Bacteria in makeup brushes
Skincare and the City
Written by Kelsey McGillis
At the end of a long day it can be hard enough to get ourselves to wash our faces, let alone our makeup brushes. Many women go far too long without cleaning their brushes, especially cleaning them properly. However, what you might view as just a dirty little habit can actually turn deadly.
The bacteria hiding in your makeup brush bristles can not only shorten your brushes’ lifespan, it can seriously damage your skin. Best-case scenario, the pesky bacteria hiding in a brush can break your skin out or cause a nasty rash. But worst case, things can even turn deadly.
Take Katie Wright, a woman who picked at what she believed to be a large pimple below the skin, only instead of the bump going away, it got worse – much worse. This pesky bump wasn’t actually a pimple, but rather a serious infection. After heading to the hospital, wright was diagnosed with cellulitis, a form of staph infection.
This type of infection Is more common than you might expect. Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett explains that “Usually, these infections are limited to the skin, but there is a risk of it spreading into the bloodstream, in which case it can be life threatening. There is also risk of it spreading to the brain, an infection known as encephalitis.”
Wright believes her particular staph infection was a result of an eyebrow brush she had never washed. Proper brush washing with a gentle soap and just enough force is crucial. Additionally, proper drying of the brushes stops water-borne bacteria from building up.
Worse comes to worst, if you believe you may have contracted an infection from bacteria, leaving it alone is the most important thing. “Pimples and staph infections can actually appear and feel quite similar,” Kellett says. “So it’s important to not pick at any bumps on your skin.”
In short, less touching is always more when it comes to your skin’s health. Other than brushes, which you should clean at least weekly.