I cannot emphasise how important makeup hygiene is. Often, sensitive skin may not be as sensitive as we think, but rather makeup has not been carefully nurtured, or perhaps it has aged. That’s not to say that ingredients don’t play a part in triggering a reaction in sensitive skin, but by carefully looking after your makeup you will guarantee not only lovely makeup application but also avoid spreading bacteria onto your skin, and prevent your makeup from degrading in quality.

People remember to sanitise their hands, makeup brushes and surfaces, but do you remember to sanitise your makeup – the very product that comes into contact with your eyes, skin and lips and that can allow bacteria to enter the body? Have you ever had a compact powder for so long that the surface appears shiny and hard in patches? That is a build-up of oil from your skin embedded in the makeup where a brush or powder puff has been used again and again over the product, without cleansing the makeup or the brush between each application. Daily use of a product such as Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist on new makeup will remove bacteria and keep your products looking new. This is specifically designed to gently clean the makeup itself and is also designed to be non-abrasive so that it will not degrade the quality of the product.

For makeup artists, it is absolutely essential to cleanse makeup between clients; this will prevent spreading infection from one person to the next and contaminating your makeup.

Below, I have detailed makeup hygiene tips, followed by a description of the shelf life of different makeup products. For best results always discard old products and replace with fresh new ones within the recommended time frame.

1. Avoid sharing mascara with friends to avoid any possibility of passing around eye infections – if you do share, it is best to use a separate mascara wand, or a disposable mascara wand, and avoid double dipping. Use a new wand for each new application, even if that means two per eye!

2. Avoid where possible double-dipping into any makeup product. Clean your brush between each dip, or use a spatula, cotton bud or the end of your brush to scrape a small amount of product out of the pot onto the back of your hand or onto a mixing palette. (Tip – a small piece of Perspex makes a fabulous mixing palette.)

3. Sharpen pencils (lip liners and eyeliners) between each use to remove bacteria. If you use a twist-up pencil, roll it onto a tissue sprayed with brush cleanser between each use.