The makeup sponges are loved by artists and fans alike as they create a moist and very natural finish. And with the myriad of shapes and sizes out there, you can rely on them for everything from foundation and concealer to even eyeshadow or blush. All its uses are very versatile, but: how do you clean these little things?

You may have seen a viral hack here and there about the best way to sanitize your makeup sponges , but we’re here to tell you the best tried and true ways.

Why do you need to wash your makeup sponges

You need to wash your sponges for the same reason you need to wash your makeup brushes – just as they’re good at absorbing and transferring makeup, they’re good at doing that for a ton of other things.

Natural oils, bacteria, makeup, dead skin cells, dirt and grime accumulate on the brush, and then you reapply them daily, this can lead to many skin problems: acne, dermatitis contact, infections, etc.

If that doesn’t scare you into wanting to really keep your makeup sponges clean, (though you should), this build-up can also affect the sponge’s function – dirty and overused sponges just don’t work as well as freshly cleaned ones. .

How often should you wash your brushes?

There is what we know we should do and what is a reality. In a perfect world, experts say you wash them with every use. It is highly recommended to clean the sponge daily.

With daily use, any makeup tool can accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, contamination, and bacteria. So just like washing your face or brushing your teeth every day, this will help keep your makeup tools in tip-top shape.

But in case you just know that you’re not going to be as diligent, every three or four uses is fine, or at least once a week.

And in case you want some sensory cues that the sponge and brushes are due for a bath, there are obvious visual cues of how dirty the sponge is.

If you use your sponge damp, you will also start to feel like it is squashed differently when there is too much product built up inside. And this is very unpleasant; very dirty sponges will start to smell funny. Wash your sponges before that happens.

Rinse your makeup sponges manually with mild soap and water

It’s pretty simple: grab your sponge and soap and head to the sink or kitchen sink. Dampen the sponge, apply a small amount of your soap and begin to lather between your hands. Rinse regularly while doing this.

In the first rinse, the water will likely look quite full of makeup, but with diligent work, it will start to clear. You have finished your work when the water is clear again and there is no more foam.

As for soap, there are plenty of sponge-specific washes on the market, but any mild, fragrance-free option will do the trick. You can stay away from sodium lauryl sulfates because it is a detergent that runs off our waterways and avoids fragrances because they can damage the foam on the sponge.

Stronger or harsher soaps (like traditional shampoos or dish detergents) can cause problems in another way: One of the most important steps is that you need to thoroughly rinse out the soap. If it is not rinsed out completely, your sponge can become a bit stiff and dense.

Liquid dish soap and shampoos clean sponges, but they contain so many foaming agents that they can be really difficult to rinse completely.

Some soaps run the risk of shortening the life of the sponge. If you are using something that is not alcohol-free and mild and not formulated for makeup tools, you risk breaking up the lather.

Try a silicone cleaning pad

For true makeup fanatics who go for everything, they can also use cleansing pads. These are simply silicone tools that have small indentations, spikes, and nodules that help you work the sponge or brush more thoroughly.

They are especially useful for brushes, as they allow you to get between the bristles.

While there are several varieties, most work more or less the same way: apply soap and water, grab your pad, and move the sponge in a circular motion, taking care to work all sides.

Just be careful how hard you are doing your moves. Be careful because they can tear the delicate surface of the sponge.

Skip the microwave

There seems to be endless articles and posts on how you can use the microwave to kill germs and bacteria. But almost all experts say skip this trick. With good old-fashioned soap and water, they work well.

Most sponges are made of antibacterial foams, so the idea that heating them will make them more sterile is not accurate; In addition, they can alter the chemical composition.

Always allow adequate drying time

After rinsing, you should always allow proper drying time and ventilation on your makeup sponges. After washing or using the sponge, you should always make sure to let it air dry in an open space. Never throw it in the makeup bag.

Remember that you just washed your sponge, so why would you want to make it dirty again by exposing it to all the things you just washed? You can also speed up the drying process by removing the water with a clean towel.

Your makeup sponges, along with your brushes or brushes, can quickly fill with grime and cause a lot of skin problems, not to mention that they just don’t work as well as when they are clean. But when you go to wash them, skip all the fashions and tricks on the internet – a mild, natural soap is really your best friend.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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