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This morning, I received a link to an article that described in detail just how dirty those exfoliating bath and shower puffs get, and how they may be doing more harm than good. I wasn’t thrilled to read this as I’ve always loved them because they make my skin feel silky smooth after using. Apparently though, they trap dead skin cells in the puff’s layers and while they’re hanging out in the damp bathroom environment they can’t help but become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew — not what any of us should be using on our skin. When it comes to your skincare regimen, even if you think you’re doing everything right chances are you’re letting a few things slide and specific hygiene habits might be undermining your best efforts for clear, radiant head-to-toe skin.
Anything that touches your skin could be laden with dirt and bacteria, both hazardous to your complexion. Skin saboteurs include oil, makeup and hair product residue often found on your hands, cleansing tools, makeup brushes, eyeglasses, smartphone, hats and more. If it touches your skin, it needs to be clean.
You can cut down on a lot of dirt and bacteria that comes in contact with your skin and prevent unwelcome breakouts by thoroughly washing your hands with warm soapy water before you touch your face, washing your hats and scarves often, cleaning your makeup brushes and skincare tools at least twice weekly, and disinfecting your smartphone and eyewear daily. Do note that if you work out, you’ll want to shower or at least use body cloths to remove sweat and then change into clean, dry clothing so that your chest, back and other areas don’t become a breeding ground for bacteria as well.
Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner ($24) can be used on natural and synthetic fiber brushes. Professional makeup artists swear by this brush cleanser because it cleans, conditions and deodorizes them in one easy step and dries quickly. You simply pour a little bit into a shallow dish, dip you brush tip into the liquid and the bristle’s capillary action will draw the liquid cleanser up. Then, just wipe the brush clean on a clean paper towel or cloth and let it air dry completely before using again.
Sweat Cosmetics Skin-Balancing Cleansing Wipes ($18) can be used on the face and body alike. Enriched with Coconut Water for healthy, hydrated skin, Vitamin E to protect and strengthen, Green Tea Extract to detox and Panthenol to calm. Toss these in your gym bag as you’ll love them pre-workout as a makeup remover or post-workout to cleanse and cool down.
Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer ($17.50) should be applied at the first sign of a blemish. Its powerful salicylic acid formula will help cover and clear present pimples and prevent future breakouts as well so you’ll have one less reason to touch, pick and prod your face, a big no-no when it comes to keeping your complexion breakout-free. The medicated formula is oil-free, blends easily and evenly, and gives you a matte, natural-looking finish so no one will know what you’re hiding.
NOTE: All products have been tested in store or sent for review. Opinions are my own.