How Often Should You Replace Your Beauty Tools? 5 Experts Weigh In

March 06, 2020
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
We all know we should be replacing our beauty products every few months to ensure we’re not using expired formulas( reminder: mascara should be replaced every three months, liquid foundation every six months to a year, etc.) but what about your beauty tools? We’re talking about your makeup brushes (even the ones you clean regularly!), eyelash curlers and even tweezers. Do these daily beauty basics ever go bad, or can they last forever — if cared for properly, that is? Ahead, we tapped five experts to find out. 

Makeup Brushes 
If you clean your brushes regularly and store them properly, they should last you for years, explains makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. “If your brushes start to shed or leave tiny hairs behind on your skin, begin to feel brittle or scratchy or become irreparably dented or misshapen, then it's time to replace them,” she says. To extend the use of your brushes, wash them weekly with a makeup brush cleanser and be sure to lay them flat to dry (allowing them to dry standing upright can cause the water to loosen the glue in the head of the brush). 

Sonic Cleansing Brushes
Anyone who uses a sonic cleansing brush, like the Clarisonic Mia Smart Device, knows how much of a game-changer the product can be for your skin-care routine. The Clarisonic brush has interchangeable attachment heads that allow you to achieve different levels of a cleanse or massage your face. So, how often should the brush heads be replaced? According to dermatologist Melanie Palm, M.D., you should invest in a new attachment every three months. "Maintaining clean and healthy skin starts with good habits, including care of the tools and devices that clean, nourish and enhance our skin,” she says. “Similar to sonicating toothbrushes, I recommend that patients replace the treatment brushes every three months. After each use, the brush should be washed clean with soapy water to remove any environmental, makeup or skin debris.”

Makeup Sponges 

Many beauty routines contain both traditional brushes and makeup sponges. Just like your brushes, a beauty sponge needs to be washed regularly to keep it clean and free of skin-harming bacteria. According to Rea Ann Silva, the founder of Beauty Blender, you should wash your Beauty Blender after every use. (Anyone else nervously trying to remember the last time they washed theirs?). “Because you have to wet it to use it, why not quickly give it a wash, too?” she says. “Our cleansers will maintain the integrity of the Beauty Blender so you only have to replace it every four to six months, however, it does depend on how you take care of and how often you use your Blender.” To thoroughly wash your makeup sponge, Silva doesn’t recommend  it in the microwave or washing machine. Instead, use one of the brand’s specially formulated sponge cleaners, like the Beauty Blender Liquid Blendercleanser.

Eyelash Curler
“I'm always shocked that so many people keep using the same lash curler for years and years,” says Patinkin. Why, you ask? Even though eyelash curlers are typically made of metal or plastic and seem to be built for the long-run, Patinkin explains that the mechanics of the tool can begin to wear down. “Likewise, the rubber pad insert in a lash curler will also break down over time, either getting too compressed into the track it sits in, making it too low and squishy to get a curl, or forming a deep groove on the top that can trap your lashes,” she says.
Try to replace your curler pad and eyelash curler on a regular basis. “For best performance, curler pads should be replaced every three months, and the full curler should be replaced after one year,” says Maria Fernandes, director of brand and product management at Tweezerman

Because dermaplaning involves gently shaving the top layer of your skin, be it with a device or an actual small razor, it’s important to make sure your tools are clean and working properly.  founder Dara Levy cautions against re-using the same blade or edge. “You never have to replace your device, but edges are specifically designed to be used only once because we would never want you to reintroduce the bacteria and debris that you have just removed from the skin’s surface back onto your face,” she explains. 

Tweezers don’t break down or expire, but they will lose the ability to grab hair after a period of time. When that happens, it’s either time for a replacement or to sharpen them. “If your tweezer isn’t properly grabbing the hair, it may need to be realigned and sharpened,” says Fernandes. ICYMI, Tweezerman offers free sharpening services on most tweezers. Who knew?!
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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