If there’s ever been a time that you really, really need to wash those nasty makeup brushes, now would probably be it. With the coronavirus swiftly sweeping across our nation every day, many beauty devotees are left wondering: can COVID-19 live on your beauty products?
While you’re most likely stuck working from home, you probably aren’t wearing too much makeup, unless your manager insists on having 75 Zoom video conference meetings in a day. Or perhaps you're in the mood to get a bit dolled up for your impromptu date night with a partner, leftover chicken and pasta included. Or maybe you’re just bored and really want to practice your application technique with the free time you now have. Regardless, it’s imperative that you be washing your hands often during this time, but it’s also important to be wiping down surfaces throughout the day while you’re stuck at home—this includes your beauty products. Celebrity makeup artist and Veil Cosmetics founder, Sébastien Tardif, walks us through the steps on how to keep your makeup kit as clean as possible.
So, can COVID-19 live on makeup?
According to a new study published on March 17, 2020, by the New England Journal of Medicine, the coronavirus can remain stable on different types of surfaces for different amounts of time. The study tested how long the coronavirus can live on various surfaces within a controlled laboratory setting and found that it was still detectable on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.
Considering many cosmetic products are made from plastic, it’s safe to say that you should be cleaning all your beauty products often (which is probably something you should have been doing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ll give you a break this time). Unfortunately, it’s not yet known if the virus can live inside the actual formulas, such as in liquids or powders.
How should you clean your beauty products and brushes?
In terms of cleaning your makeup brushes, Tardif suggests cleaning them as you normally would, and paying more attention to cleaning your hands instead. If you have been diligently in self-isolation, you can continue to wash your brushes once or twice a week for good measure,” suggests Tardif. To properly clean your brushes, simply use a mild shampoo or soap, make it into a lather in the palm of your hand, and rinse with warm water until no soap comes out of the brush. Squeeze excess water gently and leave to dry overnight.
“If you have been out and about meeting people and touching your face, make sure to wash your hands and face first—no need to wash your brushes more often,” he says. Keeping your hands clean is the most important.
When using makeup or skincare products while quarantined, try to wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe or spray every time you use them. Yes, it might be a pain, but considering the virus can live on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How can you apply makeup more hygienically during the coronavirus outbreak?
“COVID-19 or not, never put your fingers in your makeup and skincare jars, as bacteria proliferation will develop and cause your product to fail you and not last as long as it should,” warns Tardif. “Plus, it may even start to develop a rancid smell.” When applying a makeup or skincare product, Tardif suggests using a cotton bud or a clean mini spoon to dig out the product, so that you can avoid dipping your fingers into the formula and potentially contaminating it.
Additionally, avoid blowing on your makeup brushes when trying to get rid of excess powder prior to application—this isn’t very hygienic, either. Rather than blowing on it, tap the brush to remove excess powder.
Bottom line: Keep your beauty products clean by wiping them down after each use (if you can), but more importantly, focus your efforts on washing your hands often, as well as your face if you’ve been outside or around multiple people at once.
Published By: Daley Quinn