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Beauty product maintenance tips

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Caring for your beauty products

You clean your home until it shines, but how often do you clean the beauty tools that touch your face everyday? Clean your beauty products often to make sure you aren’t transferring dirt, grime and bacteria to your face. You work hard to keep that face looking gorgeous, so don’t let dirty products work against you.

Makeup brushes

1Makeup brushes

A good makeup brush lasts for years, but you definitely shouldn't go that long without washing it. Your makeup brushes need to be washed at least once a week, and more if you have sensitive skin or notice frequent breakouts. It's easy to do -- simply wet the brushes, gently lather them up with shampoo, then rinse until the water runs clear. Let them air dry by standing them up in a glass with the bristles facing up, or by laying them on the sink with the bristles hanging over the edge. When you notice your makeup brushes are starting to look a bit shaggy, it's time to replace them.

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2Jarred products

If you use jarred lotions, creams and makeup, avoid using your finger for application. Every time you stick your finger in that jar, you're depositing whatever grime is on your finger right into your product. Instead, use a mini-spatula or a cotton swab to remove the product you need.

3Eyelash curler

Your eyelash curler gets very close to your eyes, so make sure you keep it clean. Once or twice a month, lather it up with liquid hand soap and water then rinse. If you still notice makeup buildup, rub it with a cotton ball soaked in makeup remover. After the makeup has been removed, wash it with soap and water again. Pay attention to both the padded area and the metal portion of the tool. Dry it with a clean towel, then let it sit out for a few hours to make sure it gets completely dry.

4Tweezers

Clean your tweezers after every use. Swipe the ends of your tweezers with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol or peroxide, then rinse them well to get rid of all the chemicals.

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5Powder puff

If you use a puff to powder your face, you're probably also applying dirt, bacteria, sweat and much more every time you pat your face. You should wash your powder puff at least once a week. Wet it with warm water and apply a small drop of shampoo. Work up a lather, then rinse it well and let it air dry.

6Hair brush

Your hair brush picks up dirt, oils, flakes of dead skin and tons of other crud every time you brush your hair. To clean it, start by pulling out all of the strands of hair caught in the bristles. If you can't get them all, use a comb to dig out the ones that are stuck. Fill your sink up with warm soapy water -- you can use shampoo or dish soap. Swish the brush around in the water and rinse it until the water runs clear. Let it air dry flat on the edge of the sink, with the bristled end hanging over the sink.

7Mascara

You should replace your mascara every four months, whether or not you've used it all. Since your mascara wand comes in direct contact with your lashes then goes right back in the mascara, it's a breeding ground for bacteria. If you want to clean your wand every now and then, you can do so with liquid hand soap and warm water, but keep in mind that isn't a substitute for replacing it when you should.

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8Lip liner and eyeliner

The liners that twist up may be convenient, but they don't do anything for your complexion. Purchase the liners that need to be sharpened and sharpen them before each use to remove all of the dirt and bacteria left on the tip.

9Lotions, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel

These items can have shelf lives of up to two or three years, but improper storage can cut that time drastically. Keep your lotion, shampoo, conditioner and shower gels in cool areas and away from direct sunlight. Too much heat can make them sweat, separate and lose effectiveness.

Watch: How to clean makeup brushes

Watch this video for a step-by-step guide on how to clean your makeup brushes.

More beauty product advice

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