at different times. 


A thorough cleansing is the best when it comes to our makeup and tools, so keep scrolling to see our top picks for the cleanest beauty possible. But take note: sanitizing makeup isn’t a solution for replacing old products. Items shouldn’t be used past their expiration date under any circumstances. 

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Japonesque Conditioning Makeup Brush & Sponge Shampoo with Argan Oil

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Japonesque Conditioning Makeup Brush & Sponge Shampoo with Argan Oil

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CALA Brush Cleansing Palette

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CALA Brush Cleansing Palette

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Michael Todd Beauty Makeup Brush Cleanser

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Michael Todd Beauty Makeup Brush Cleanser

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Beauty Blender Instaclean Waterless Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray

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Beauty Blender Instaclean Waterless Sponge and Brush Cleansing Spray

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Sephora Collection Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner

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Sephora Collection Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner

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Shu Uemura Sponge Cleaner

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Shu Uemura Sponge Cleaner

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If any of these are out of your reach for now, good old soapy water will do. Make sure to use warm water as it loosens up the dirt easily, and allows for thorough cleansing. Soak the brushes in the soap and water solution until all the germs and gunk are released, rinse thoroughly, and air dry before the next use. 


Since our beauty routines consist of powders, foundations, concealers, mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks, you may also ask, what’s the best way to practice being sanitary without ruining the products we’ve invested our precious cash in? 


Gabriel De Santino, CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics told Byrdie, “An excellent way to keep makeup clean is to wash your hands before using a product and toss it when it expires, but if you want to take it a step further it’s actually pretty simple to sanitize your makeup. All you need is 70% isopropyl alcohol and a spray bottle to put it in, both of which you can get at a drugstore.” Then simply spray it on your makeup and wipe it clean.