I don’t know about you guys, but at this point in my life I’m dedicating a lot of time, money and brainpower towards my skin and keeping it as healthy as can be. I’ve read the research. I’ve trawled the drugstore aisles, relentlessly read ingredients, and sacrificed freshly washed hair in order to do a gooey sheet mask.
All this is to say that after all that, wouldn’t it be a shame to throw away my skin’s health and the efficacy of my products to bacteria? There’s bucketloads of issues that can arise from compromising your tools and products with incorrect hygiene – I’m talking recurring skin infections and expensive products going off in two months. Yikes.
It’s no good using expensive skin care if you’re not keeping everything clean.
Good habits and cleanliness is the key to avoiding wasted time, frustration and complications (especially when you’re fighting acne). Taking great care of how you clean your habits, tools and surroundings will mean lower chance of infections, longer lasting tools and products, and better skin! But best of all, it’s totally free. So what’s stopping you?
Makeup tools should be spotless
Wash and/or disinfect your makeup brushes and sponges regularly. That’s a wash after every use for a makeup sponge, and a spritz with alcohol after every use and a deep clean once a week for a brush. Not only will this extend their lifespan by preserving the integrity of the glue and fibres and also make them easier to use, but it will also prevent wasting expensive makeup to premature expiry. But most importantly, this will drastically reduce the organisms they carry, transfer and spread to your skin every day. I’m feeling to urge to take my brushes to the sink…
Phones & laptops need regular TLC
I am on my laptop or my phone 24/7 – would I be right in guessing you are too? And I’m also touching my hair, eating food, and touching door handles then typing away on whatever device I’m glued to. The result? A visible buildup of oils on my keyboard and screen at the end of each day.
Get into the habit of wiping your electronics down with a general purpose cleanser or alcohol daily. This is to avoid transferring that oil and bacteria onto your hands and then your face. While you’re at it, wipe down your door handles, steering wheel, headphones, light switches, and anything else you touch a lot too.
Keep your hands off your mug!
That leads me to the next habit – don’t touch your face! You can’t go about your life disinfecting your hands every step of the way, so avoiding hand-face contact will limit the spread of germs and oils. Don’t lean your chin on your hand when you’re bored. Don’t pick at your skin absent mindedly. Because I struggle with compulsive skin picking, I like to distract my hands with things like playing with fabric, tapping on my legs, and braiding my hair.
Clean hands are happy hands
When you inevitably do touch your face, however, you’ll want them to be as clean as you can. Be sure to wash your hands in warm water with soap regularly, especially after using the bathroom, eating food with your hands, itching your scalp or face incidentally, and of course before starting your skin care routine!
Master proper skin care storage
How we store that skin care routine directly impacts its shelf life and stability against mould and rancidity, and thus its effectiveness and safety. Old or improperly stored products will lose potency and grow bacteria that can be harmful. Check product expiry dates every few months, and keep everything in a cool, dry, darkish place. I use a shelf in my bookcase that’s in my bedroom, instead of the humid bathroom (this also means I can apply my routine while watching YouTube in bed!). If you need help creating a skin care storage area, I’ve got a post on that too.
Apply your routine like a pro
It’s easy to introduce bacteria into your products, causing them to go off sooner and re-infect your skin. Avoid dipping unwashed hands into jars (or really using jar products at all where possible). Never touch a dropper to your skin (I’m looking at you, Instagram ‘gurus’). Replace all lids quickly and tightly to keep oxidation to a minimum, and clean the outside of the actual bottles of your products regularly, too!
Wash those towels & linens
When your routine is over and it’s time to hit the hay, can you rest easy knowing your sheets are clean? Towels and purpose-bought silk pillowcases contact our bodies all the time, and with clean hands and a clean face we want to touch clean fabrics! Replace and wash your towels and pillowcases in warm or hot water frequently (once a week at least) to keep them fresh.
These are all easy habits, they take barely any time or effort with the right preparation, but it’s another piece to good skin care that often goes unnoticed.
And if you don’t follow these warnings, you’re likely to end up somewhere a bit like where I found myself recently, finding something growing in your serum…
How many of these hygiene habits do you already do? Where do you need to improve?