How to Sanitize and Disinfect Makeup

You should put just as much effort into cleaning your makeup products as your makeup routine. Products touch both you and your clients’ faces every day, making them a breeding ground for bacteria or diseases, should you fail to sanitize makeup and tools properly. 

Providing a clean and safe environment for your work is just as essential to your career and professional reputation as your talent. Makeup artists who have been admitted to a professional institute, have participated or earned a diploma or certification, or sought continuing education courses have probably encountered classwork on sanitation practices. However, more casual or self-taught makeup artists may not have much knowledge on the topic.

The following guide serves as a reminder of tips and best practices for makeup professionals and enthusiasts. 

Use Proper Sanitation Products

The following list includes sanitation products that amateur and professional makeup artists alike should have: 

  • Paper towels/tissues;
  • Disposable tools;
  • Plate and spatula (for using cream products);
  • Professional brush cleaner;
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol;
  • Makeup sanitizing spray;
  • Hand sanitizer.

Disinfecting Common Types of Makeup

Sanitizing makeup is extremely important because these products touch your face so frequently. If you’ve shared makeup with friends or been sick while using it, you’ll want to sanitize your products. Makeup is exposed to an abundance of germs, making its cleaning something you cannot dismiss. 

How to Sanitize Eyeshadow

For sanitizing eyeshadows, you’ll need isopropyl alcohol and tissues. 

Sanitize eyeshadow by first scraping off its very top layer with a tissue. You can do this by quickly rubbing the surface until it brushes off. After skimming the top off, spritz the product with a little bit of rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle and then let it dry. 

How to Sanitize Pencils and Liners

Pencils and liners include eyeliners such as gels, liquids, and pencils. They also include lip liners and more. 

While sharpening your eyeliner or lip liner pencils will help keep them clean, this doesn’t sanitize them. You’ll want to dip your pencils and liners in isopropyl alcohol regularly after use for sanitizing purposes. After that, use a q-tip to scrub them down. 

For gel or liquid liners, you can simply spritz them with some alcohol to sanitize them. You’ll want to remember also to clean the products’ caps. 

How to Sanitize Lipstick

All you’ll need to sanitize your lipstick is isopropyl alcohol, a small container (such as a shot glass), cotton swabs, and a paper towel. 

Take a few cotton balls with alcohol and wipe down both the outside of the lipstick tube and the inside of the cap. Use a paper towel to clean off the end of the lipstick, where it touches your lips.

Fill a small container halfway up with the isopropyl alcohol, then dip the lipstick into it. Let it soak for at least 30 seconds. Place the lipstick upright on a paper towel and let it rest until it is completely dry. 

How to Sanitize Mascara

If you want to sanitize mascara, you’ll need isopropyl alcohol and paper towels. 

First, saturate the paper towel with alcohol. Next, wipe the mascara wand down the alcohol-soaked towel. Allow the wand to dry completely before placing it back in the tube. 

However, eye makeup such as mascara is often better being thrown out than sanitized. The eye area is very delicate and can easily succumb to conjunctivitis (pink eye). Play it safe and throw out your mascara if it has been used by someone else or if you dropped it in the sink or on the ground. 

How to Sanitize Cream Makeup

Like other products, you can also sanitize cream products with isopropyl alcohol. Simply spray your cream products with alcohol and wait just over a minute for them to dry. Remember also to clean your products’ containers with a sanitizing wipe. 

How to Sanitize Powder Products

You can clean powder products in the same manner as you would clean cream makeups — with an isopropyl alcohol spray and sanitizing wipes.

How to Sanitize Brushes and Sponges

Unfortunately, reusable makeup brushes and sponges cannot be 100% sanitized. Instead of trying to clean your brushes, you may be better off using disposables for these makeup products. 

If you still wish to “sanitize” these tools as much as possible, use lukewarm water and liquid dish soap. The soap will clean the sponge but not sanitize it, meaning bacteria may still be inside. After cleaning, microwave your sponge in a bowl of water for 2 minutes. The heat from the microwave should help get rid of at least some of the bacteria. 

Follow Sanitary Practices In the Workspace

Part of becoming a makeup artist, or receiving licensure and certification, includes learning and tending to the sanitation of your products and cleanliness practices when working with your client. Moreover, the cost of sanitation products can impact how much a makeup artist makes. Professional makeup artists should consider the cost and time of sanitation practices when pricing their makeup services

Below is a list of sanitary practices to implement in your workspace:

  • Disinfect the workspace;
  • Sanitize makeup and tools after each client;
  • Book one client at a time;
  • Don’t work when you are sick, or take time off after working with an ill client;
  • Wear a face mask;
  • Wash your hands;
  • Use hand sanitizer.

Additional Sanitation and Safety Tips

Below is a list of additional makeup sanitation and safety tips to consider:

  • Be aware of your clients’ allergies;
  • Keep the outside of your products clean, too;
  • Know product expiration dates;
  • Know when you opened a product;
  • Use tools rather than fingers when applying makeup;
  • If you use your fingers, always sanitize them immediately before and after. 

How can LMI help?

At L Makeup Institute, we offer several classes to help you achieve your makeup artistry goals. Our goal is to help the makeup artists of tomorrow perfect their skills and gain hands-on experience to help them with their careers. We offer a wide variety of training, including focused beauty and special effects cosmetics classes, to help you explore your talents and learn impressive techniques. If you are ready to start your career as a makeup artist, reach out to L Makeup Institute today!

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