You’ve heard of clean beauty, but have you heard of keeping your beauty products clean? Spoiler alert: One is a marketing tactic, the other is an actual necessity when it comes to extending the lifespan of your products and keeping mould away.
Ahead, find our best advice for a genuinely “clean” beauty routine. Remember, you can be as thorough or as lazy as you want—there are tips for every effort level ahead!
If it’s in a jar
Jar packaging has gotten a bad rep in the hygiene sphere as of late, and while it isn’t entirely undeserving, it is a little unwarranted. As long as your brands of choice aren’t riding the anti-science wave too hard, it’s likely that any beauty products sold in jars will contain preservatives to prevent the growth of mould or bacteria within their formulation. That said, you can never be too safe, so here are a few ways to minimise the growth of mould and bacteria in your creams and gels:
1. Use a spatula
Don’t take this personally, but your fingers are gross. There are all sorts of nasties living under your nails and on your skin, so—no surprise here—the worst thing you could introduce into your jarred products are your grubby mitts. The easiest way to mitigate this issue? Forgo your fingers entirely and opt for a spatula when scooping out your daily skincare routine. Simply sterilise the spatula between every use and you’re good to go!
2. Clean your hands well before dipping in
If you insist on using your mitts, at least make sure that they’re squeaky clean first. Prior to your routine, make sure you’re washing your hands thoroughly, not forgetting to scrub between your fingers and under your nails. Come on, we’re one and a half years into the pandemic—this should be second nature by now!
3. Use the back of your fingernails to scoop
While we’re on the note of gross fingers, if you’re absolutely set on using your hands, it’s best to scoop the product out with the back of your fingernail as opposed to under your fingernail. As we mentioned, the underside of your nails is a hub for dirt and grime to collect, even after a thorough wash, so using the smooth surface on the top of your nail is one way to reduce the introduction of grime into your beauty products.
4. Use a Q-tip
Can’t be bothered to find a spatula but still don’t want to use your hands? Try using a Q-tip. Though it isn’t the most environmentally friendly option, it does do the trick. Alternatively, if you’d prefer a more eco-friendly option, use a teaspoon from your kitchen instead.
5. Don’t double dip
Alright, so you’re scooping your products out responsibly now. The spatula has left the tub and you’ve swiped the product onto your hands. There’s just one issue: You didn’t scoop enough out. So, the obvious solution here is to just go back into the pot for more product; we’re here to tell you not to do that—at least not before you’ve re-sterilised your spatula (or your hands!).
6. Close the lid tightly
When it comes to preserving the freshness of your beauty products, this is the most crucial factor. It doesn’t just apply to the products in your bathroom, either—in hot, humid Malaysia, the products in the drier areas of your house are also at risk of compromise. Screwing the lids back onto your jars tightly and securely ensures that nothing can get out, and, more importantly, that nothing can get in; not moisture nor microorganisms.
EXTRA TIP: When using your jar products, keep your lids clean by setting them down on your vanity facing up. This will ensure that no dust or dirt can stick to the product that collects on the lid.
If it’s in a pump or pour bottle
While it is true that bottle packaging does tend to be more sanitary than other types of beauty product packaging, it isn’t exempt from the wrath of microorganisms. Ahead, find our top tips for keeping your pump bottles as clean as can be (thus, keeping your product safe for use).
1. Sanitise the pump or the bottle’s opening before dispensing
Let’s be real, your vanity isn’t totally spotless. In the time between uses, your beauty bottles accumulate dust and grime—while it isn’t always visible, it’s best to stay on the safe side and give your pumps a once-over with some rubbing alcohol. This ensures that you’re starting with a clean canvas and that the product does not pick up any nasties on its way to your face (yay!).
2. Sanitise again after use
This may seem like overkill, but if you’re particularly paranoid about your products going bad, it’s worth it to be thorough.
TIP: If you cannot be bothered to sanitise the bottles before and after each use, that’s understandable. However, while it doesn’t have to be an everyday (or even twice daily) occurrence, it is a good idea to get into the habit of sanitising your product packaging at least once a month.
3. Don’t touch the pump or the bottle opening directly to your skin
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often this mistake is made. Whether you’re dealing with a pump, pour, or pipette, it’s important to make sure that it never directly touches your skin. While you (hopefully) wash your hands prior to doing your skincare routine, your hands aren’t entirely sterile (nor should they be—that would be bad news for your skin’s microbiome). So, when it comes to keeping your products hygienic, the best thing you can possibly do is to avoid contact with your skin entirely.
TIP: Being diligent will prolong the time you can take between full-on cleaning sessions too!
And there you have it! Do you have any tips of your own?
Find more beauty tips like this here.
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