When it comes to your makeup and makeup tools, every expert in the industry will tell you the same thing: Make sure to wash your brushes—and often. Turns out, there’s a real reason as to why you need to do the chore of regular cleaning and it has a lot more to do with your health than just removing existing makeup so your colors don’t mix.
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Keeping your makeup brushes and tools clean can actually be a life or death situation, as it almost was for Jo Gilchrist, an Australian woman who says she developed MRSA after using a friend’s makeup brush to cover up a blemish. The brush is believed to have been carrying bacteria that would give her MRSA.
The infection moved into her spine and caused extreme pain that was so bad that Gilchrist couldn’t get out of bed. “I rate the pain worse than childbirth,” she said in an interview with Warwick Daily News. “I literally thought I was going to die.” The pain turned into a loss of sensation in her body and her doctors informed her that if it migrated up to her arms and chest she would have to learn to breathe again. That’s when she was diagnosed with MRSA, a super resistant bacteria that’s hard to treat.
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Unfortunately for Gilchrist, the infection left her bound to a wheelchair. Although doctors told her she may be paralyzed for life, a recent video update from her Facebook page shows the progress she’d made since her surgery.
For the rest of us, take this is a wakeup call to wash your makeup brushes and tools (some of our favorites include BeautyBlender Liquid Blendercleanser ($18) and Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleanser ($24)) often as possible and limit the amount of bacteria that’s around you.