How Often You Should Replace Your beautyblender

As much as we may invest in our beauty tools, and want to make them last because of that, some things just can't last forever. So even though you dropped a pretty penny on your beautyblender collection, in the back of your mind, you're probably wondering how often you need to replace makeup sponges. Because you didn't exactly buy them with the intention of one day having to throw them away. Or at least, you always block those makeup and beauty-tool graveyard days out of your memory. Hey, saying goodbye to an old and trusted friend is always sad.

But you know it's inevitable. So the good news at least is that there are ways to make your makeup sponges last longer. However, there are also circumstances where it may be better to toss 'em before their time as well. I corresponded with beauty expert and celebrity makeup artist Jenny Patinkin to find out why it's really necessary to replace your makeup sponges, and when exactly you should do so. Because when something is coming in contact with your lovely mug everyday (or at least most days), it's always good to know if it has an expiration date. Better to be safe than sorry and all that jazz, right?

To make sure your makeup sponges stay clean and last as long as possible, Patinkin recommends washing them after every use. This is important for your skin so that your sponge doesn't collect dirt and bacteria that will later clog your pores if it isn't cleansed between uses. But washing your sponges after every use is also important so that product doesn't build up inside the sponge as quickly. Patinkin explains that when your sponge starts to feel hard or resistant when you squeeze it, that means "there's so much old product built up deep inside that you're not going to be able to break it up or get it removed." When this happens, it's time to throw it away, which means the more you clean, the more life you'll get out of a single blender. However, there are some other circumstances where you may need to toss your makeup sponges before this point.

One of these times is if your sponge begins to crack or crumble. Patinkin suggests that there is no use in trying to use a crumbling makeup sponge, as it won't be able to give you a "uniform application of product" anyway. She also recommends throwing away and replacing your makeup sponges immediately if you used them when you had a "bad cold, break out, virus, or infection," as it just isn't worth risking reinfection.

Beauty Blender, $20, Amazon

If you use your makeup sponges on a regular basis and simply want a rule of thumb for how often to replace them, Patinkin says she replaces her beautyblenders every three to four months. Of course, always keep an eye on your sponges to make sure they're still going strong for that long by using the aforementioned tells. And hey, if you take care of your sponges properly by washing them after every use and giving them a chance to thoroughly dry before storing them away, they could last you even longer.

Image: Miki Hayes (2)