Over £800 is spent on beauty products each year per person, but our research has found that many of us aren’t taking the proper precautions in cleaning our makeup tools.

If you’re hoping to become a qualified beautician, you’ll need to know how and when to clean your brushes and blenders to keep your customers safe and give them the best experience possible. A happy customer is a repeat customer!

We surveyed over 500 people in the UK and found out that one-third of respondents didn’t know that makeup expires, and one-in-five continue to use their makeup even after it has gone off. 

This is a huge no-no, especially for makeup artists and here’s why…

The dangers of using expired makeup

All makeup has a lifespan and continuing to use these products after they have expired leads to lowered performance, poor results and potentially infection. Instead, follow these simple rules to keep your customers safe and happy:

Our survey revealed that women over 50 were the least likely to replace their makeup when it’s past its expiration date, and loads of the people we spoke to said that they have never replaced their powdered products. 

While powders have a longer lifespan, perhaps you could share your knowledge while you work. You’ll be seen as helpful, caring and highly knowledgeable.

But don’t just take our word for it; Georgia Oxley (@georgiaoxleymua_), who is a talented makeup artist, explains the risks:

“Makeup products going out of date is something most people are completely unaware of. Each product has a certain month life span from the minute they are opened and there is a reason for that! 

Using products after their expiry date can lead to breakouts, skin reactions and premature ageing due to the change in the original product after being exposed to bacteria. Products like liquid eyeliner can pick up bacteria so easily and as you apply it so close to the eye, using this out of date could be really dangerous and impact your vision. 

Using expired products is just as bad as using dirty makeup brushes and not cleaning them as regularly as possible. Makeup brushes again collect bacteria both off your skin, the air and where you store them. They can also carry the expired makeup you may not be aware of. Dirty makeup brushes can lead to all sorts of skin conditions including ones like dermatitis and herpes simplex. 

If you invest in your skincare routine and you don’t clean your brushes, you are then undoing all of your skincare efforts. Moral of the story, throw away expired makeup and clean your brushes regularly!”

To be the very best makeup artist, you need to make sure that every makeup product you invest in is either used before its expiry date or thrown away. Doing this will keep your customers safe and reduce the risk of a customer glancing at your makeup and realising it’s old and crumbly. 

Not only should you regularly check your makeup, but you also need to clean your makeup brushes and blenders after each customer…

The dangers of using dirty makeup brushes

Our survey revealed that over 50% of women hadn’t cleaned their makeup brushes within the last week, and 10% told us that they never clean their makeup brushes or blenders. 

When you’re travelling from customer to customer, you might be tempted to reuse your brushes and blenders; but it’s essential to never give in to this temptation. 

Using dirty brushes on more than one person may result in your customers’ skin breaking out, getting skin infections and even e.coli. Every time you use your brush, the dirt levels rise along with the chances of infection, unhappy customers and a bad reputation.

Dr Javeria Anwar, a GCSE science tutor, explains what could happen to your customers’ skin if you don’t clean your brushes after every use.

“Cleaning makeup brushes should be a weekly routine that is sadly not practised by over 50% of women, according to our survey. We don’t realise that the dirt on the makeup brushes acts as a breeding ground for growth bacteria and fungi, such as E.coli and staphylococcus chains not visible to naked eye. 

As we continue rubbing the pathogens on unwashed dirty brushes onto our skin, this leads to blemishes and breakouts, skin infections, or even damage to the skin eventually causing skin discolouration and clogged pores.”

So, now you know the importance of good makeup hygiene, you need to know how to clean your makeup products and tools properly. These instructions come straight from our makeup tutors.  

How to clean your makeup brushes

  • Start by wetting the brush bristles.
  • Next, place a small amount of soap or makeup cleansing solution onto your hand.
  • Gently massage the tips of the brush bristles in the soap or solution.
  • Rinse the brush bristles thoroughly until all of the soap or cleaner has been washed away.
  • Squeeze out the excess moisture with a clean towel or kitchen paper.
  • Finally, mould the brush head back into its original shape.

Pro tip: Ideally, you want to leave the brush over the edge of a table so that it can dry in the correct shape.  If the brush is left on a damp towel or a flat surface, the bristles won’t return to the correct place and could turn mildewy due to the damp.

How to clean your beauty blender

  • Firstly, rinse the blender until wet.
  • Work in your soap or cleaner.
  • Keep rinsing and squeezing it until the water runs clear.

Other options for cleaning your beauty sponges include leaving them to soak in soapy water overnight or washing them in the microwave.  

Pro tip: If you use the microwave technique, then ensure you submerge the sponge with warm soapy water in a microwaveable cup. Simply putting the blender in the microwave alone will result in a  bit of a mess!

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Get in touch to discuss which course might be the best fit for you and your career plans by emailing our team, calling us or using the live chat. Alternatively, check out our beauty therapist career guide for more information.