Dirty makeup brushes can be covered in some really crazy types of bacteria. I recently watched a Buzzfeed video in which a few of the staff sent in the contents of their makeup pouches to be tested for bacteria. The results included staph as well as bacteria linked to gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, strep throat, UTI infections and meningitis – and all that in a tiny pouch of makeup.
Unlike most makeup that needs to be thrown away within two years because of bacteria buildup or ingredient degradation, brushes can be cleaned quite thoroughly to get out the bacteria, which allows them to last a lot longer. That said, there are a number of other reasons you should be getting rid of them when they reach the end of their usefulness. Here are some signs to look out for that show that’s it’s time for an upgrade: