How Bad Is That Beauty Habit?

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You clean your makeup brushes once a year (if that)

The verdict: Uh-oh!

"If you haven't cleaned your brushes in some time and are experiencing breakouts, this could be the culprit," says New York dermatologist Craig Austin, MD. "Makeup brushes are like sponges; they hold on to bacteria." They can even harbor mold.

Wash sponges and "wet" brushes (for concealer or foundation) every three to four days, because they're more hospitable to bacteria. Dry powder brushes should be cleaned weekly.

"If the bristles are dirty and sticky," notes New York-based celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose, "they'll hang onto more makeup and not blend it as well." Use a gentle face wash, then let them air-dry.

Next: You apply makeup with your fingers