Our makeup kit has become an indispensable beauty tool. However, if we don't pay attention the same tools that help enhance our beauty can become a leading source of many frustrating beauty and health problems that are totally preventable. Learn what you can do to keep you makeup kit germ free with a few simple tips.

The link between makeup use and acne breakouts has been debated for a long time. While there might be certain cosmetic ingredients that can cause acne, one of the main reason why acne breakouts might increase when using this beauty tool is an improper makeup hygiene.

Lack of knowledge and a little negligence when it comes to the way you use and keep makeup tools can have surprisingly negative effects on your way your skin looks and might even trigger some nasty infections in certain cases. Here are a few strategies that you can use to minimize the chances of infections and acne breakouts by changing some o the habits that might put you at risk:

Know the shelf life of your makeup products

It's not really a secret that products that are used beyond their expiration date are the ones that are more likely to be bacteria infested. Therefore, being informed about the normal shelf life of the makeup products that you use most often is one of the best ways to prevent germs and bacteria.
One of the most obvious ways to tell if the product has moved beyond the expiration date is to look for any changes in the color, consistency or smell of the products is a clear indication that you should get rid of those products.

However,until you notice the these changes it might already be too late. Powder eye shadow, blushers or bronzers, lipstick, lip liners, pencil eyeliners have the longest shelf life, of about 2 years. Lip gloss, cream and compact foundation and concealers have a life expectancy of about a year, a year and a half. Eye makeup products have the smallest shelf life of only 3 to 6 months from the moment they were first opened. Mascara, liquid eyeliners or eye shadow begin should be used with caution after the 3 months.

Beware of department store makeovers

Getting a free makeover at the beauty department store might sound like a good deal however, this decision might end up costing you more than you would think. Because the products are used on hundreds of women they are heavily infested with a variety of germs and bacteria that can pose serious health risks.

Research shows that no matter if you get a free makeover from an expensive store or a less known one the possibility of infection remain just as high. If you cannot resist the temptation, you should at least avoid weekends as at these time the probability of infection are the highest. Statistically, the lowest infection rates seem to be on Thursday so do your best to schedule your free beauty session around that time and use only disposable applicators.

Avoid sharing makeup

Borrowing makeup from a friend is something that many women do without even thinking about the consequences of this common behavior. Sharing eye makeup can put you at risk of conjunctivitis while sharing lipstick and lip gloss can increase the changes of getting cold sores. Also, throw away any lipsticks or lip glosses that you used when if you had cold sores to avoid repeated contamination.


Clean your makeup tools frequently

Your makeup brushes as well as other makeup tools can be the leading cause of bacteria spread. It is recommended to use disposable applicators for everything that touches your eyes or your lips and to clean makeup brushes at least once every two weeks. To wash your makeup brushes you should use lukewarm water and gentle shampoo or detergent of your choice. Alternatively you can also use vinegar or tea tree oil to clean and disinfect your make up tools naturally. Another good strategy for avoiding bacteria spread is to remove the superficial upper layer from of creams and powders you use, because that is where the highest concentration of bacteria can be found.


Avoid keeping cosmetics in direct heat

Intense heat can quickly deteriorate the preservatives that are used to prevent bacteria spread, making your cosmetic products a fertile environment for all kinds of germs and bacteria. Avoid keeping makeup products in your car as much as possible and avoid storing your makeup kit in humid places where bacteria can multiply at rapid rates. Last but not least make sure that makeup containers are properly closed after each use. Air contact and humidity can greatly increase bacteria growth.