TikTok experiment shows ‘disgusting’ bacteria living on your makeup brushes

Makeup brush bacteria grows faster than you think, and could be responsible for your breakouts.

TikTok users are disgusted to see the number of bacteria that grows on makeup sponges and brushes. If you haven’t washed your products in a while, take a second to go do it right now before you see what’s living on them.

TikToker Daniel Day is part of #MicrobiologyTikTok and his whole platform features videos of him exposing the germs found on common items. For this experiment, Day rubbed dirty makeup-covered brushes and sponges into Petri dishes and revealed the “wide range” of bacteria living on both applicators.

“There’s a wide range of bacterial species living on the brush,” he says in the video. “Species of bacteria on both Beauty Blenders are extremely similar.”


THE RESULTS ARE DISGUSTING 🤮 l would clean your stuff right now #bacteria #makeup #edutok

♬ Grammarg – BLVKSHP

Day then used a cleaning spray on the brush and sponges to see what happens to the bacteria.

“It made things look even worse,” he reveals. “The star-shaped bacteria produced biofilm — extremely organized generations of bacteria that even pose a challenge to treat in the health field.”

This is essentially a fancy way of explaining why unclean makeup brushes and sponges can lead to breakouts. When biofilm interacts with your skin’s microbiome, it can lead to acne.

In a comment, Day explained that the point of him using the spray was to teach people that something that’s advertised as “clean” doesn’t mean it kills bacteria.

“[Getting] these bacteria into your eyes or mouth can lead to serious consequences,” he concludes in the video.

“Throwing away my makeup brushes…” one person replied.

“My 3 year old brushes that have never been cleaned 👁👄👁 ,” another joked.

“I haven’t washed my beauty blender in years,” a third revealed.

In order to properly and effectively clean your blenders and brushes, rinse the applicators thoroughly with water and some type of antimicrobial soap. Also, even though it seems tedious, you should be washing them after every use.

In The Know is now available on Apple News — follow us here!  

If you liked this story, check out this article about why you shouldn’t use makeup wipes to remove your foundation.

More from In The Know:

Cardi B shares her acne struggles on Twitter

These travel-size beauty kits at Ulta are all under $20

Supreme is launching its first lipstick with beauty mogul Pat McGrath

I tried Bread Beauty Supply — the newest Black-owned haircare brand to hit Sephora

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: