A Guide to good beauty hygiene
A guide to good beauty hygiene practices
According to an article published by The Pro Hygiene collection 60% of women admit to sharing cosmetics with friends and 75% admit to never washing their makeup applicators.
Effective hygiene practices are necessary for beauty treatments performed at home or by a beauty professional to prevent cross-infection and secondary infections that can occur through poor practice. However in such creative industries such as makeup and hair industries, where standards and professional certifications of qualifications vary drastically – it is important to know that your beauty professional( and yourself at home !) are following the best hygiene practices, minimising the risk of infections. As Covid-19 has no doubt brought hygiene to the forefront of our minds, I will continue to keep this blog updated with best practices and government guidelines as we work through the crisis ; here are 10 expert tips all beauty professionals should already be practising.
THE SCIENCE BIT
Our skin is our biggest organ, and bacteria naturally live on the skin’s surface. We all must participate in good cosmetic hygiene practices to avoid cross-contamination, potentially causing infections such as; Herpes simplex ( a cold sore), conjunctivitis, and impetigo. Although your beauty professional isn’t a doctor, s/he should have the relevant training in basic skin conditions and understand the best practices for sanitising their tools – making your treatment safe. Clean tools, the correct use of Alcohol sprays, soap/water, the use of disposables where possible should all be commonplace during your pamper session.
1. Are they covered?
Your beauty professional must have PLI ( Public Liability Insurance)
Whether your beauty professional works in a salon or as a mobile artist, they should have up-to-date insurance. Public liability and equipment insurance is up-dated yearly and can be a costly business expense for sole traders, so expect to pay a little more for a service provider who has invested years in education and has taken proper precautions to protect you both. Popular awarding bodies include Salon Gold, BABTAC, and insurance through unions such as Bectu.
2. Did they go to a proper beauty school?
Is your beauty professional certified by a professional body?
A good education gives your beauty professional the expert knowledge to identify basic contagious skin disease that may affect your treatment- think cold scores, head lice, impetigo etc..- fast track courses seldom have the time to go through rigorous health and safety policies meaning bad hygiene habits may not be picked up early.
3. Have they cleaned their hands ?
It’s the simple stuff that adds up
Something we are all super familiar with as of late! Stylists will have different ways of ensuring their hands are clean before starting your treatment, including; using soap and water, hand sanitiser or sanitising wipes – but washing hands is the most effective way to work.
4. Do they use disposables ?
This is an absolute must where possible and I can imagine harsher policies will be implemented post Covid- this should be a non-negotiable when make-up artists apply your mascara. Alternatives to using disposables can include applying mascara with spoolies or makeup brushes – but the brush should never be ‘ double-dipped ‘ back into the tube. Proper PPE can be expensive so expect this to be reflected in the price of your treatment.
5. Watch out for that Double-Dip
“Double-dipping” is the process of dipping a make-up brush, finger, or disposable back into a cream-based product once it has touched the skin. This is a dangerous practice and is the quickest way to spread bacteria, causing infections. Your artist should be using a spatula to remove the product from the pot onto a sanitised palette/hand before applying it to the face. Under no circumstances should brushes go directly into the product from the face.
Once the brush has touched the skin it shouldn’t go back onto the palette
6. Creams VS Powders
It’s important to note that cream products such as; foundations, concealers, hair products, lipsticks etc.. harbour bacteria easier than powder products. A quick spritz with 70% + alcohol will work wonders for disinfecting powders such as eyeshadows and expect rules around powder products to become more rigorous post lockdown.
7. Sharpening Eye + Lip pencils
Not only does sharpening your pencils help with a better make-up application, but it’s also the quickest way to clean products in between clients. Your make-up artist can also spritz with 70% + alcohol as well for extra hygiene assurance.
8. Make-up brushes should NOT be blown on to remove excess product.
I can’t stress this enough. Just no. Please stop this NOW. All that microscopic bacteria that live inside the mouth transferred onto the face in one quick blow. EWWW!
9. Brushes + Tools should be clean
This goes for all of you at home as well, NO excuses people! Deep clean your make-up brushes, hairbrushes, and styling tools ONCE a week with liquid soap and water! ( I love an anti-bac wash with tea tree to remove stubborn oil residue or Dr. Bronner’s Brush cleaner). Your make-up artist or hairstylist should be cleaning their tools between clients with cosmetic grade alcohol that is kind to the skin yet kills the bacteria. Parian Spirit, ISOCLEAN, or Kyrolan IPA work well.
10. Proper hygiene practice takes time
Lastly, I understand that it can be frustrating ( and sometimes more expensive!) to start your treatment early in the morning or have additional stylists on your booking, however, proper sanitation takes time! 45 minutes per hair OR makeup treatment is the gold standard for a high-quality service that doesn’t cut corners!