Woman's horrific skin infection proves washing make-up brushes regularly is a necessity

“Within an hour my entire face swelled up” [Photo: Katie Wright/Facebook]

You don’t have to know what cellulitis is to guess that you most definitely do not want it.

A woman called Katie Wright has proven just how easy it is to get the infection simply by not washing your make-up brushes enough.

When Wright discovered a painful spot above her eyebrow, she did what so many of us (wisely or unwisely) do in that situation; she popped it.

But instead of being a little sore afterwards, her “entire face swelled up” within the hour and she felt like “something was going to burst out of my skin.” Sensibly, she took herself straight to hospital.


The doctors said she had a very serious case of cellulitis, a skin infection which can become very serious if not treated quickly and spread to other parts of the body such as the blood, muscle and bone.

“Since it was on my face, there was a huge risk of it spreading to my brain or to my eyes causing me to go blind,” Wright wrote.

Wright says that it’s finally healing and her face is now going “back to normal”, but shared her story online to urge other people to clean their make up brushes regularly – all of them.


“This most likely happened from bacteria getting on my eyebrow pencil brush,” she said.

“I’m super strict on washing my face/beauty blender/brushes, but I never ever thought to disinfect my eyebrow spooly (sic).

“If you wear makeup PLEASE make that a step in your cleaning routine!

“It’s a small thing to do to avoid a painful, expensive and traumatising infection on your face.”

She shared the message along with photos of herself taken 48 hours apart – before and after the infection took its hold.


Which are graphic enough to persuade anyone to make it part of their routine, but what should that routine look like, exactly?

Due to the nature of their use, it’s impossible to keep your brushes from getting dirty because of daily use. And if that’s not motivation enough to spend some quality time with your beauty tools, know that the bacteria production on your brushes is contaminating your make-up and promoting acne and breakouts on your skin. Gross!

It’s easy to wash brushes: Just fill a bowl with warm, soapy water, submerge the brush, gently massage the bristles, rinse, rest on a clean towel, and repeat. There are soaps dedicated specifically to cleansing brushes and beauty blenders, but often gentle soap — like baby shampoo — will do the trick.

While there’s a general rule to cleanse your brushes every month, timelines can actually vary according to what you use the brush for — so dig in to these guidelines and make a commitment to clean.

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