Your make-up brushes are dirtier than a toilet seat: Stomach-churning images reveal how tools are covered in fuzzy mould, fungus and bacteria
Make-up brushes can have more bacteria on them than a toilet brush, a new study has revealed.
Shocking photos released by the Aventus Clinic – a Dermatology Specialists based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire – show how dirty make-up brushes and tools really are covered in fuzzy mould, fungus and bacteria.
The team swabbed make-up brushes to see what lurks under the microscopic surface. Out of the 12 brushes tested, 11 were found to be dirtier than your average toilet seat, with eyeshadow and blusher tools the worst offenders.
Shocking photos released by the Aventus Clinic – a Dermatology Specialists based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire – show how dirty make-up brushes and tools really are covered in fuzzy mould, fungus and bacteria. Pictured: The eyeshadow brush test vial is almost entirely covered in fuzzy blue and green mould – left: Mould and yeast from the make-up brush and bacteria on the right
The lipgloss (pictured) had the third most bacteria on it. Left: mould and yeast from the lipgloss and right the bacteria found
The team swabbed make-up brushes to see what lurks under the microscopic surface. Out of the 12 brushes tested, 11 were found to be dirtier than your average toilet seat, with eyeshadow and blusher tools (pictured) the worst offenders
Third on the list of most bacterial make-up was lipgloss, with 4364 colonies of yeast and bacteria were found across all items tested.
Each set of images shows the product tested, and a vial with the level of mould and yeast, and a second vial with the bacteria.
The eyeshadow brush test vial is almost entirely covered in fuzzy blue and green mould, while the foundation brush vial has large droplets of blood-red bacteria across it.
Having dirty make-up brushes can be harmful and cause infections and skin break-outs.
Each set of images shows the product tested, and a vial with the level of mould and yeast, and a second vial with the bacteria. The beauty blender is pictured
A concealer blender is pictured. The horrifying set of images has revealed just how dirty brushes really get if not regularly maintained, covered in mould, fungus and bacteria
Having dirty make-up brushes can be harmful and cause infections and skin break-outs, experts revealed. Pictured is the eyelash curler (left) with its mould results (centre) and bacteria (right)
WHICH ARE THE MOST BACTERIA-RIDDLED BRUSHES?
1. Eyeshadow brush (928 combined colony forming units)
2. Blusher brush (697.5 combined colony forming units)
3. Lipgloss (625 combined colony forming units)
4. Eyelash curler (601.2 combined colony forming units)
5. Beauty blender (521 combined colony forming units)
6. Fake tan mitt (376.4 combined colony forming units)
7. Concealer blender (207 combined colony forming units)
8. Eyebrow spoolie (98 combined colony forming units)
9. Eyeliner (95 combined colony forming units)
10. Mascara brush/wand (92.5 combined colony forming units)
11. Foundation brush (85.5 combined colony forming units)
‘It’s awful to see the amount of bacteria that could potentially sit on a makeup brush,’ Dr Suhail Alam, medical director at Aventus Clinic said.
‘However, it’s not entirely shocking.
‘Even after a person uses a makeup brush for the first time, it will already be forming colonies of bacteria.
‘With daily use, the brushes will automatically start collecting dirt, pollutants, oil and dead skin cells, which is why make-up brushes act as a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to breakouts and skin irritations.
Pictured: Control test results for a toilet seat, showing mould and yeast on the left and bacteria on the right. The results showed 11 out of 12 beauty tools had more bacteria than a toilet seat
The test results for a foundation brush, showing mould and yeast on the left and bacteria on the right. The more you clean your brushes, the less dirt seeps out of the bristles, experts say
‘If a contaminated brush comes into contact with the eye, this could cause infections or allergic reactions but these can be avoided with a weekly cleaning routine.’
‘We recommend cleaning your makeup brushes at least once a week to avoid such an enormous build-up of bacteria.
‘To clean the brushes properly, we suggest lathering the brush in an appropriate skin cleanser, massaging any bristles in the palm of your hand thoroughly, rinsing with lukewarm water and then squeezing the brush to remove any excess moisture.
‘The more you clean your brushes, the less dirt seeps out of the bristles, but this is a good thing, so don’t stop cleaning your brushes regularly if you find this to be the case!’
Easy and natural ways to clean your makeup brushes
USING TEA TREE OIL
One blogger, Chantal at Painted Teacup, shared on her website that you can clean them well by using tea tree oil.
All you need is a tea tree essential oil, another essential of your choice, a spray bottle and water.
She recommends using five to six drops of the tea tree oil because of its anti-fungal properties and the fact that it’s a disinfectant.
‘And four to five drops of any other essential oil (I would recommend lavender) into a glass spray bottle,’ she wrote.
‘Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, shake well and ta-da! You can use it to spray your brushes every day to keep them clean.’
USING OLIVE OIL
One of the most popular ways to clean makeup brushes naturally is with olive oil, vinegar and gentle shampoo.
A former model and blogger, Crunchy Betty, said that the first step is to pour a tiny bit of oil onto a cloth.
‘You’re doing this to ‘preclean’ the brush, but also to condition the fibers on the bristles. This step isn’t quite as necessary if you use synthetic makeup brushes,’ she said.
‘All you do is just dab the bristles into the olive oil and then swipe the brush (pressing gently) on your towel several times – mainly until you feel like it’s mostly clean.’
Then pour some gentle shampoo and a bit of warm water into a bowl and clean the bristles in the mixture.
Once done with this step dip the brushes into vinegar as it makes sure all of the oil is out of the brush while cleaning them some more and then run them under water.
USING VINEGAR AND LEMON
Most people will have a bottle of vinegar in their cupboard and a lemon sitting in their fruit bowl and these items work well together to remove any makeup that are clinging to the bristles of your brushes.
This is one of the most natural cleaning solutions you can create.
The best way to use these ingredients most effectively is by mixing two tablespoons of white vinegar into a cup of hot water.
Swirl your brushes in the liquid and then rinse them off with water once all product has been removed.
If your brushes smell strongly of vinegar then rub them against the lemon to apply a lemon scent.