No, I’m not talking about sex. If you lovely readers are looking for raunchy bedroom action, pick up 50 Shades of Grey or tune into ABC’s Bachelor Pad this Monday.
I’m talking about beauty, and I hate to be the bearer of gross news, but there may be aspects of your day-to-day that could use some cleanin’. Without further
1. YOUR FACE
I know. That was harsh. But chances are, your regular ol’ non-exfoliating cleanser isn’t leaving you with a squeaky clean mug. The April issue of Marie Claire says: Many cleansers can’t take off concealer or foundation completely. Use an oil-based cream, an emollient wipe, or a cleansing oil to dissolve stubborn sunscreen and makeup, then follow with your cleanser. I love Boscia’s Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil for its foundation and sunscreen removing powers and cooling refreshment. Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing wipes do the trick as well (and are great for oilier complexions).
But let’s face it—who wants to deal with a two-step process all the time, especially after a few cocktails? I have a few solutions for those lazy and/or hazy nights:
*Use an exfoliating cleanser regularly to make sure your precious skin is getting clean. If you wear a lot of makeup every day, use an exfoliator that’s gentle enough for every day (like the beloved Aveeno Brightening Daily Scrub).
*Wash your face with a Clarisonic brush (or something of the like). There’s a reason dermatologists and aestheticians use these babies: They work. The first time I used one, I couldn’t believe how clean and soft my face felt (which also made me feel weird to think of how dirty it’s been all these years). Just make sure to keep that brush up to health code or you’ll have another germy problem on your
For the record, these tips are for when you’re wearing makeup—feel free to use a regular (gentle, even!) cleanser when you’re bare-faced.
2. YOUR PHONE
Again, I’m not talking about the racy sexts you sent last Friday night. Your actual phone could be covered in germs and/or contaminated with fecal matter (seriously, gag me) that could contain E. coli (research shows one in six phones are infected!). The July/August issue of Women’s Health and Gizmodo.com provided some tips for how to sterilize your cell without damaging it:
*Once a week or so, give your phone a good rubdown with an alcohol-free disinfectant wipe (use a baby wipe or hand sanitizing wipe as most household cleaners have alcohol). Then dry it off immediately with a soft cloth.
*Remove fingerprints and grease with a microfiber cloth. This is the kind that comes with new sunglasses, or you could geek out with iCloths, which come in a convenient, desktop box.
*If you have a Blackberry (the former bain of my existence) or another type of phone with buttons (ew), pick up one of those compressed air cans from an office supply store and give it a few blasts to remove dirt, dust, crumbs, etc. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to take that can right on over to your computer keys, too. (Confession: My Mac is pretty gross right now.)
You knew this was coming. As fun as it is to play with all the goods at makeup counters, you know those communal cosmetics have got to be crawling with nastiness. Good Morning America went undercover to get the literal dirt on the issue (watch video here) and reported back that many places only replace their testers once a year (barf), and some tested positive for yeast, mold, and again, fecal matter (and that’s enough of that word for the day…or eternity). They provided these tips so you can attempt to avoid the germ cesspool:
*Don’t test eyeliner or eyeshadow anywhere near your peepers. Wipe on the back of your hand with a disposable applicator.
*Test foundation shades on your neck, never your face.
*With lipstick, steer clear of your mouth; swipe it on the pads of your fingertips to check out the color.
Here are my tips: Go to Sephora or a makeup counter at a nice department store and let the sales associates sterilize the makeup for you (it’s part of their jobs, duh). If you want to grab a tube of lipstick that’s been used by dozens (maybe hundreds) of women (including she-who-doesn’t-wash-her-hands-after-using-the-toilette) and smear it all over your mouth, stay away from any hot guys I might want to make out with in the future.
Let’s keep it clean, ladies.