Of all the things you do every day, putting on makeup is usually one of the most set routines. You know the order everything is applied, you reach for the brushes automatically, and you predict the final result before it’s done.

As you go through these steps, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is the germs that have piled up on the brush. Or the bacteria on your own hands when you touch your face. 

This germ-laden period of your day, as innocent as it seems, is dangerous to your skin and immune system. Touching your face with germy hands or a dirty brush can introduce viruses to your body or cause impurities to pile up and turn into breakouts. 

These daily routines on their own can be very unhygienic. With a few tweaks, though, you can adjust your process to make it sanitized to enhance your health and beauty.

Here are five ways to sanitize your daily beauty routine:

1. Start With Clean Hands

Any time you touch your face or something that will be touching your face, it’s important to have clean hands. Germs accumulate on your skin every time you come into contact with something, even overnight.

Touching your face or spreading those germs to an applicator can cause the bacteria to enter your skin, leading to infections.

On top of that, don’t use your hands to apply makeup out of a jar. If you do, every time you scoop with dirty fingers, you leave behind germs that breed in your favourite products. 

Sanitize your routine by making sure your hands are always freshly cleaned before you start. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water kills the germs that have built up overnight.

Clean your hands thoroughly between applications of different products, too. Touching different applicators and makeup cases can transfer germs.

2. Use Clean Brushes

To really get into the nitty-gritty of sanitizing, look beyond your hands to the brushes and applicators that you use. How often do you clean your makeup tools? 

Almost every makeup product is either a cream or a powder. Foundation, eyeshadow, highlighter … 

Bacteria builds up in creams quickly. It accumulates in powders over time, too. This extra bacteria eats away at the bristles of your brush and ruins them. It also causes acne outbreaks and can irritate your skin.

Beauty experts at the American Academy of Dermatology recommend that you clean your brushes thoroughly every seven to ten days. You don’t need a fancy chemical. Warm water and a gentle soap or shampoo work fine. 

Another good tip is never to share makeup brushes with anyone. Cross-germ contamination increases your chance of picking up a fungus or other infection!

A good makeup brush can be pricey, and when you’re in love with one that works wonders, you don’t want to ruin it. Keep your brushes clean by washing them regularly. 

Your skin, and the longevity of your favourite applicator, depend on it.

3. Don’t Neglect Your Toothbrush

When it comes to sanitizing beauty tools, the toothbrush is the most frequently overlooked. Yet most of us put this brush in our mouths at least twice a day!

Running it under the water before and after you brush isn’t enough to counteract the thousands of germs that thrive in tight, wet places. Like your makeup applicators, it also has to be sanitized regularly.

Killing the germs should be enough to get most people to want to keep their toothbrushes clean. But if not, think about this:

If you were sick recently, not disinfecting your toothbrush could recontaminate your body. 

According to the experts at Colgate, there are a few ways to disinfect your brush, such as:
  • Using antibacterial mouthwash for at least 30 seconds
  • Soaking the brush in a baking soda and water solution
  • Mixing hydrogen peroxide and water to rinse the bristles before you brush

The American Dental Association recommends that you store your toothbrush upright to air dry after each use. They also recommend replacing it every three to four months.

And never store your brush in an enclosed, dark space. This encourages bacteria to grow instead of dying out.

4. Note the “Best By” Date

Most makeup products have a “Best By” date. In beauty manufacturing, this is called a “Period After Opening.”

Some people ignore this date as long as the makeup keeps doing its job. There’s a reason behind the PAO, though. After that date, the ingredients in the product may start to break down, collect bacteria, or irritate your skin.

Each product has its own specific PAO, but here are some basic guidelines to help you keep track of your makeup:

Mascara has a shelf life between three and six months. If you avoid pumping the mascara wand into the tube (and thus forcing bacteria into the product), it will last longer. Six months is the max to use your tube, even if it’s still working.

Lipstick can last up to two years. Signs of a degrading product include a change in colour, melting wax, or a funny odor.

Powder cosmetics usually last up to two years. Keep it sealed tightly between applications and it should last you the full lifespan.

Liquid foundations vary. If it’s a pump-style product, it can last up to a year because it’s not exposed to the air and germs. Dip-style products usually last six months or less, depending on how well you keep your hands and brushes clean.

Pay attention to the expiration date on your product and make a note to replace it before then.

5. Tend to Your Hairbrush

When you don’t clean your brush, the natural oils from your hair can build up and leave behind residue.

Clean it daily, but then sanitize it regularly, about once a month or so. The brush is used on your hair, and you can clean it the same way you clean your hair.

Mix some shampoo into a container of warm water, and dip your brush. Lather, rinse, repeat!


It’s safe to assume that those who practice a daily beauty routine want to stay healthy, too. 

When you have a daily regimen dedicated to improving your appearance, don’t skimp on hygiene. Your skin will thank you for it!