How To Sanitize Your Makeup?

How To Sanitize Your Makeup

Table of Contents

In this day and age, it can feel like we’re constantly cleaning everything, from our hands to the surfaces we frequently touch but have you ever considered that your makeup needs to be sanitized too? And we’ve got the answer to every question that you might have when it comes to sanitizing your makeup!

Why is it important to sanitize makeup?

It has never been more important to sanitize your makeup products, then it is today, stubborn viruses/bacteria can survive on surfaces for days. Every time you use a makeup product or share it with someone without taking sanitary precautions, the oils, bacteria, and germs can transfer from your skin and hands to makeup, possibly leading to breakouts or infections. Even if you don’t share makeup products with other people, your personal collection can still harbour unhealthy growths that can compromise your safety and shorten the lifespan of your products.

How often should I sanitize my makeup?

Makeup that you use every single day should be sanitized every few weeks, especially if you’ve been travelling or have been feeling sick. You should also sanitize your makeup if you’ve shared it with someone else to ensure no germs have spread. This is important, as we all are exposed to different things at different times, and our friends might be getting over a cold or might have encountered some germs that could cause them to get sick.

What will I need to sanitize my makeup?

Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) is your most important weapon when it comes to keeping your makeup bag and its contents sanitized. You will also need antibacterial wipes, a spray bottle to hold your disinfecting alcohol, Q-tips and cotton pads.

What is the ideal concentration of alcohol suited to sanitize makeup?

70% Isopropyl Alcohol is the ideal concentration that you should look for when buying your disinfecting alcohol. Made from a 70% alcohol 30% water solution, it is the most effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses to help sanitize.

A common misconception is that the higher the alcohol content—for example, the widely available 91% IPA—the more effective. This is not the case. It needs that 30% of water to destabilize the cell membranes of the bacteria, fungi, and virus to allow the alcohol to penetrate the cell and destroy al harmful disinfecting reagents.

What makeup items can be sanitized?

You can sanitize all your makeup products, from the rich creamy products to powders, palettes and even your setting spray!

How to sanitize products for your face?

How to sanitize your primers?

Its the first thing that you apply to your face directly so you do not want it to be contaminated what so ever. If you own a traditional squeezy tube primer, take a disinfecting wipe with 70% IPA and clean the nozzle which dispenses the product. You can do the same thing for a pump based primer tube, wipe away the pump with IPA before use.

 If you have cream-based primers that require to be dug out from their jar, the first step to keeping them sanitary is by not dipping your fingers into them. No matter how clean your hands are, dipping your fingers in your makeup products can cause germs to spread like wildfire and mess with the product itself, causing the integrity of the ingredients to change. You always want to use sanitary applicators on your makeup when scoopomg out your primer, a spatula or a clean and sanitized sponge to pick up the product to not cause germs, oil, or dirt to spread.

How to sanitize your foundation?

You can sanitize all your foundations regardless of their formula, be it cream, liquid, serum, gel or a powder foundation. For foundations that come with a pump, dip a cotton pad in a bit of rubbing alcohol and give the foundation bottle’s nozzle and cap a solid cleaning.

Cream-based foundations tend to catch a lot of dust and dirt because of their wet texture. Just douse the Q-tip with alcohol and gently use it to wipe off the top layer and remove debris from your cream foundation. You may need to repeat this with several Q-tips as it will more easily absorb product but it’s important to do several passes so that you can actually remove the dirt instead of redistributing it.

Sanitizing Foundation 1

Note: We’re only talking about wiping away the debris that gets caught into cream products, which may take more than one try to remove because at times the debris just keeps getting burried inside, causing more germs to spread throughout the product. When you clean all debris thoroughly you’re actually preventing your product from getting infected.

For stick foundations, you can snip off the topmost layer of your foundation and spray it with alcohol to sanitize your product or wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe and then spray it with 70% alochol. To snip off the top layer you can use a scissor or a scraper to scrape off the top most layer that was exposed to germs. 

For compact powders and powder, foundations start by cleaning the packaging inside and outside with a sanitizing wipe. Now spray with 70% IPA from an approximate distance of 15cm. This will not damage your powder products, as the sanitizing mist will completely evaporate after a minute and your powder will be good to go.

Sanitizing Foundation 2

Can you sanitize loose powders?

No, when it comes to sanitizing the actual contents of the product, you can’t spray anything on loose powder because it will coagulate the powder once moisture hits it and will alter the way your powder performs. But that doesn’t mean that you give up on sanitizing it, if your loose powder has a cap, take some powder from the jar, dip it in the lid and use that first. Once you’ve used up all the powder you can spray the lid with alcohol and wipe it down to sanitize it.

How to sanitize blush, highlighters & contours

How can you sanitize Cream Blushes, Cream Highlighters and Cream Contour palettes?

Alcohol is great to spray onto cream products, start by cleaning the packaging of the product and slightly wiping away the top layer of your cream products with a wipe. If you find any debris in the product use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol to remove the contaminant, spray the product with 70% IPA and it will dissipate within a minute.

How can you sanitize your Eye Shadows, Powder Blushes, Powder Contours, Powder Bronzers and Powder Highlighters?

There are two ways to clean these products: you can either use a knife or some tissues and alcohol. Use a clean knife to lightly scrape off the dirty top layer off your product. This is particularly useful for products that have formed a hardened layer that makes it difficult to pick up product; it happens not because the product but from oil that has transferred from your face. A sharp knife makes the job easier but if you’re afraid of cutting yourself, a blunt edge will do just fine. Do this on top of a sturdy table so you can rest your hands on for better control.

If your product is otherwise fine though, use a tissue, lightly rub off the top layer and then spray a fine, even coat of alcohol on the product. Allow drying thoroughly before next use.

How to sanitize eye makeup?

How to sanitize your mixing palettes?​

Makeup mixing palettes are a blessing during these times when we can’t pump out and mix foundations at the back of our hands. To clean them, start with your makeup remover on a wipe to take away any makeup residue off the palette and wash it with a bar of antibacterial soap or cleanser. Once the palette has dried completely, spray with 70% IPA and store. Before using the palette, spray again with 70% IPA to make sure no germs are resting on the palette.

How can you sanitize your mascara?

Experts always recommend replacing your mascara every three months to be hygienic, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to sanitize your mascara. Mascara is a tricky product to keep sanitized. As soon as you have used it once and return the mascara wand into the bottle, the product may be contaminated. Pro makeup artists use disposable mascara wands and never double dip to keep mascaras free from any bacteria. Sadly this means that the effect of a great in-built mascara wand is never experienced. 

If you wish to use the in-built wand that comes with your mascara, you’ll need to make sure that you’re sanitizing it before every application. Take the mascara spoolie out and spray the brush with alcohol, take a tissue and wipe it every time before starting with a new application. 

How can you sanitize your lipsticks?​

Lipstick is historically known for being that accessory that everybody loves to have—you buy a lipstick, you put it on and you feel good. It is very important to keep your lip products sanitized, especially the lipstick, because we ingest it, so we really need to be careful of the bacteria and contaminants that might be present on your lipstick, and even more so if you’re wearing it straight from the tube. All you need to do to sanitize your lipstick is to clip the tip of the lipstick and spray it with alcohol. By the time it gets to your lips the alcohol will have dissipated and the formula will not be altered.

Note:  You can also use a sanitizing wipe to wipe away any germs but given the creamy formula and how you’re applying it straight from the tube exerting pressure, the contaminants keep penetrating the layers. For example, if youre applying 3 coats of lipstick to your lips, the force that you press it on the lips with will make the contaminants penetrate through the second and third layer. So when you’ll wipe away with a sanitizing wipe, you’re not fully taking care of the contaminant that may have penetrated to the second layer. Its better to snip it off.

How can you sanitize liquid lipsticks and lip glosses?

Just like Mascara, lip gloss and liquid lipsticks—if applied using the built-in applicator—will be contaminated after the first use. It is better to apply it onto a sanitized surface, simply sanitize your hands and place on the back of your hand or a palette and use a sanitized brush or a sanitized finger to apply the product onto your lips without contaminating it.

How to sanitize your setting sprays?

To make sure you’re not spraying on any germs onto your face when using your setting spray, make sure to sanitize the nozzle of the spray with a wipe and 70% IPA before spraying onto your face.

How to sanitize makeup accessories

How can you sanitize felt tip liners?​

Felt-tip eyeliners are hard to clean without damaging them, so you need to be very gentle with them to avoid damaging the tip. Gently squeeze the felt-tip into a sanitizing wipe followed by a quick spritz of 70% IPA, wait 60 seconds before closing the lid so the sanitizing mist can evaporate.

How can you sanitize pencils and sharpeners?​

For a quick sanitization of your pencils, sharpen them to remove the topmost part of the pencil that contains bacteria. To be more thorough, spray a little disinfectant on a tissue and wipe over the sharpened tip of the pencil.

Your sharpener can sit in a small bowl filled with rubbing alcohol for about five minutes before you wipe it clean.

How to sanitize your makeup brushes?

We paint, contour, and highlight our faces with makeup brushes every day, but we can’t always say the same thing about how frequently we’re cleaning those brushes. Clean your brushes after every use, or at least once a week, under lukewarm water, with a special brush soap or Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Do this gently avoiding any bristle breakage. Squeeze the bristles into a tissue in their original direction to drain excess water. Follow up by soaking the brushes for 20 minutes in 70% IPA to disinfect them. Quickly rinse them in the water again and gently squeeze any excess water and lay flat on a tissue to dry overnight. 

Leftover makeup is a breeding ground for microbes, which you don’t want. Before every use, you can spray some isopropyl alcohol or makeup cleaner on them and then wipe it on a clean tissue paper or face towel. Let it dry for a bit and then you can go about your usual makeup routine.

When it comes to keeping your brushes from getting contaminated it’s always best to have a separate brush per product, for example, if you’re applying blush, always use that same blush brush and if you’re highlighting, use the same highlighter brush so you’re not cross-contaminating.

How to sanitize makeup sponges?

Makeup sponges have revolutionized the way we do our makeup and most of us can’t live without them, so keeping them clean should be your number one priority. Not only does a buildup of the foundation look gross and make your sponges harder to use, but dirty sponges could be harming your skin. 

You want a clean sponge at all times because, otherwise, it can harbour bacteria and moisture, which can cause breakouts. Reusable sponges cannot be 100% sanitized, the very core of the sponge may always retain bacteria, so if you are concerned about sanitation its best to use disposable sponges or a makeup brush. If you can’t do without them, you can still try and sanitize them as much as you possibly can to avoid any contaminants from getting onto your face. 

Wet your sponge with lukewarm water and clean with a bar of antibacterial soap or a cleanser, as you would normally wash your sponge to remove visible dirt and stains. Once the sponge seems to look squeaky clean, place it in a bowl of water and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, this will clean most of the bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Make sure that you let the sponge completely dry before using it or tossing it into your makeup bag, damp sponges in makeup bags tend to be an ideal ground for nasty bacteria and fungi to breed.

How can you sanitize your eyelash curler?

Eyelash curler may not be the very first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of sanitizing your makeup, but it is one of the most important tools that calls for a thorough sanitization before use as it comes in direct contact with your lashes and eyes. Take a sanitizing wipe and wipe the eyelash curler clean, removing any leftover mascara and any bacteria. Finish with a quick spritz of 70% IPA and let it evaporate.

Should you be sanitizing your makeup bag?

After sanitizing your makeup products, it only makes sense that you sanitize the bag that you’re going to be storing them into, so yes, you should sanitize your makeup bag. Opt for a makeup bag that you can put in the washing machine after the wash simply spray with 70% IPA and let it dry. If you have a beautiful leather make up bag make sure to wipe it with sanitizing wipes and spray all over with the sanitizing mist.


Remember you do NOT need to sanitize every single product. If you do you will be using a lot of IPA. Sanatize products you use frequently and that are more susceptible to getting bacteria/viruses. If you’re cleaning your products and replacing the makeup as needed you have nothing to worry about.


As the head artist of Farishta Beauty I was inspired by many young individuals who were just like me passionate about makeup.
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