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When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? Not to gross you out, but… Here’s your daily reminder that bacteria is lurking on every bristle that can cause breakouts and all kinds of unfortunate things. Reddit user Onionyeoja was able to capture these close ups of their dirty makeup brushes (and a lipstick too!) using an iPhone and an Mpow macro lens.

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According to a single month study on makeup brush bacteria, by the end of the first week of unwashing, the brushes had accumulated normal numbers of bacterial growth. On a more alarming note, researchers found that by the second week, the amounts of bacteria had doubled! By the end of the month the bacteria count on the brushes had increased to a number that was too high to be measured!

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The conclusion of the study recommended that brushes should be washed once a week or at least once every 2 weeks. Brushes that use creamy products like foundation, concealer, lipstick, or cream shadow need cleaning more often than “dry” products like loose powder.

Washing your brushes is as easy as running the bristles under some warm water, lathering with an inexpensive baby shampoo or a mixture of ordinary dish soap and a drop of olive oil, and rinsing off. Go wash your brushes, your skin will thank you for it!

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