How your make-up brush is dirtier than a TOILET CHAIR

Your make-up brushes are dirtier than a toilet seat: Stomach-shaking images reveal how tools are covered in mold, mildew and bacteria

  • The shocking photos released by Aventus Clinic – a Dermatologist based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire – show how dirty brushes and makeup kits can be.
  • The team wipes off make-up brushes to see what lurks beneath the microscopic surface
  • Of the 12 brushes tested, 11 were found to be dirtier than your average toilet seat, with eyeshadow and blush kit the worst offenders.

Make-up brushes can have more bacteria than toilet brushes, a new study reveals.

Shocking photos released by Aventus Clinic – a Dermatologist based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire – Show how dirty your brushes and make-up tools are covered in mold, mildew, and bacteria.

The team wiped off make-up brushes to see what was hiding beneath the microscopic surface. Of the 12 brushes tested, 11 were found to be dirtier than your average toilet seat, with eyeshadow and blush kit the worst offenders.

The shocking photos released by Aventus Clinic - a Dermatologist based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire - show how dirty brushes and make-up kits are covered in mold, mildew and bacteria.  Photo: The eyeshadow brush test bottle is almost completely covered in blurry blue and green mold - left: Mold and yeast from the make-up brush and bacteria on the right

The shocking photos released by Aventus Clinic – a Dermatologist based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire – show how dirty brushes and make-up kits are covered in mold, mildew and bacteria. Photo: The eyeshadow brush test bottle is almost completely covered in blurry blue and green mold – left: Mold and yeast from the make-up brush and bacteria on the right

Lipgloss (pictured) has the third most bacteria on it.  Left: fungus and yeast from lip gloss and right bacteria found

Lipgloss (pictured) has the third most bacteria on it. Left: fungus and yeast from lip gloss and right bacteria found

Third on the list of most bacterial makeup is lip gloss, with 4364 yeast and bacterial colonies found in all tested items.

Each set of pictures shows the product tested, and a bottle with levels of mold and yeast, and a second bottle with bacteria.

The eyeshadow brush test bottle is almost completely covered in hazy blue and green prints, while the foundation brush bottle has a large drop of blood red bacteria on it.

Having a dirty make-up brush can be dangerous and lead to infection and skin breakouts.

Each set of pictures shows the product tested, and a bottle with levels of mold and yeast, and a second bottle with bacteria.  Beauty blender pictured

Each set of pictures shows the product tested, and a bottle with levels of mold and yeast, and a second bottle with bacteria. Beauty blender pictured

A concealer blender is pictured.  A horrifying collection of images has revealed how dirty brushes can be if not regularly cared for, covered in mold, mildew, and bacteria.

A concealer blender is pictured. A horrifying collection of images has revealed how dirty brushes can be if not regularly cared for, covered in mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Having a dirty make-up brush can be dangerous and lead to infection and skin breakouts, say experts.  Image of an eyelash curler (left) with the printout (middle) and bacteria (right)

Having a dirty make-up brush can be dangerous and lead to infection and skin breakouts, say experts. Image of an eyelash curler (left) with the printout (middle) and bacteria (right)

WHICH BRUSH IS THE MOST BACTERIA?

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 unit)

5. Beauty blender (521 combined colony forming units)

6. Fake brown gloves (376.4 combined colony forming units)

7. Blender concealer (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 horrifying to see the amount of bacteria potentially sticking to makeup brushes,” says Dr Suhail Alam, medical director at Aventus Clinic.

‘However, that’s not entirely surprising.

‘Even after someone uses a makeup brush for the first time, it already forms a colony of bacteria.

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‘With daily use, brushes will automatically start to collect dirt, pollutants, oil and dead skin cells, which is why make-up brushes act as a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause breakouts and skin irritation.

Photo: Control test results for the toilet seat, showing mold 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

Photo: Control test results for the toilet seat, showing mold 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

Test results for the foundation brush, showing mold and yeast on the left and bacteria on the right.  The more often you clean your brush, the less dirt comes out of the bristles, say experts

Test results for the foundation brush, showing mold and yeast on the left and bacteria on the right. The more often you clean your brush, the less dirt comes out of the bristles, say experts

‘If a contaminated brush comes into contact with the eyes this can cause infection or an allergic reaction but this can be avoided with regular weekly cleaning.’

We recommend cleaning your makeup brushes at least once a week to avoid a huge build-up of bacteria.

‘To properly clean the brush, we recommend lathering the brush with an appropriate skin cleanser, massaging the bristles in the palm of your hand thoroughly, rinsing with warm water and then squeezing the brush to remove excess moisture.

‘The more often you clean your brush, the less dirt will come out of the bristles, but this is a good thing, so don’t stop cleaning your brush regularly if you experience this!’

The easy and natural way to clean your makeup brushes

USING TEA TREE OIL

One blogger, Chantal at Painted Teacup, shares on her website that you can clean it well by using tea tree oil.

All you need is tea tree essential oil, another essential ingredient of your choice, a spray bottle and water.

She recommends using five to six drops of tea tree oil due to its anti-fungal properties and the fact that it is a disinfectant.

“And four to five drops of another essential oil (I’d recommend lavender) in a glass spray bottle,” she wrote.

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‘Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, shake well and ta-da! You can use it to spray your brushes daily to keep them clean.’

USING OLIVE OIL

One of the most popular ways to clean makeup brushes naturally is with olive oil, vinegar, and a mild shampoo.

A former model and blogger, Crunchy Betty, says that the first step is to pour a little oil on the fabric.

‘You do this to ‘clean’ the brush, but also to condition the fibers in the bristles. This step isn’t really necessary if you’re using a synthetic makeup brush,’ she says.

‘All you do is dab the bristles in olive oil and then rub the brush (pressing gently) on your towel a few times – mainly until you feel like it’s mostly clean.’

Then pour a mild shampoo and a little warm water into a bowl and clean the hair in the mixture.

When you’re done with this step, dip the brush in the vinegar to make sure all the oil comes out of the brush while cleaning it again and then run it under the 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 has stuck to your brush bristles.

This is one of the most natural cleansing solutions you can come up with.

The best way to use these ingredients most effectively is to mix two tablespoons of white vinegar in a cup of hot water.

Spin your brush in the liquid and then rinse with water once all the product has been removed.

If your brush smells like vinegar, rub it on a lemon to apply the lemon scent.

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