If you have a solid skin-care routine packed with toners, spot treatments, and oil-free moisturizers but still manage to end every day with a cystic pimple, it might be time to look for another culprit. Besides stress and hormones, one primary suspect could be your dirty makeup sponge. While the texture of those beloved, egg-shaped tools blends foundation, concealer, and even powder seamlessly, it can also easily hold a lot of gross bacteria. “Makeup applicators collect everything off your skin — oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and other debris — which is then transferred back to your skin (and your makeup products) if you don't clean the applicators," dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, of SmarterSkin Dermatology, tells us. "This can potentially lead to acne, infections, or other skin issues. They can also become more dry and abrasive as makeup is caked on them, causing irritation and ineffective application.” With a proper cleansing routine, you can help sidestep sponge-related breakouts. Keep reading to pick up a few essential tricks from the pros as well as product recommendations that will help keep your makeup sponge (and your pores) scum free. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Pro’s Guide To Cleaning Your Makeup BrushesThis Cleanser Does The Work Of A MaskThis Beautyblender Story Will Make You Cringe
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