Proper Hygiene Advice on Sanitising Your Beauty Products

The general public may be putting themselves at risk of illness and infection by using germ-ridden makeup and beauty products.

Saffron Hughes, MUA at FalseEyelashes stockists of the most extensive selection of lashes in the business – shared insight into overall makeup hygiene, also collaborating with dermatology specialist Mehmet Göker to give some further insight into the risks of using ‘dirty’ products.

Nine aspects of popular skincare, makeup, and beauty products were discussed, including fake tan mitts, false eyelashes, makeup brushes, packaging, sponges, mascara wands, pencil makeup products, and powder makeup products.

Ordered from those that need sanitising most frequently:


Suggested frequency of sanitising*

How to sanitise

Fake tan mitts After each use Soak and handwash with washing powder or softener, or put into the washing machine
Makeup brushes Regularly – at least once a week Use Isopropyl Alcohol – leave your brushes to dry before usefully and, if necessary, rinse away excess alcohol.
Makeup sponges Regularly Use sponge cleanser or even a bar of soap or baby shampoo/oil
False eyelashes Regularly Use a false eyelash cleaning kit for the best results
Makeup packaging Every month Wipe over with a disinfectant wipe
Pencil makeup products n/a if regular sharpening Sharpen regularly, and wipe over with a disinfectant wipe
Lipstick bullet n/a – protected by lid Wipe over packaging with a disinfectant wipe
Powder makeup products n/a – could ruin the consistency Wipe over packaging with a disinfectant wipe
Mascara wand n/a – throw away if clumpy Wipe over packaging with a disinfectant wipe

Saffron Hughes, MUA at FalseEyelashes, commented: ‘Out of the nine aspects mentioned in this part of our research, your makeup brushes and sponges are the most likely to harbour germs, dirt, and bacteria. This is because they store a combination of your leftover makeup, skin cells, skin oils and any other dirt, leading them to harbour bacteria. For the best hygiene, and to avoid cross-contamination, never share beauty products with others.’

Dermatology specialist Mehmet Göker added: ‘The bacteria that can accumulate on your brushes and products include staphylococcus, e-coli, and fungus. Staphylococcus aureus is commonly found on around 30% of people’s skin and causes skin infections; therefore, it is important to regularly prioritise washing your beauty products. These viruses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few days on common surfaces.’

‘Flu viruses can survive in the air for several hours, especially at lower temperatures. On hard surfaces such as beauty products or even where you store, your makeup can survive and remain infectious for 24 hours. If you are only using your brushes on yourself, give them a good clean twice a week. If you suffer from skin breakouts, have any cuts or grazes, or have an eye infection, then you must clean your brushes every day.’