Makeup Brush Bacteria: How To Prevent Bacteria Growth

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Every day, millions of people start their mornings with a cleansing shower that’s followed on with a beautification using makeup. However, what many don’t realise is that the efforts from washing and cleaning their face in the morning is often eradicated when applying makeup, due to the buildup of germs and bacteria on makeup products.

Makeup brushes are the biggest culprits of this, due to a buildup of makeup over time and bacteria growing from it. We’re here to offer an insight into the impact of dirty makeup brushes and how to go about cleaning them.


The potential effects of not cleaning your makeup brushes

With each swipe of your makeup brush, dead skin, oil and dirt can embed themselves into the bristles. This combined with makeup that gradually builds up into the bristles, can provide bacteria with a pleasant home to grow in.

Bacteria including E-coli, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, as well as a number of viruses and fungus have all been found within the bristles of some makeup brushes, each of which can make its way onto or into the body, causing unpleasant conditions and illnesses.

If you often allow friends, family or colleagues to use your makeup brushes, you may want to reconsider doing so. Any bacteria or infection they may have can be passed onto yourself, through the sharing of a makeup brush. Conjunctivitis is a particularly common eye infection that is the perfect example of such infections.

As you continually use these brushes to apply makeup, an increasing amount of makeup is left behind, causing the bristles to harden. Unlike the soft bristles that you once had, the clumpy bristles can irritate and break the skin, which can cause spots to appear. Not only that, but free radicals can be swept from the brush and into your skin, which over time can cause elastin to break down and kick start the appearance of ageing.


How to clean makeup brushes and prevent bacteria growth

Begin by running your tap on warm-hot water and preparing some sheets of kitchen towel. One at a time, place your makeup brushes under the water and massage with your fingertips to soften and loosen any makeup residing there.

Add a foaming cleaning solution to the brush – baby shampoo is said to work extremely well – and work through the bristles to remove excess makeup. Rinse thoroughly and repeat the process until the water turns clear.

While many choose to then use an alcohol-based cleanser to spritz onto the brushes, our non-alcoholic sanitising spray is a fantastic non-toxic alternative that’s less harsh on the skin and that children are safe around, too. Spray enough of the sanitiser onto your makeup brushes so that they are damp and completely covered. Afterwards, set each of the brushes on its own sheet of kitchen towel and leave to dry thoroughly before using. You may wish to use some of our antibacterial wipes to thoroughly clean the brushes’ handles as well, to really make the most of your cleaning and infection control.

Try to clean your makeup brushes as often as possible, leaving them no longer than two weeks between washes. Through efficient cleaning, you may begin to see improvements to the condition of your skin, as well as reducing the chances of infection.

Germ Hot Spots To Look Out For On Your Way To Work

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While many of us strive to keep our homes and even workplaces as clean as possible, multitudes of germs can creep up on us in public spaces, and can easily make their way onto our skin, hair and clothes, to be brought into our safe, clean spaces.

With winter almost upon us and the annual bout of the common cold on its way, germs in public spaces – particularly those we pass through on our daily commute – are expected to increase, along with the likelihood of catching the cold and passing it on to friends, family and colleagues.

Here are some of the germ hot spots to be aware of on your commute to work, in order to reduce the chances of bringing them into work or your home and to effectively manage infection control.


Buses, Trains and Trams

If you tend to use public transport on your way to work, there are a number of spots to look out for, in which germs love to call their home and multiply. You can expect to find all kinds of bacteria on buses, trains, trams and other forms of public transport, brought on by other individuals who have already come into contact with the germs elsewhere.

Poles, handrails, seats, armrests, floors and windows are all susceptible to picking up germs from members of the public, and the warm environment provided will give them the ideal atmosphere to grow in numbers.


If You Drive

It might surprise you to know that your car’s dashboard is one of the top spots in your vehicle for bacteria to stick to and grow. This is due to the bacteria in the outside air being drawn into your car through vents. Not only that, but with sunlight coming into the car through the windscreen, the dashboard can get particularly warm, allowing germs living there to multiply. Try to wipe down your car’s interior frequently using our antibacterial surface care wipes, to minimise the amount of germs in your car as well as the likelihood of catching an illness.

Food spills are also a common reason for germs residing in your car, so in cases where you unfortunately drop or spill food in your car, try to clean up the mess as soon as possible and sanitise the area, too. That way you’ll not only be minimising the amount of bacteria in your car but it will be left smelling fresh and clean, too.

When you need to top up your fuel, be aware of the bacteria found on petrol and diesel pumps. Particularly at this time of year, when germs are spread through sneezing and blowing noses, germs are then passed onto everyday objects, with fuel pumps being a popular choice for germs setting up camp. Keep some antibacterial hand wipes or spray handy in your car, to thoroughly clean your hands after filling up the tank.


Public Restrooms

If you’re in need of a trip to the ladies or gents on your way to work, there are many germ hot spots to look out for. The soap dispenser, for one, is home to many types of germs and bacteria. However, making sure to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and the soap for at least 15 seconds will remove any bacteria transferred from the dispenser onto your hands. Be sure to completely dry your hands afterwards, too, as germs enjoy growing on damp surfaces.

When possible, be sure to close the toilet lid before flushing, to reduce the chances of bacteria within the toilet from escaping into the room.

If you can, try to use a tissue or throwaway material to pull open the door when leaving. Studies have found that many people forget to wash their hands after using the toilet, and so bacteria is commonly left on the door handles from this.

These are just some of the common places in which germs can be found on your way to work. There are, however, plenty of other spots that you may regularly come into contact with on your way to work, so try to carry around antibacterial wipes as often as you can, as well as regularly cleaning your home with surface wipes to remove any germs brought in from the outside world.

10 Things You’ll Relate To If You Hate Germs

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Whether you’re a card carrying germaphobe or just like to think of yourself as a clean person avoiding contagious germs you’ll probably relate to the majority of the list below.


  1. Clearing out your handbag to find 12 half used bottles of hand sanitizer.

Fighting against germs can be a constant battle when you’re out and about in public. Touching door handles and taps can mean constant exposure to germs on your hands. Short of wearing gloves, a bottle of hand sanitizer is your best weapon in the war against germs.


  1. Using your foot to hold doors open to avoid touching door handles

Along with pulling your sleeve down over your hand, using your foot to hold doors open and even flushing the toilet is one way to know you’re super cautious about avoiding germs at all costs.

Did you know: Obsessed with being clean? There’s a name for that – it’s Mysophobia – defined as the pathological fear of contamination and germs.


  1. Carrying plastic gloves with your whenever you ride on public transport

Although extreme, keeping disposable plastic gloves in your handbag is a sure way to stop your clean hands touching dirty surfaces such as handrails when you’re on the train or bus.


  1. Disinfecting your workstation with antimicrobial wipes

Research has suggested that the area on your desk where your hands rest has around 10,000 bacteria; using a disinfectant wipe can work to combat this.


  1. When someone sneezes in public you want to duck and cover

It’s coming up to winter, so whilst everyone else is getting excited for the Christmas break and the chance of snow, you’re anxiously waiting for workmates and passers-by to unnecessarily start sneezing all over you. Naturally, you duck, shield your face and run.


  1. Public Toilets

The dreaded germ pit that is the public toilet. A place that fills you with fear at the thought of being forced to enter, due to an annoyingly full bladder. The only way to prevent the germ fear is to wipe the seat down with a sanitiser spray – just to be sure!

Did you know: More than a quarter of people admit being worried about germs or bacteria


  1. Hugs and handshakes make you shudder

Family occasions, public events, meeting new clients, basically any time when you are forced to make uncomfortable, awkward physical contact to be ‘polite’. We’d really rather not, thanks.


  1. Overly friendly dogs

Even the biggest dog lover we know doesn’t really liked being licked on the face, not by their dogs and certainly not by someone else’s – we know where that tongue’s been, Rover. If you get caught short in an unexpected post lick situation you can freshen up with these face wipes, thankfully!


  1. Buffets (or pretty much any food-share situation)

Free food – great!

Free food that’s already been mauled with by countless other strangers – NIGHTMARE.

As much as we all love getting something for nothing (even better when it’s food), there’s not a prayer that you’ll be eating someone else’s cast offs, you’d much rather go hungry.


10. You dread Airplanes

You’re excited for your summer break, naturally, but the thought of spending 4+ hours in an enclosed space full of people who do nothing but cough and splutter makes you consider staying at home. You will inevitably come home with a cough or cold, eurgh!

Are you as clean as you could be? National Handwashing Day – 15th October

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National Handwashing Day falls on the 15th October 2016 this year, and is a global initiative to devise, design and create exciting and innovative ways to encourage the practice of handwashing all over the world.

Handwashing is a really affordable way of preventing disease and promoting infection control. Whilst handwashing might not always be possible with hot soapy water, there are products that can be used to make the handwashing process both simpler and more effective.

When did you last wash your hands?

From single use universal disposable wipes for cleaning hands on the go, to a handy bottle of alcohol sanitiser to keep in your handbag or pocket, handwashing has never been more convenient.

Our infographic below investigates handwashing in the UK, and explores how we should all try a little harder to wash our hands properly!

handwashing infographic for global handwashing day

Keep Yourself Healthy And Germ-Free Whilst You Sleep

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As more and more medical treatments are developed to prevent or cure infections, it is clear that the general public are becoming less attentive to cleanliness, particularly in the home or domestic environments.

Many tend to assume that their homes provide a safety net away from the infections and diseases from the outside world, when in fact, germs can make their way into clothes, furniture and flooring, having been brought in by those living there.

Beds can become a hotspot for germs through contact with the human body, and bed linen and mattresses can become very dirty, very quickly. There are a number of simple ways in which we can keep our beds clean and germ free. However a recent study from YouGov discovered that much of the British public are failing to keep their beds as clean as they should be.

What should you be doing and how often should you be doing it, to keep your bed clean and yourself healthy whilst you sleep?


Britons and their beds

When we sleep, our bodies can pass skin, sweat, saliva and oils into our bed sheets and through to our mattresses. In some cases, urine and faeces, or bacteria from wounds, can be added to the multitude of matter found in our beds.

Yet the recent research conducted by YouGov found that the majority of the British public are failing to keep on top of their bed’s cleanliness:

  • Just 33% wash their bed sheets once a week
  • 35% was their bed sheets every two weeks
  • 29% leave their bed sheets at least 2 weeks before washing them
  • 3% wash their beds sheets more than once a week

The majority of those who leave their bedding as long as possible before washing, were aged between 18-24 years old, whereas the majority of those who wash their bedding once a week were over the age of 60.

It’s crucial to understand how easily bed sheets can become dirty when you sleep, riddled with bacteria and germs. Not only that, but even insufficient cleaning can cause bacteria to linger and grow, disguised in what you think are fresh and clean bed sheets.

Here are a few ways in which to successfully clean your bed linen and mattresses, so you can be rest assured that you can enjoy a comfortable and healthy night’s sleep.


Washing bed sheets

Strip your bed of any pillowcases and bedsheets, as well as any pillow or mattress protectors you have. Wash in the washing machine on at least 60°C, preferably with a bleach-based washing detergent. The heat and bleach combination will help to kill off any bacteria.

Make sure you are at home for when the cycle has finished, to prevent the linen from sitting damp in the drum, where germs can begin to multiply again. If you are drying the linen in a tumble dryer, switch your setting to a high heat and ensure they are thoroughly dry before taking them out.


Top Tip: Allow your bed sheets to dry naturally with direct sunlight, as the UV rays can help to kill micro-organisms.

Try to wash your linen once a week, separately from your other laundry. Be sure to put your washing machine through an empty cycle every week too, using the same bleach-based detergent and a high heat to kill germs left in the drum.

Always wash your hands after handling dirty bedsheets, to make sure that the bacteria isn’t passed on to other parts of the home.

Even if your bed sheets are crease-free, iron them on a gentle setting to remove any germs or bacteria that have made it through the process so far.


Washing your mattress

Whilst washing your bed sheets, you can clean your mattress to really optimise the cleanliness of your bed. Begin by vacuuming the mattress on its top and sides, then flip over and repeat on the other side. Make sure to pay extra attention to any nooks and crannies on your mattress, where dust and bacteria like to gather.

Top Tip: Treat any stains on your mattress with a cleaner and follow on with a quick wipe of the entire mattress, using a surface care wipe.

Baking soda sprinkled across the surface of your mattress can help to optimise its cleanliness and leave it smelling fresh. If you can, allow 24 hours for the baking soda to work its magic; any available sunlight will help to sanitise the mattress further. Remove the baking soda using a hoover and finish by adding your mattress protector, bed sheets and pillowcases back to your bed.

Taking these steps to cleaning your bed can not only give you a peaceful night’s sleep, but can help towards a cleaner home entirely. By ensuring your home is as clean and hygienic as possible, you can keep your family as healthy as possible, and help to prevent the likelihood of infections and diseases being spread into the outside world.

Why We Catch Colds When the Seasons Change

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Why We Catch Colds When the Seasons Change
Each season presents different challenges that may affect some more than others, depending on our body’s unique patterns and tendencies. Autumn and spring usually bring allergies to the fore, whilst the cold winter weather can aggravate and break down your immune system. So with autumn and winter on the horizon, here are some of the best tips to avoid getting ill.

Washing your hands
Many people still hold the misconception that colds are transmitted when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
While this is sometimes true, we are a lot more likely to get infected from touching contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs and computer keyboards. These bugs, such as the Rhinovirus can last for over 24 hours, and in that time you are likely going to be touching your eyes or nose.
The best thing you can do is wash your hands regularly or have a small bottle of hand sanitiser on you at all times, which can be especially useful when you are on public transport.

Good Sleep
Research consistently shows that those who sleep less than 7 hours are three times more likely to come down with a cold than those who get over 8 or more hours. The same applies to the quality of sleep. The better the quality of sleep, the more chance you have of fighting off colds.
Ways of contributing to a good night sleep can include changing your bed sheets often, as they often contain lots of bacteria and sweat. A good night sleep will allow your body to direct more energy towards your immune system.

Get Vaccinated
To avoid diseases like influenza, vaccinations will boost your immune system against the diseases that doctors are predicting to be the most common throughout the year. Many people can be put off by vaccinations for a multitude of reasons, but they really help reduce the risk, especially for elderly people.

You can help your immune system these upcoming months with a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and minerals to provide your body with all it needs to fight infection.
• Vitamins- Great sources include many fruit and vegetables, including; oranges, bananas, apples, broccoli, spinach, beans.
• Fibre- found in whole grains such as oats and bran.
• Protein- through types of lean meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Try and avoid meats with a lot of fat.
• It is also worthwhile avoiding pre- packed meats, which are high in sugars, salt and calories, at the same time providing little nutrients.
• When you eat a sandwich, try using a paper towel or kitchen roll to avoid contact with your hand.

Gargle with Warm Saltwater
As well as drinking plenty of water throughout the day, this handy hack that will help reduce throat discomfort. This is because a dry throat can make it easier for bugs to get into your system.

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