Friday, January 25, 2008

Breaking out from makeup? Maybe it's your brush!

I know what it is like to respond to beauty products with skin sensitivities and allergic reactions. In fact, that's why I sought out mineral makeup in the first place, and why I stand behind a company with very careful limitations to our ingredients list. I had spent years trying to find a makeup I could wear without itchiness, breakouts or red, swollen eyes. It was so delighted to find that high quality brands (without additives and fillers) of mineral makeup not only prevented these reactions, but actually helped improve and heal my skin.

So imagine my surprise and frustration when, after successfully using mineral makeup for a while, I suddenly noticed some of my old problems starting to return! Was I developing an intolerance to these products as well? Very discouragd at the thought, I set out to research and experiment. Here is what I discovered:

Makeup brushes need to be washed regularly. If you are using your brushes on a daily basis, once a week is probably a good idea. Here's how:
- Find a gentle product (that you know that you are not allergic to!) like mild baby shampoo or, my personal favorite, a tea tree oil soap. Gently hand wash your brushes with just a drop or two of cleanser and running water. Continue to rinse until several seconds after your water runs absolutely clear. You may be amazed at how much product actually stores up inside your brush!
- Let your brush air dry by either hanging it upside down (without bristles touching anything) or lay it sideways at the edge of your sink so that bristles are totally surrounded by air. It is best NOT to stand your brush to dry as water can eventually loosen the glues that bind bristles to handle.
- You should find that a healthy habit of routinely washing your makeup brushes makes a huge difference in both the smoothness of your makeup application and the condition of your skin.

Taking proper care of cleanliness, yet still breaking out? Might you be allergic to your brush? While natural animal hair brushes such as sable, goat, pony are squirrel are generally preferred by professional makeup artist for their high quality, some of us are (or may become with regular usage) allergic to animals and their hair. I recently had to stop using my adorable and delightfully soft pink kabuki brush due to ongoing irritation.

Turns out there was absolutely no problem with my makeup at all, and the brush itself was wonderful, I just can’t tolerate goat hair! But I found a great alternative with the Kabuki Dior Synthetic brush, featuring top of the line taklon fibers that act and feel like natural hair. (Edited to add that since the original writing of this article this specific brush is no longer available, however we do offer other synthetic Kabuki brushes in our line.)

This 2” wide Kabuki Dior offers nearly 1 ¾” hair length (2 ¾” total length with ferrule). It is available in limited edition from by selecting the hot pink “Shop” link half way down the page, then choosing “Brushes and Accessories” from the product categories on the left.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Jennifer: Thanks for the insights on brush care. I've been breaking out and I think cleaning my brush might do the trick. Thanks!