How To Properly Clean Your Beauty Products

From the instant gratification of a flat iron to the long-term rewards of daily sessions with a face-toning device, beauty tools are one hell of an amazing way to refine what Mother Nature gave you. But, even the best things in life can have drawbacks.

In this case, we’re talking about bacteria and other grossness lurking on your devices that can result in eye infections, folliculitis, and more. From funky makeup brushes that could be causing your skin to breakout, to a clogged hair dryer filter that’s blowing way too much hot air (read: burnt tresses), slacking on maintenance has consequences. We’ve got the 411 on how to properly clean your tools so they can keep on doing what they're meant to do — make you look gorgeous.
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Clean Your Beautyblender To Avoid Breakouts & The Potential Spread Of Bacteria, Mold & Fungus

If you don’t already own one of these miracle workers, stop what you’re doing and order one, stat. Just be sure you also purchase the Beautyblender Solid Cleanser, which works to remove excess residue while protecting the integrity of the blender. Pssst! The soap effectively cleans makeup brushes, too. Here’s how it works:

1. Wet your Beautyblender or makeup brushes.

2. Rub your Beautyblender or makeup brushes over the soap, creating a lather; repeat if necessary.

3. Gently squeeze Beautyblender or brushes, and rinse again to remove any excess cleanser and water.

4. Set Beautyblender or sponges out to dry.

5. Run water over the cleanser to remove any excess makeup left behind. Turn upside-down to expose the drying rack under the cleanser. Leave out to dry.
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Clean Your Electronic Foot File To Avoid Fungus & Infection

You’ve probably heard the word by now that callus shavers and devices like the Ped Egg do more harm than good. That’s why we love this nifty electronic foot file, which makes for a perfect at-home pedi. The Amopé has an ergonomically shaped head with microbrasive particles that work to remove dead skin in seconds. The sanitation process is a snap, too.

1. Remove roller head.

2. Rinse in sink with soap and water. Mist with rubbing alcohol. Let dry completely before putting the head back on and storing.

3. Replace the head every one to two months depending on the intensity and duration of your treatment sessions.
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Clean Your Bikini Trimmer To Avoid Razor Bumps, Cuts, Or A Staph Infection

A trimmer is a great way to cut down on spa visits. We love this trustworthy tool from Bliss. Whether you choose to take it all off or sculpt to your comfort level, this tool's “ingrown-eliminating pad” should put your mind at ease between professional visits. It’s guaranteed to keep your nether regions right as rain provided you follow these go-to cleaning tips.

1. Unplug the trimmer.

Remove attachments and run under cold water to remove any hair — but, don’t actually immerse them in water.

To clean the micro-shaver attachment, release it from the device and carefully remove the shaving foil. Use the cleaning brush to remove any gunk or remaining hairs.

Be sure to lubricate the blades every one to two months with a blade-lubricating oil to prevent rusting.

Keep the entire device free of hair products or dirt. Wipe with a damp cloth if necessary.
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Clean Your Tweezers To Avoid Ingrown Hairs & Breakouts

While we love a professional brow tweezing session as much as the next person, there’s nothing wrong with a little at-home maintenance — as long as you’re sanitizing your tweezers properly. Tweezerman shares this tip: Wipe the entire set thoroughly (and carefully!) with rubbing alcohol and a cloth, or tissue, after each use.
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Clean Your Bath Pouf To Avoid Folliculitis, Rashes, & Breakouts

Providing you clean and replace it accordingly, this old-school tool is still fabulous. But, if you’re not following these steps to maintaining a perfect pouf, it’s time to jump on the sanitation bandwagon or your skin will pay the price.

1. After use, run your pouf under water to rinse away any remaining exfoliated skin and product. Squeeze out the extra moisture to remove the buildup of soap and water.

2. Hang the pouf in an open area with proper ventilation where it can dry properly, so it doesn’t accumulate bacteria or mildew.

3. Clean your pouf once a week with a mixture of 50% water and 50% white vinegar to disinfect it.

4. Replace after one month, and immediately if you have a cold or skin infection.
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Clean Your Dry Brush To Avoid Rashes & Breakouts

The dry brush is perhaps one of the most overlooked body tools, yet it’s also one of the most effective, thanks to its ability to exfoliate and detoxify the skin. And, with the exception of replacing every three months instead every month, you can follow the same cleaning tips for your dry brush as given for the bath pouf.
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Clean Your Hair Brush To Avoid Product Buildup & Flakes

Your hair brush is probably one of your most frequently used beauty tools. Yet, how often do you think about the fact that it runs through your clean hair after it slicked back your dirty gym ponytail the day before? Flakes, oil, and product are lurking between those bristles, friends, so make sure you’re cleaning your brush on a regular basis using these simple tips.

1. Remove the hair from your brush with your fingers or the pointed end of a comb.

2. Immerse the bristles of a brush in a bowl of warm water and a couple drops of shampoo. Use your fingers to work the sudsy mixture through the bristles. Don’t soak the brush if it has a wooden handle.

3. Rinse the brush with lukewarm water, or dip it in another bowl of
clean water to remove gunk and residual soap.

4. Shake out any excess water and place the brush face down on a towel to dry. Note that boar bristles tend to soak up water, so it may take longer to dry than a brush with synthetic bristles.
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Clean Your Foot File To Avoid Infections & Nail Fungus

It’s tough to make it between pedicures without partaking in a little at-home maintenance. But, make no mistake: Not all foot files are alike. In our opinion, it’s Diamancel or bust. So, to ensure that the diamond buffing surface keeps removing your rough calluses safely with every use, follow these simple sanitation tips.

1. Clean with soap and water using a soft brush. Rinse under running water.

2. To disinfect, soak file in alcohol of 70 to 90% proof for 10 minutes. Do not clean with bleach or chlorine.
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Clean Your Flat Iron To Avoid Burnt Tresses & Buildup

Styling products like heat protectants go hand-in-hand with using a flat iron. However, if you don’t properly remove the buildup and oils on your plates, you run the risk of burning your locks and transferring the buildup.

But, not to worry. Ali Web, founder of Drybar, has one super-simple tip for keeping your iron as good as new: Just wipe it down with a warm, damp washcloth with mild soap and water every couple of weeks.
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Clean Your Cellulose Face Sponges To Avoid Breakouts, Rashes, Mold & Bacteria Growth

Derived from plant pulp, cellulose sponges are the perfect alternative to a washcloth when it comes to everyday cleansing. But, they can also be a breeding ground for nastiness if not sanitized properly. While you can pop these babies in the microwave to kill the bacteria, Ecotools suggests you follow these simple steps, too.

1. After each use, rinse well with warm water (and soap/cleanser if necessary) and allow to air dry.

2. Replace every one to three months.
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Clean Your Derma Roller To Avoid Infection & Inflammation

If you think the scariest thing about a derma roller is the surgical-grade needles, guess again. Designed to sculpt the skin and increase collagen production, the device actually makes tiny holes in the skin, so your skin is more susceptible to germs and bacteria if the roller is not cleaned properly. To avoid any mishaps, Dr. Dimitry Rabkin, M.D. F.A.C.S., suggests investing in the highest quality medical roller, such as Environ Roll-CIT, and making sure you follow this easy cleaning method.

1. Once a week, pour the Environ Roll-CIT Cleaning Solution generously over the instrument, making sure all the needles are completely covered with the liquid.

2. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water and allow to dry before storing away.
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Clean Your Beauty Pillowcase To Avoid Breakouts, Blackheads & Milia

It's called beauty sleep for a reason. But, even a hearty dose of Z’s has its limits when it comes to battling age. Enter the Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase. This is no run-of-the-mill sleeper. Copper oxide fibers are woven into the satin-soft material to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in as little as four weeks — and more so over time — by releasing copper ions that support the skin’s natural self-renewal process. Clinical trials prove that these claims are no joke.

But, the case isn't going to clean itself, so follow this easy-peasy tip: Wash in the washing machine, but don’t use fabric softener in wash or dryer. You may choose to hand wash as well. The lifespan of the pillow case is similar to that of a standard version.
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Clean Your Konjac Sponge To Avoid Breakouts, Bacteria & Mold Growth

Konjac has been a beauty staple (among other uses) in Japan for many years, but has only recently become a buzzy cleansing tool here. Thanks to its fibrous texture, the Konjac sponge cleans your pores better than a traditional washcloth ever could. But, even though it dries quickly — thus reducing the risk of bacterial growth and mold there are still a few important steps to take to ensure you’re maximizing its potential.

1. Rinse with warm water before each use.

2. Apply cleanser to the sponge, and gently massage in circular motion to remove dirt, makeup, and impurities.

3. Rinse thoroughly after each use, and hang by the attached cotton thread in a well-ventilated area to dry. Make sure you allow the sponge to completely dry between uses.

4. Replace every two to three months.
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Clean Your False Eyelashes To Avoid Allergic Reactions, Eye Infections & Styes

Every gal loves long, lush lashes, and falsies are one of the fastest ways to achieve that look. And, as long as you follow this tip from M.A.C. Cosmetics senior artist John Stapleton, you can wear them without any risk to your peepers.

1. Peel off false lashes and place them in their case before removing makeup. Gently peel off any excess glue from the lash strip with your fingertips.

2. Use a cotton swab and 70-percent isopropyl alcohol to help sanitize and remove excess glue and product from the lash strip.
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Clean Your Toning Device To Avoid Breakouts & Eye Infections

Like diet and exercise, consistency is key if you want to see results from a toning device. But, unlike that 45-to-60-minute sweat session at the gym, the NuFace Trinity promises wrinkle reduction and an improvement in skin tone and facial contour in just five minutes a day, thanks to an FDA-approved microcurrent. This particular kit also comes with an attachment for the lip and eye area, so no surface is left untreated.

To avoid spreading bacteria and protecting the integrity of this device, follow these simple steps.

1. Lightly dampen a washcloth with water.

2. Gently wipe the spheres of your device to remove any product used in conjunction with the device.

3. Wipe down the case of your device.

4. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your device and you noticed some crusted product, use rubbing alcohol instead of water to sanitize your device.
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Clean Your Makeup Brushes (Synthetic & Natural) To Avoid Breakouts, Blackheads & Milia

Whether you prefer synthetic or natural bristles, it’s important to thoroughly cleanse your makeup brushes with soap and water, as well as an alcohol-based cleaner like this one from Osmosis. Along with cleansing properties, this formula also contains nourishing essentials to keep your bristles healthy and extend the life of your tools.

“The longevity and performance of your makeup brushes is determined by how well you take care of them,” says Ami Shvartzman, director of education for Osmosis Skincare. Clean brushes have a higher product pick-up rate than those saturated with leftover product — even if the brushes do not appear dirty.” Follow Shavartzman’s tips for clean tools and skin.

1. Use a brush cleaner in spray form to sanitize. Simply mist and then wipe on a towel until no more product is visible. If you haven't cleaned them in a while, you can also try loosening dirt from the base of bristles with a soft-bristle toothbrush.

2. Thoroughly wash your makeup brushes every two to three weeks. Use a drop of water and either a face cleanser or baby shampoo in the palm of your hand, bring to a sudsy lather, then rinse with cool water. Make sure you are laying the brush on its side rather than placing it upright in a cup to dry overnight. This will ensure that you don’t loosen the glue on the ferule of the brush and lose the hairs.
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Clean Your Microdermabrasion Device To Avoid Ineffective Results

Even if you’re a beauty product enthusiast devoted to your skin-care regimen, at some point you have to up the ante if you want to achieve your dermal goals. Case in point, we can’t think of a better at-home way to minimize pores, eliminate acne scars, increase hydration, and improve fine lines and crow’s feet than with the Riiviva microdermabrasion device. While softer, smoother skin results are immediate, with dedication, the rest of the benefits can be seen as early as six weeks. Trust, it’s worth the wait.

So, whether you choose to use the diamond tip for the face, body, or both, follow this simple cleansing tip to keep your device in tip-top shape so you can eliminate those pricy spa visits, stat.

1. Cleanse the diamond tips with warm water, soap, and a gentle bristle brush (a toothbrush is fine!).

2. Replace your diamond tips within a year or less for optimal results.
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Clean Your Curling Iron To Avoid Burnt Hair & Buildup

Even if you’re not a curling-iron pro, the T3 Twirl makes it easy to create waves and curls like a boss. The device senses the movement of your hand and automatically rotates in the desired direction. The result? A perfect head of hair.

The negative effects from not sanitizing your curling wand are very similar to that of your flat iron. So, the team from T3 beauty tools suggests this one simple tip: All T3 tools can be cleaned and sanitized (when off) with any household cleaner, or with a natural cleaning solution like a raw vinegar-water mixture.
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Clean Your Clarisonic To Prevent Breakouts & The Potential Spread of Bacteria, Mold & Fungus

We love the Clarisonic cleansing brush — especially the new Smart Profile device that uses “smart” technology to completely customize your cleansing experience. But, neglect to clean your brush and you may not share our enthusiasm. That’s why we asked Dr. Robb, the co-founder of Clarisonic, to share his expert cleaning tips.

1. Once a week, remove the brush head and wash the handle using warm soapy water to remove any residue buildup. The handle is completely waterproof so this will not harm the device. You can also rub and rinse the brush head with warm soapy water. If you’d like, you can also dunk your brush head in rubbing alcohol, but it’s not a required step.

2. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your brush head, the company recommends replacing it every three months. The reason for this is not because the brush head gets dirty, but rather the bristles stop acting independently from each other, thus decreasing efficacy.
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Clean Your Blowdryer To Avoid Blowing Around Bacteria & Burnt Tresses

Your blowdryer may not be an obvious culprit for harboring germs, but over time, the vent can become a playground for bacteria that get expelled into the air every time you use the device. While it’s necessary to clean your dyer, this amazing model from CHI gives you a head start. The dryer comes equipped with the brand's proprietary “rapid clean technology,” a bacteria-reduction system that reduces the amount of icky germs and buildup.

But, that doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook. Farouk Shami — Chairman and Founder of Farouk Systems, the creators of CHI — provides tips for regular maintenance.

1. When the dryer is off and unplugged, remove the back of the dryer/grill to expose the filter. This is what keeps all of the debris from coming in contact with the motor.

2. Use a clean towel or new toothbrush to gently remove the buildup you see. Don't forget to wipe down the outside of the tool, too. This will remove the film of hair-product residue that settles on the dryer while you are styling. Plus, it will clean the handle you touch with daily use.
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Want to see exactly how to wash your brushes? Refinery29's beauty writer shows us how in this video.
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