Health | Life Hacks | Did You Know

How A Makeup Brush Almost Cost Her Everything

How often do you wash your makeup brushes?

Chances are you don't wash them nearly as much as recommended and this holds some severe consequences. Just ask Katie Wright, a 21-year-old from Austin, Texas, who nearly died from using dirty brushes.

Wright woke up to what she suspected to be a "giant under the skin pimple" and proceeded to pop it as usual. Soon after, things took a turn for the worse.

Katie Wright

Within an hour, her face started to swell up and intense pain began to set in.

"It felt like something was going to burst out of my skin," Wright wrote on Facebook.

She immediately went to the emergency room and she was told that she was lucky to have visited the ER when she did because "there was a huge risk of it [the infection] spreading to my brain or me [sic] eyes causing me to go blind."

Wright could've also lost her life.

What caused the infection on Wright's face?

Doctors told Wright that the infection was caused by "a very serious case of Cellulitis," a form of Staph that "affects the deep cellular tissues with no main source to attack."

Katie Wright

She didn't initially know how she contracted the bacteria, but she later realized that it "likely happened from bacteria getting into my eyebrow pencil brush. I'm super strict on washing my face/beauty blender/brushes, but I never thought to disinfect my eyebrow spoolie."

Wright is using her horrible experience to warn other women about the importance of upkeeping makeup brushes.

"If you wear makeup PLEASE make that a step in your cleaning routine!!!!!" Wright wrote in a post on Facebook. "It's a small thing to do to avoid a painful, expensive and traumatizing infection on your face."

Katie Wright

A 2013 study by the Loyola Marymount University in California concluded that bacteria build up on brushes happens quickly and the amount is comparable to other dirty surfaces like door handles.


Washing makeup brushes doesn't have to be a tedious task. You can make your own DIY cleaning solution using water and shampoo or a gentle antibacterial soap, but if you prefer store-bought, a cleaner like the Daily Brush Cleanser from Sephora can do wonders.

So let me ask you one more question: How often will you be washing your brushes from now on?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.