Team Costhetics has been following instructions for social isolation to the letter, but that hasn’t stopped us from researching the latest news and information about beauty and aesthetic enhancement.

We’ve been doing a lot of Zoom-ing and Skype-ing, and religiously swabbing down our communication devices to minimise the danger of spreading the COVID-19 virus. This got us thinking: should we be swabbing down our make-up tools?

YES! Here’s why…

Are You Harbouring Coronavirus?

When you shut the door to your home, it would be nice to think you’re safe from COVID-19. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is an unwelcome guest that can be difficult to keep out. COVID-19 cells are unable to multiply outside the body, but single cells stay alive on different surfaces. That enables the virus to infect anyone who touches that surface for up to 3 days.

Research has found that COVID-19 has a different survival rate depending on the material it touches:

  • Plastic and stainless steel – active for 3 days
  • Cardboard – active for one day
  • Airborne – active for 3 hours

These estimates may be low. An earlier, more comprehensive analysis of 22 studies of a similar virus showed even longer survival rates:

  • Plastic – active for 9 days
  • Glass- active for 8 days
  • Paper – active for 8 hours

In other words, there’s a good chance many of the beauty items you use may be a source of infection. This is particularly true of items that you pop into your makeup bag in the morning, use in the company bathroom at lunch, and then dump out at home, where they may introduce coronavirus to your home.

There’s Never Been a Better Time NOT to Share Make-Up

Sharing make-up and beauty products is never a good idea. It can:

  • Cause eye infections
  • Worsen acne
  • Spread cold sores
  • Spread bacteria
  • Lead to staph infections

In today’s world, it can cause coronavirus to spread. “The virus particles can survive outside the human body for days,” reports Cosmopolitan Magazine, “so it is possible that you could become infected if we use makeup that an infected person has used.”

Costhetics understands how hard it is to discard favourite and sometimes costly beauty products. We think you’ll agree, however, that it’s better to be safe than hooked up to a ventilator fighting for every breath.

We recommend you say good-bye to sharing:

  • Mascara brushes
  • Eyeliner pens
  • Sponge applicators
  • Lipstick brushes

Beauty Brushes: Lather, Rinse, Repeat Weekly

Even if you’re the only person who uses your beauty bits, you still need to keep them clean and disinfected. That’s true regardless of the state of COVID-19. In general, you should:

  • Clean beauty tools weekly

Sadly, the vast majority of people Costhetics talked to admitted they seldom, if ever, give their beauty brushes a good wash and dry. (Drying is important, too, as you’ll learn below.) That’s a terrible way to treat an investment. Whether you paid a lot or a little, you can help prolong the life of your brushes with weekly washing.

As we’ve all come to learn during the COVID-19 crisis, washing your hands with simple soap and water is the best way to reduce infection. Soap is an amazing substance. It has the ability to destabilise unwanted microorganisms of all kinds. Its structure also ensures that when you wash it off with water, the damaged microorganisms are swept away, too.

  • Pro tip: Use gentle soap on natural hair beauty brushes as regular soap has a tendency to dry out the bristles.

You can also choose from a variety of cleansers designed to clean make-up brushes.

  • Pro tip: Look for food-grade solvents to remove powder, liquid, and wax-based make-up from your brushes.

7 Steps to Cleaner, Better Beauty Brushes

What if we told you that a few minutes each week is all it takes to keep your brushes beautiful and prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses like COVID-19? It’s true, and here’s all you need to do:

  • Get wet – Use lukewarm water to wet the bristles of your brush. Overly hot water is bad for the bristles.
  • Palm your cleanser – Place a small amount of soap or cleanser into the palm of your (pre-washed) hand.
  • Enjoy a hand massage – Gently run the brush through the cleanser on your hand, making sure it foams.
  • Rinse cycle – Carefully rinse away all the soap the bristles (and your hands).
  • Towel dry – Thoroughly remove excess moisture with a clean towel*
  • Get back into shape – Use your (clean) fingers to gentle coax bristles back into their original shape.
  • Spin dry – Place your brush on a benchtop with its bristles hanging over the edge, flipping occasionally while drying*

*Never dry your brushes on a previously used towel. Doing so can turn the bristles mildew-y.

Saying Good-bye to an Old Friend

Do you have a favourite beauty tool such as an eyebrow pencil or lip brush that you use often? It may be time to say good-bye. Even the most meticulous cleaning, can’t keep beauty tools from deteriorating. You’ll know it’s time to replace old friends when they:

  • Fray
  • Shed
  • Lose their shape

We hate to say good-bye to you, but Team Costhetics is already hot on the train of the next big thing in beauty. What will it be? We’ll let you know.

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