How To Keep Your Beauty Products + Tools Bacteria-Free

Are you a double dipper? No, I'm not talking about double dipping a chip into salsa twice. What I mean is do you have a habit of dipping your fingers into a skin care jar to use on your face. When is the last time you washed your makeup brushes, cleansing tool or wiped down your tweezers? These are just a few of the beauty items that could harbor bacteria which can lead to some unpleasant skin conditions, acne and even eye infections. Here is how to keep your products and tools clean and bacteria free.

Packaging + Correct Application

How estheticians use skin care products that come in jars like moisturizers, eye creams, and masks goes a little something like this - We grab a clean spatula to scoop out the desired amount product into a clean dish or apply to the top of our hand then apply to the skin from there. If we need more we use another clean spatula. There is never any double dipping! Why? Becuase regardless of how clean our hands are we all have bacteria on our skin and fingernails that can transfer to a tightly closed dark skin care jar that is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and yeast. (Think petri dish, ew.) This can cause acne, dermatitis, and even a yeast infection on your skin. This goes for dipping mask brushes directly into jars as well.


I have seen so many videos of makeup bloggers apply facial oils/serums that come in dropper bottles dripped directly onto the face. I am not sure exactly why other than for visual effect...but this makes my butthole pucker. First of all, that dropper should never touch the face or even your hand. That is why it's in a dropper bottle in the first place! It's meant to be dropped onto your hands or makeup brush, then applied so bacteria from the tip of the glass dropper doesn't end up back in the bottle. Second, it's a waste of product applying it this way. For any face oil/serum that is thin enough consistency wise to be in a dropper bottle you really only need 3-6 drops for your entire face. 

How to keep your product bacteria-free:

  1. First, wash your hands with soap and water before starting your skin care routine.
  2. If possible, avoid products that come in jars as pumps and dropper products are ideal.
  3. If you are using a jar product use the spatula that came with the product.
  4. Wash the spatula with soap and water after each use and keep in a place it will remain clean. 
  5. For Masks: Spatula ➞ mask bowl/top of hand ➞ apply with clean hands or mask brush
  6. For Droppers: Drop onto tips of fingers or makeup brush

If you need some tiny spatulas you can grab a 100 pack on Amazon for super cheap that will last you forever. I also like to keep a larger mask spatula on hand for scooping and mixing masks along with these cute little glass mask bowls. 

Makeup Brushes + Beauty Blenders

There are many schools of thought on how often and how to clean your makeup brushes and blenders. One thing is for sure, brushes used for makeup that is moist (hate that word) like foundation, concealer or cream products tend to harbor more bacteria than brushes used for makeup that is powder like eyeshadow, bronzer, and blush. I recommend cleaning your brushes or blenders that you use for foundation and concealer weekly and eyeshadow and any powder brushes every other week. I recommend washing your mask brush after each use.

I love Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap in the baby unscented formula since it will be gentle for your skin, safe for synthetic or animal hair brushes, beauty blenders and it thoroughly cleans your brushes and blenders. It also contains hemp seed oil which is non-comedogenic and won't break you out.

Sanitizing + Changing Out Makeup

We have all heard the "rules" on when to change out makeup. This not only provides the integrity and effectiveness of the formula but it's about keeping the product bacteria free with use. Remember, if you’re using a homemade or ultra-natural product without preservatives, you have less of a shelf life before the product could become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Now what about sanitizing your makeup that isn't expired or maybe a friend used some of your eyeshadow?

+ Cream Compacts -  It's advised to spray 90% rubbing alcohol on the compact and wipe with a tissue.
+ Lipsticks - Wind up your tube of lipstick and dip in rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds.
+ Liquid Makeup - These are wand lip glosses, concealers and mascaras. I don't ever recommend sharing these and should be tossed.
+ Eye + Lip Liners - Simply sharpen them
+ Pressed Powders - Eyeshadow, bronzers, contour, highlighter, and powder. These can be easily cleaned by wiping them with tissue to remove the top layer. 

This pretty handy dandy chart courtesy of 

This pretty handy dandy chart courtesy of 

Clarisonic Brush

I have heard the rumor that Clarisonic Brush heads hold bacteria. This is only partially true and due to human error, not the brush head itself. The brush head bristles are made of non-porous nylon which means they will not harbor bacteria. But what can happen is if the brush is used with cleansers with beads or facial scrubs they can get stuck in the brush head and cause bacteria to form. 

  1. Make sure you pay extra attention to rinsing any beads and cleanser away after each use.
  2. For a more thorough cleansing, unscrew your brush head and you may want to even take the two pieces apart. (see below) I recommend cleaning your head with Dr. Bronner's soap or my favorite method with hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda. 
  3. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the mechanics of the brush too. (see below)
  4. Remember to change your brush head every 3 months!

Metal Tools - Tweezer, Scissors + Eyelash Curlers

For metal tools like tweezers and scissors, I recommend to wipe them down with rubbing alcohol twice a month. For eyelash curlers, they tend to get pretty gross so I recommend to first wipe them down with a tissue to remove any gummy makeup. Then wipe them with rubbing alcohol and rinse with water to avoid any alcohol near the eye area. This can be donw every other week and don't forget to change your eyelash curler pad every 3 months.

Jade + Rose Quartz Rollers

These guys need to be treated with extra care. Soap and water will do the trick but it's important to dry them thoroughly paying special attention to the metal parts to keep them from squeaking and rust free.