As every make-up artist or make-up enthusiast knows, your make-up brushes are the most important items in your cosmetic kit and are essential for the accurate application of your products.
As such, your brushes are an investment so it is vital that they are cared for in order to prolong their longevity and keep the bristles in shape to facilitate precise, flawless coverage.
Dirty make-up brushes sabotage your ability to apply make-up with precision and reduce brush efficacy, due a build-up of product, oil and dead skin cells. An accumulation of this unwanted matter means your tools will not perform at their best and you may struggle to achieve a neat, blended finish. Product build-up will also cause the bristles to become rough and blunt, potentially feeling ‘scratchy’ on your clients’ skin, resulting in irritation and sensitivity.
However, that’s not the only negative!
Make-up brushes do not only accumulate pigment liquids, powders, oil and dead skin, they can become laden with dust and dirt and are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. This dirt and grime is then transferred onto the skin, wreaking bacterial havoc and compromising skin health.
Dirty brushes can also expose the skin to oxidative stress from free radicals, causing a breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in premature ageing.
Make-up brushes should therefore be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected on a regular basis.
To ensure free radicals and acne and infection-causing germs are not compromising the complexion the importance of thorough, effective cleansing and disinfection of brushes cannot be overstated.
Skin Conditions & Infections
Bacterial and viral activity can result in skin infections and conditions such as boils, conjunctivitis, cellulitis, impetigo, acne, congestion, rosacea, herpes and staph infections. In shared professional make-up kits these are potentially passed from client to client!
Contaminated tools not only spread microbes across the skin but, in turn they transfer bacteria onto make-up products – so, again, potentially, onto clients or back onto your own skin in a vicious circle of infection risk.
In a published study (1) 95% of products in shared beauty kits were found to be contaminated with bacteria (compared to a still very unappealing 63% of individual cosmetics).
Conditions like cold sores are often underestimated and dangerous strains of bacteria such as staphylococcus and the herpes simplex virus can actually be a serious risk to overall health, particularly in people who have an already weakened immune system.
As such, keeping your make-up tools clean and following safe, hygienic practices can safeguard against the contagious viruses and bacteria that can potentially be spread by make-up and brushes.
- Cold Sores / Herpes Simplex/ HSV-1
Cold sores are small, blister-like lesions that usually appear around the mouth. In most cases these are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus with Type 1 (HSV-1) being the strain that causes them around the mouth. HSV-1 is a persistent and problematic pathogen. Typically, it infects through oral secretions (eg. kissing, contaminated toothbrush or lip-brush) or through openings in the skin. It is therefore relatively easy for the virus to find a point of entry into the body. For those who carry the virus, it lodges at the root of the facial nerve and will manifest itself at times of low health, trauma or sun exposure. In healthy people, this may result in visible cold sores or fever blisters. However, in those with compromised immune systems, (eg, babies or those suffering illness) HSV-1 can pose more serious and chronic health problems. For example, it can spread to organs such as the brain, lungs and liver, where the infection may become life-threatening. Some patients, such as those with atopic dermatitis (a common form of eczema that accounts for roughly 20 percent of all dermatologic referrals) are especially vulnerable to serious complications stemming from an HSV-1 infection. The virus can be difficult to treat and eradicate in such circumstances.
- Staphylococcus Epidermis
Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of the most common forms of bacteria. It has been found on lipsticks, eyeshadows and eyeliners during laboratory testing. While this bacteria is found naturally on human skin, it can lead to infection in those with a compromised immune system (eg. the elderly or those suffering chronic illness). Some strains of this bacteria are resistant to antibiotic treatment and can severely affect the intestines if left untreated.
- Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacteria often found in soil and water. It has been known to be found on mascara wands which could potentially nick the eye or penetrate into the soft tissues or mucous membranes of the eye. It is associated with inflammation, rash and in severe cases, sepsis; a very serious infection that can cause organ failure.
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
One of the most serious forms of bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can lurk on old make-up and cause infection. It is considered very dangerous because the infection can be easily spread can be resistant to antibiotic treatment. When applying makeup that is contaminated with MRSA, the infection can enter a pimple, open cut or the mucous membranes of the eye and nose. Australian model, Anthea Page, took to Instagram to report how she had contracted a highly contagious strain of staphylococcus aureus, after having make-up applied for a fashion show for Sydney Fashion Weekend. Anthea was forced to cancel all her bookings for the month ahead and chose to speak out about how unhygienic the fashion industry can be. ‘It doesn’t happen at every fashion show… but I have seen unhygienic things happen at a fair few and there is always backstage chat about it. The responsibility lies with the artist to make sure their brushes are clean and free of potentially harmful bacteria for the next person.’ (Metro.co.uk)
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva or membrane inside the eyelid and covering the cornea. More commonly known as pink eye, this condition causes the small blood vessels in the membrane to enlarge. This causes the distinctive pink or red cast that gives this condition its name. Although this condition can be caused by by allergies, or physical and chemical irritation, it can also be caused by contaminated cosmetics if bacteria or viral spores come in contact with the membrane inside the eyelid.
Keratitis is an infection of the cornea (the centre portion of the eye that surrounds the pupil). It occurs when bacteria come in contact with the cornea, often when bacteria contaminate contact lenses. If contact lenses, fingers or the skin around the eye are in contact with contaminated makeup, the bacteria may contaminate one or both lenses allowing the bacteria to attack the cornea, causing eye drainage, decreased vision, puffy eyelids and light sensitivity.
A stye is an infection in the hair follicle of an eyelash. A small papule forms and the stye may become itchy, increasing irritation and the spread of infection. Usually, styes form as the result of trapped oil, but infection can also cause a stye whereby glands trap bacteria from contaminated cosmetic products.
Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelid, can occur as an allergy or as the result of a bacterial infection. If staphylococcus bacteria contaminate a cosmetic product, use of the product transfers the bacteria to the eye and increases the risk of blepharitis. Blepharitis causes light sensitivity, blurred vision, eye discharge, pain and redness of the eye. If the bacteria enter the meiobian glands, recurrent conjunctivitis may also occur.
It can be challenging to sterilise brushes effectively and to have them pristine, dry and ready for the next make-up application. General cleansing, wiping brushes with a tissue or wipe or spritzing may well eliminate product but these options are not necessarily anti-bacterial.
ISOCLEAN’s fast-drying formula gently and effectively cleanses make-up brushes within seconds, killing 99.9% of bacteria on contact. It strips brushes of product – dislodging even stubborn formulations such as lipstick and concealer, without causing damage. Anti-bacterial properties dissolve make-up and grime whilst aloe vera conditions and softens bristles, leaving them soft to the touch.
Quick and easy to use
Fast drying formula
Kills 99.9% of bacteria on contact
Dislodges even stubborn formulations such as lipstick and concealer
Promotes skin health
Prevents skin infections, breakouts & congestion
Prolongs the life of your brushes
Conditions and softens bristles
Facilitates smooth, precise brush coverage
Cleaner makeup brushes for healthier skin
Beautiful make-up starts with beautiful skin! Don’t compromise a healthy complexion or that perfect make-up look with unsanitary tools and practises.
ISOCLEAN is quick and easy to use; fast-drying, cleansing make-up brushes within seconds. Keep your brushes clean. And for the ultimate in hygiene and protection – KEEP THEM ISOCLEAN