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Gorgeous or Gross? What’s Inside Your Makeup Sponge?

15 May, 2017 - 09:02pm by - Head Pixie | 18 Comments

By BR Kellie 

Last year for a time it became all the rage for bloggers and vloggers and YouTubers to cut their makeup sponges in half to see what icky greeblies might be hiding inside. Some makeup lovers were confronted with internal foundation stains, mould and even fungus growing on their beloved makeup applicators. Whereas others got to shine their halos as their grubby-on-the-outside sponges were pristine on the inside.

Beautifully Glossy

Well, colour me intrigued. Not having a makeup sponge on hand I decided I needed to buy a new one (any excuse!) and set up my own little experiment. Cut to me buying a Beauty Blender (my first ever, but not my last… those things are amazing!) in August last year. 

In order to ensure things were as scientific as an unscientific person could get them I made sure I followed the directions that came with the Beauty Blender. Every time I used it I ran it under water first, then towel-dried it before using it to apply my foundation and on occasion cream blush and highlighter. I then sat it up on it’s little holder to dry before using it again. 

Now I didn’t use the Beauty Blender every day, in fact I probably only used it twice or so a week, so it wasn't given the workout it might get from other beauty lovers. But it definitely was well used and in the last month of its life I've noticed it's started to develop some small tears.

As for the cleaning regime? I maaaaaay have been a bit slack due to not using it all that often. I clean my brushes once a month (still not enough, I know) but the Beauty Blender probably was cleaned every second month. Ok, every third month. Alright, alright, I’ve cleaned it exactly three times. The most recent being two weeks ago because I had a feeling that at nine months old and having not been cleaned for nearly three months it was probably getting a bit yuck.

Recently the immovable foundation stains on the outside of my Beauty Blender became to great to ignore and little tears had begun to show on the outside of the sponge, so I bought a fresh one and decided it was time to open up the original in the name of science.

Can I tell you what hurts? Splitting a Beauty Blender in half with a pair of kitchen scissors. The only thing I can imagine that would hurt more would be to take my ABH Mario eyeshadow palette and to drop it from three floors high to see if the pans would smash (not that that is ever going to happen.)

So… the grand reveal…

Well thank goodness it’s nice and bright pink in the centre. The fear was real that I would find spores and all sorts in there. So at least the times I was washing it I was giving it a good deep clean. Phew. However… the outside had those foundation stains, which since I didn't clean it before cutting into it was to be expected, and if you look on the outer left hand side and the outer right hand side you can see a couple of mould spots. Well, technically one big mould spot that's been cut in half. Ew. Ew. Ew. How glad am I to have decided to chuck this one now instead of stubbornly continuing to use it? 

To be fair to the Beauty Blender my house can get a little damp, and there were times when I went to reuse it where I found it hadn't dried completely. So really it was a breeding ground for mould and I'm amazed it's not worse That being said, I’ll be drying my new Beauty Blender on the window sill so the sun can work it’s bacteria-destorying magic. (I actually have no idea if the sun works that way with makeup sponges, but I’ve read it’s ultra-violet rays can kill bacteria on clothing that’s hung up to dry, so I’m just going to go with it. If anything if it’s placed in the sun it’ll dry more effectively, leaving less chance for mould to take hold and grow.)

So there you go… the contents of my beauty blender for all the interwebs to see if they feel so inclined. So, do tell… have you cut your makeup sponge open in the name of curiosity… I mean, science… Would you be willing to? Cut away, pop your findings on the Photowall and some very un-mouldy points may be sprinkled your way!

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I have cut mine in the past a year or two ago and I was disappointed to find nothing wrong on the inside I'd be willing to cut another one very soon that I've had for say 6 months just to see if anything lurks and I'll post it to the wall sometime soon..

Eeek! ignorance is bliss girrrrrl!

Ha ha yes I fully agree

16th May, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Aah I still need to buy one of these beauties. I've been meaning to try one out but keep forgetting. I think im way more slack when it comes to cleaning my brushes than you Kelly so don't worry hahaha

I don't use my sponge often, and it's an off brand one. I think my biggest sin when it comes to blender sponge care is that I don't put it anywhere specific to breathe between uses... which now that I think about it, is pretty bad! It's just so easy to pile it in a box with other things!

I think if they are cleaned regularly and dry between use they should be ok -Mainly it is moisture . I would rather check than leave and not be aware there is yukky stuff in there.

Interested in cutting mine open but I think I might imagine hearing it scream :o

No I haven't cut mine yet. I'm so overdue for a new blender. It's looking tattered.

Not too bad! I don't actually use a sponge or Beauty Blender for exactly this reason though — the idea of not being able to clean it fully just grosses me out too much. Brushes for the win!

i actually really don't like the beauty blender! I thought it was over-rated - the RT ones are just as good :P and for the price it was I have reservations about cutting it in half but for BR I will do it! (plus its decluttering, right?!) and ive seen worse sponges, so don't feel too bad Kellie :P

Wow I'm surprised! It looks pretty clean to me for a 9 month sponge.

I have never thought about cutting it or even aware that I could get mould and fungus could be growing on mine. My apartment gets damp too, now I'm worried eekk!

I just cut mine in half And was mortified

Not sure if I'd be brave enough to cut open my beauty blenders in case they're not as clean as I thought.

I've had my Beauty Blender for years and I've always washed it after use. I've been slack on brushes but not on sponges. So it's always been stored away clean. I don't think I would cut it it still looks pretty good on the outside. I have soaked it in vinegar a few times and a mug of hot water and with a few drops of tea tree oil added. I would recommend that to people to try before cutting and tossing out those expensive sponges.

I clean mine quite often which isn't always the best thing for it! The last one I cut open was really wet in the middle but clean thankfully, the edges not so much!


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