Makeup products—and even the bag they are carried in—are a veritable breeding ground for germs. “Every time you dip your finger into a jar of cream or foundation, you’re introducing bacteria into it, thereby contaminating it,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, of New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Look for products that come in tubes instead, and use a Q-tip to extract the product, instead of your finger. Also, many women dab a coverup stick right onto a pimple, transferring the acne bacteria right onto the stick where it grows and thrives.
“The best thing to do is clean products whenever possible like wiping tweezers and eyelash curlers down with alcohol,” Dr. Jaliman says. Atlanta-based physician Dr. Maiysha Clairborne recommends swiping lipstick with a baby wipe after each use to get rid of surface germs and prevent them from building up.
Your choice of makeup bag could even affect the amount of germs it’s carrying, Dr. Clairborne says. “Makeup bags come a dime a dozen; however, what you fail to realize is that dark and moist places are breeding grounds for bacteria. If the bag is dark and the makeup is moist, well, you do the math.”
Use a clear makeup bag that allows light in. “Take your makeup bag out of your purse and leave it on your desk so that it gains a small
amount of light each day,” Clairborne says.