Ah, spring cleaning. While you may be spending time cleaning neglected areas of the house this spring, don’t forget your beauty and makeup drawer falls into that category. It’s essential to keep your beauty products clean, especially because you put so many of them on your face.
And because you put them on your face, they tend to retain a hefty amount of bacteria over time. However, if you take the time to clean them, not only will they become way less gross, you’ll be extending the lives of some of your favorite tools.
Here’s a list of the beauty products and tools that you’ll probably need to clean, change up or totally replace if you want to keep it clean this spring.
This is one product that definitely has a shelf life and needs to be thrown out and replaced rather than cleaned. If you’ve had it for four months or more, it’s time to say goodbye. If you can’t remember how old it is, check for excessive clumps and dryness. If it smells at all, get rid of it. Smell equals bacteria, and bacteria near your eyes is never a good thing.
You might think you just need to pull out the hair that gets stuck in the bristles to clean it, but over time, that won’t do the job. You should actually wash it with shampoo and water, and hang the hairbrush upside down on a towel to get all the dried skin out.
You know you use them for more than just plucking your eyebrows. To clean them, use alcohol on a cotton swab and wipe the ends down. You can also sharpen tweezers by filing them with a nail file.
4. Makeup brushes
From blush to eye shadow, your makeup brushes are trusty standbys and need to be treated with care. Technically, you should be cleaning your brushes once a week, but if that’s not happening, once a month will certainly help extend their lives. If you’re prone to acne, stay on a tight cleaning schedule, because bacteria in blush brushes are prime acne culprits. Here’s a nifty tutorial on cleaning your makeup brushes at home.
Does it seem like your blow-dryer is working at half its power? Its vent is very likely clogged. To clean it, unplug the dryer and run a toothbrush over the back vent. Depending on the model, you might be able to take the whole vent off and take out the lint from the inside as well. After this, your blow-dryer will run like new.
6. Liquids and creams
If you’ve got liquid or cream-based concealer and/or foundation, it’s best to toss if after six months. That also goes for facial cleansers, eye and face creams, cream eye shadows and liquid liners. The exception to this rule is if the cream comes in a pump dispenser — then it can last up to a year.
7. Powder-based makeup
Anything in powder form (like blushes and eye shadows) lasts longer because it’s not mixed with water. While some beauty experts say a year shelf life is a good rule of thumb, others say as long as it’s not clumping or changing color, you’re still good to use it.
8. Lipsticks and lip glosses
Lipsticks have one of the longest makeup shelf lives (two years), but lip gloss (again, because it’s mixed with water) needs to go after a year. However, if you’ve got more than 20 lipsticks and you only use five on the regular, it might be time to say adios to some of those forgotten colors.
9. Flat iron
Now this is one I’m totally guilty of ignoring. Black gunk can build up on your flat iron over time. It’s actually residue from scorched hair (gross), but can easily be removed by wiping the plates with alcohol, baking soda or acetone. Be careful not to scrub too harshly, though, otherwise you might scratch the finish.
Your toothbrush is only good for up to three months. If you can’t remember how many months it’s been since you replaced it, look at the bristles. If they’re frayed or show signs of wear, best to throw it out and get a new one. If you’re getting a new one, you might want to try changing up your toothpaste, too. Try Aquafresh® Extreme Clean® Whitening Action to make sure your smile is a bright one.
11. Expiration dates
This may sound a bit obvious, but you should check all your products that have expiration dates and ditch the ones that have lapsed. While they may not all be filled with harmful bacteria, their active ingredients may simply not work anymore. This is especially true for anything with an SPF.
This post was brought to you by Aquafresh.