How to Sanitize Your Beauty Products — Expert Tips

Cosmetic chemist Ginger King agrees. “It’s not a bad idea to disinfect everything. It’s better to be safe than sorry.” King also reassures us that it is safe to wear makeup at home — just as long as no one has borrowed your beauty products. She also advises that sharing your makeup, in general, isn’t something you want to make a habit of. If you want to be better safe than sorry, Adalja recommends wiping down common touch surfaces of the makeup case.

How to sanitize your products

Whether your products are being touched by hands other than your own or you simply want to play it extra safe, there are ways to sanitize your products without affecting the quality or effectiveness of the formula. 

“Alcohol is used as a disinfectant, and it evaporates, so it will not interfere with product texture,” King says, adding that alcohol spray usually is the best way to apply it to products. “All beauty advisers — I was one with many brands — were taught how to sanitize products at the [store] counter as it’s been used by many people. Consumers can surely do that.” 

King also says whether or not you even need to worry about the contamination of the product it hinges a lot on its packaging. “If you buy products in airless pumps or non-exposing packages, you don’t have to worry about anything,” she explains. “Most of the cosmetic products have been through micro-challenge testing,” which ensures no microbiome growth. 

As for the outer surfaces of your products, whether it’s a glass jar or a plastic compact, your typical disinfecting wipes like Lysol’s will do the trick. Ran out? “Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective for surfaces,” according to Stephen Goldstein, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Human Genetics at University of Utah Health.

Regardless of what is currently going on in the world, you should always clean your makeup brushes on a regular basis. Most dermatologists will tell you to soak your tools, especially foundation and concealer brushes, once a week — minimum — to prevent product buildup. And for the ones who only use their fingers to apply their makeup, which many of our beauty editors do, it’s extremely important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after applying products to your face.

Long story short: If wearing makeup makes work from home days seem shorter and more enjoyable, by all means, wear it. Just be aware of who (if anyone) has been in your makeup bag and sanitize accordingly.

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