FAN MAIL FRIDAYS: Is it possible to contaminate makeup? + Prevent Your Makeup From Harming You

Super sorry for the late FMF, especially to those who have been waiting for it every Friday! Just decided to unwind the whole night last night with the BF-I've been working so hard for the past two weeks and I think I needed that breather. :D

So anyway, for those who are still up and reading my blog, our Fan Mail Fridays is from Marielle and she asks:

Hi Martha! 
New reader here! Thank you for your lovely blog articles-I think I've learned more from them than by searching the Internet on my own! 
I have a question and I hope you can find time to answer it. I'm quite a sickly gal (I get colds easily) and I love makeup. My question is, are makeups vulnerable to contamination? Call me a paranoid, will you, but I think the reason why I get sick often is because I transfer bacteria to makeup and it goes right back to me. Am I right or wrong? Hope you can shed some light on this. 

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Hi Marielle!

Thanks for this awesome question! Yes, makeup is susceptible to bacteria contamination, but using it when you're sick doesn't mean you'd have to throw it right away, especially if it's quite new. Makeups contain ingredients that inhibit bacteria growth, but always be mindful of the expiry date-when makeup is expired already, all the necessary ingredients such as antibacterial and preservative agents break down, thus making your makeups more vulnerable to contamination. There are also certain bacteria such as Staphyloccus that causes rashes and boils, Streptococcus that causes sore throat, and the Herpes Simplex virus which causes permanent cold sores (Herpes Simplex is related to the Herpes Zoster virus, although HS can be airborne) that can live a little longer in makeup products. Bacteria from simple sicknesses such as the common cold and cough will fizzle out easily in makeup as they are transferred to a non-living host, therefore they cannot thrive.

Now to be honest, I don't follow the expiry date rule, especially with liquid and lipstick products because there are tips and tricks to make 'em last a lil' longer. There are more things to consider beyond the throw-your-makeup-on-the-X-month rule and I'm jotting 'em down here. Click READ MORE for that.

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- Stash them away from sunlight as the heat can cause the preservatives and antibacterial agents to break down and expire easily. If you can, find antibacterial drawers to keep your makeup clean from the inside out.

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- You prolly don't know it, but your makeup brushes could be harming your skin. Always clean your brushes-many experts say that once a month is fine, but I think you should clean 'em at least thrice a month to be super sure. For makeup artists, once to twice a week should be good, depending on how many clients you get in a week. You should also have an antibacterial brush cleaner in hand for quick sanitation. For my makeup products, I wipe 'em with an antibacterial wet wipe and leave them to dry before storage.

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- Have you seen Captain America? If yes, you'll know that at the end of the movie, he was preserved for over 70 years in ice that's why he managed to live and look mighty hot in the present time. It is common knowledge that cool temperatures help things last longer, be it food or in this case, makeups. Make sure that your makeups are in a cool area in your house to help preserve the ingredients. What I do is I open my makeup drawers the entire night so the air-conditioning could fill 'em up and I shut 'em real tight in the morning so the coolness will stay there all day.

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I said that I don't follow the expiry rule on makeups because it works for me and I haven't experienced any damage with it, although it is not right and I wouldn't suggest it to you just because it works for me. Be mindful of when to let go of your makeup products: Powder= 2 years, Lipsticks= 1 year, Eyeliner, Cream, and Liquid Products= 6 months, Mascaras= 3- 4 months.

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- There are certain products that leave you with no choice but to double dip so always, always make sure that you start your makeup preparation with clean hands. It is also ideal to use spatulas on makeup products in jars and tubs to minimize contamination-just clean the spatula thoroughly afterwards.

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- Yes I am never a fan of this for hygiene purposes. Enough said! For photo shoots, as much as possible, I bring my own sponges, brushes, or I do my own base. Sharing makeup is one of the best ways to transfer diseases and bacteria so the next time your friend reacts negatively if you don't lend her your lipstick, just tell her that true friends will never hurt each other. :D

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- If you're going to hit the mall to test or buy makeups, it is best to bring your own sponge and brushes to minimize the risk of infection. Also, clean the product testers before usage and afterwards as courtesy to the next user. Thank God because most makeup counters nowadays offer disposable lip gloss/lipstick applicators, mascara wands, and sponges.

That's all and I hope you all enjoyed this post! :D Have a fantabulous weekend! :D

**Got a burning question about makeups, skin care products, beauty, dieting, and health tips, relationships, and whatever? Just send them to or shoot 'em up at The Beauty Junkee's FB Fan Page via the MESSAGE button and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. (Please, do not send me Math- related queries. :D)

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9 Lovely Thoughts

  1. I also use my own brushes whenever I test out powder products! And I stay away from glosses and mascaras.

  2. Thank you for the tips its a great help, do you have any tips for beginners like me?

  3. Great tips! So many people are not sanitary enough with their make-up! I am a bit OCD like that though, and I am a hygeniene freak, so I always make sure everything is clean clean clean :-)

  4. Since I don't have a lot of face brushes, I wash them (especially my foundation and powder brushes) around twice a week. It's kinda yucky when they're all caked up with make up. Haha!

    If you have bacterial infection of the eye (sty, bacterial conjunctivitis, etc), don't use mascara and eyeliner if you wanna use them again after you're well! There's a chance you'll contaminate them and risk a recurrence of the infection.

  5. Other bloggers and Youtube gurus should definitely read this post! With the amount of make-up and hauling they do I'm pretty sure they don't toss out makeup upon reaching expiry :/ I've seen make-up collection posts and videos and they are CRAZY. How can one own 20 bottles of foundation at the same time? They go bad within months.

  6. Hi girls! Thank you for sharing your hygiene tips. :D

  7. Hello just a technical correction:
    Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria, so is Streptococcus ( which is the culprit for sore throat). These are not viruses, and are considered normal skin flora. That means they can normally be found on some parts of the body, and can cause diseases with exponential growth on individuals with decreased susceptibility. Bacteria can thrive if there is a source of nutrition, such as dead skin cells.
    Other than that it's an informative post. :)

  8. Mai: Hi Mai! thank you for pointing out this typo and I have changed it. :D Thanks for the input too!

  9. hi ms m =) thanks for sharing this sabi nga po wag daw magshare ng makeup

    totoo po ba na nakakahawa ang warts?


Thank you for your comments!