Raise your hand if you’ve ever purchased a random tweezer for approximately $5 and have held onto that beloved tool ever since. Guilty? Us too.
The truth about tweezers is that many of us don’t actually know a thing about them when – in fact – there are many crucial details to know about this indispensable beauty tool. Below, find a guide to everything you need to know about tweezers – from what materials are best for your skin and what you should be cleaning them with to the various tweezer shapes and how you should be storing them.
Rule 1: Choose Your Material Carefully
The “average” tweezer is made of stainless steel, which is generally a very affordable option that shouldn’t irritate your skin. If you have a hard time figuring out which tweezer material to go for, always start with this one.
“The cost of your tweezer depends on how finely it is constructed and what it is made from,” explains New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. “Titanium is a lighter, stronger material compared to stainless steel and may maintain its shape longer. Hardened steel is concentrated with high levels of carbon and may offer more strength than stainless steel. For average use of tweezers, stainless steel options certainly are effective and do the job.”
Rule 2: Clean Your Tweezers
Don’t panic – but you probably aren’t cleaning your tweezers enough. “Tweezers should be cleaned regularly – at least once per week,” Dr. Zeichner explains. But if the tweezers come in contact with any blood, they should be cleaned immediately. “Clean them using rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball,” he says. There’s certainly no harm in cleaning your tweezers after every use to halt bacteria buildup and to keep your tweezers in their best condition, but once a week is probably more realistic. Just do it – you and your tweezers will thank you.
Rule 3: Different Shapes Have Different Functions
There are a variety of different tweezers on the market, but the below three are the most popular for plucking pesy eyebrow hairs:
1. Slanted Tip: Chances are this is the type of tweezer you’re already using to tweeze your eyebrows. This classic tweezer is an eyebrow-tweezing staple as well as an awesome tool to apply fake lashes.
2. Pointed: Note that this tweezer can also double as a weapon so you’re going to want to be very careful. Use this type of tweezer to pluck fine, short and ingrown hairs. It’s also a lifesaver for removing splinters, but you’re definitely not going to want to put this one anywhere near your eyes.
3. Pointed Slant: This tweezer is a badass hybrid of the above styles, as its name implies. You will be able to pluck all hairs, from normal to very fine – and even remove splinters.
So if you’re just looking for a good tweezer that will help you clean up your brows and apply falsies every now and then, the slanted tip tweezer is the best for you. If you need to be able to grab the finest hairs to make sure your eyebrows are perfect, pick up a pointed tweezer. And if you need a tweezer that will be able to both clean up your brows and grab those impossibly-fine hairs, consider investing in the two-in-one pointed slant tweezer.
Rule 4: Sharpen Your Tweezers
Over time, any type of tweezer will become dull. You can sharpen your tweezers with an emory board (aka nail file) or a piece of sandpaper. To do so, simply grasp the material with the tweezer and pull in different directions. Then voilà – sharpened, good-as-new tweezers. Not into DIY? Some manufacturers will sharpen tweezers for you.
Rule 5: Store Your Tweezers Correctly
Take your tweezers out of your makeup bag and put them in a cup – they should be upright so nothing is rubbing and dulling the sharp edge. As easy at it is to keep them with the rest of your beauty tools and essentials, they’ll be in much better shape if you give them the protection they deserve.
What other questions do you have about tweezers? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author:Marisa is an assistant beauty editor at Makeup.com where she's responsible for creating content that inspires, informs and influences readers. She's obsessed with trying new beauty products, hoards a crazy amount of lipstick and her second love (besides makeup) is food. Her work has also appeared in Domino Magazine, StyleCaster, Guest of a Guest and Jeannine Morris Media.