In the makeup world, Beautyblenders are the best invention since red lipstick. Professional makeup artists and even celebs are obsessed with the egg-shaped sponges because they blend foundation seamlessly into the skin and make contouring easy. But if you don’t take proper care of the handy sponge, it can end up causing more harm than good. So, we talked to the Beautyblender founder and a board-certified dermatologist to find out the best ways to take care of your Beautyblender.
1. Clean your Beautyblender after every use.
This might seem like a huge task to add to your daily routine, but it’s easier than it sounds. The Beautyblender was designed to be used while wet, so a quick cleanse before each use will ensure your sponge isn’t the cause of your breakouts. “These sponges can accumulate dead skin cells and bacteria,” board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Kaleroy Papantoniou, M.D., F.A.A.D. tells SELF. “For those prone to breakouts, dirty sponges can be a source [or even cause] infection.” And if a daily cleanse still seems like too much, Papantoniou recommends purchasing two makeup sponges. “It is a good idea to have more than one sponge, so you can still use one while the other is drying.” And after a month of use, it’s time to trash both sponges.
2. Use the packaging as a drying stand.
Tossing your damp Beautyblender into a makeup bag could lead to blemishes or mold. The inside of a cosmetics bag is a breeding ground for germs and the lack of ventilation encourages bacteria growth. It’s better to hold on to the container that comes with the Beautyblender. Beautyblender’s founder Rea Ann Silva says the circular stands were designed to keep the sponge off of contaminated surfaces while it dries. “Simply place it on top of the canister while it’s still damp,” Silva tells SELF. “And once it dries it will fall back into the canister.”
3. Soak your Beautyblender overnight.
Another time-saving tip is to let it soak while you’re sleeping. “For tougher stains, pour a small amount of Blendercleanser in a bowl with water, lather, and then soak for a few hours or overnight,” says Silva. You can also use gentle cleansers like Johnson’s baby wash. Once you wake up, give it a few squeezes, and it will be ready to go.
4. Reach for a solid cleanser to erase really stubborn stains.
Liquid cleansers are popular when it comes to keeping makeup tools clean. But sometimes you need something a little tougher. “Our Blendercleanser solid was designed to really work out stubborn stains,” says Silva. The bar soap also comes with a silicone pad that is made with ridges. They are perfect for moments when you need to give Beautyblenders a deeper yet gentle clean.
5. Skip the crazy hacks.
You might have heard that putting your Beautyblender in the microwave will kill bacteria, but this internet hack is not an effective way to clean makeup sponges. “This will not reduce the debris and oils left on the sponge,” says Papantoniou. “Microwaving could potentially kill bacteria and other organisms, but some may not be affected.” And by some, that means the badass germs.
Cleaning Beautyblenders with alcohol is another hack to stay away from. Alcohol is commonly known to sanitize, but Silva says that you should never use harsh liquids on Beautyblenders as they can damage the sponge. And Papantoniou agrees that the traditional soap-and-water route is better for your skin.
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