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    Here's How Much Bacteria Is Actually On Your Makeup Products

    Makeup addicts and lovers, brace yourself.

    Makeup is a glorious thing, but we all know that it can get a little gross over time.

    Most of the germs that end up in our makeup are harmless and ones that are found naturally on our skin.

    But using the same products forever without cleaning them can allow bacteria, viruses, and fungi to grow that put you at risk for a whole host of health problems.

    Obviously the lesson here is to clean your makeup. And does it really work?

    "For most products, you can spray them with alcohol or use an alcohol wipe on the outermost layer — when it dries, it'll be clean," Whittier said.

    That sounds easy enough, actually.

    We decided to test our own makeup for bacteria to see just how gross it was — and if cleaning it actually made a difference.

    All the makeup we tested came from BuzzFeed employees, and each product had these three things in common:

    1) It was something they used every day as part of their makeup routine

    2) It was at least three months old

    3) It had never been sanitized or cleaned before

    So we swabbed the (probably disgusting) makeup products.

    The amount of bacteria that grew after only 48 hours was actually shocking.

    Ready to clean your makeup yet? US TOO. So here are three easy, DIY cleaning methods you can use on any of your makeup products:

    These methods were approved by both our germ expert and our makeup expert, BuzzFeed Senior Beauty Editor Augusta Falletta, to make sure they were both effective enough to kill the germs and gentle enough to not damage the makeup.

    Here's what you'll need:


    * 1 mini spray bottle

    * 70%–90% isopropyl alcohol (you can find this at the drugstore)

    * alcohol wipes

    * 1 bowl filled with warm water

    * liquid soap (dish, baby, hand) or a soap bar

    Method one: Spray with isopropyl alcohol.

    Method two: Clean with an alcohol wipe.

    Method three: Wash with warm soapy water.

    Turns out, cleaning your makeup works! Here's what grew on the petri dishes when we tested the same makeup products after using these cleaning methods:

    So, in conclusion: Your makeup will grow a ton of germs and maybe pathogens over time, but cleaning your products regularly can make a big difference.

    We definitely aren't trying to scare you here or suggest you toss all your makeup in the trash. As we mentioned before, most of the germs in your makeup are probably from your own skin (unless it's shared) and they won't make you sick. But you never know which germs could be on your hands, or what might be living on the bathroom counter where you rest all your products.

    So it's always a good idea to clean and sanitize your products every week or so to cut down on the amount of germs and the possibility that any of them will make you sick. It's an easy end-of-the-week habit and you can do it at home with budget-friendly products.

    And remember, makeup does have an expiration date — so if your makeup is really old and dirty, you might just want to replace it instead of cleaning.