Yes this is widely discussed amongst all professionals, particularly as to the hairdressing industry there is no regulation, yet the beauty industry is covered by the skin penetration act. As makeup artists we do not fall into either of these categories and is unregulated. I have some guidelines derived from the beauty industrys ones that are very applicable to us. There are many makeup artists out there that do not follow simple cleanliness and their price point usually reflects this. It takes money to keep everything Clean and safe for public use.
Lets first get one thing straight. There is a difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing.
Disinfectants are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfection does not necessarily kill all microorganisms, especially resistant bacterial spores; it is less effective than sterilisation, which is an extreme physical and/or chemical process that kills all types of life.
Alcohols, usually ethanol or isopropanol, are sometimes used as a disinfectant, but more often as an antiseptic (the distinction being that alcohol tends to be used on living tissue rather than nonliving surfaces). They are non-corrosive, but can be a fire hazard. They also have limited residual activity due to evaporation, which results in brief contact times unless the surface is submerged, and have a limited activity in the presence of organic material. Alcohols are most effective when combined with purified water to facilitate diffusion through the cell membrane. A mixture of 70% ethanol or isopropanol diluted in water is effective against a wide spectrum of bacteria, though higher concentrations are often needed to disinfect wet surfaces. Additionally, high-concentration mixtures (such as 80% ethanol + 5% isopropanol) are required to effectively inactivate lipid-enveloped viruses (such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C). High concentrations of alcohol or solvents or combination with other disinfectants can result in drying out much more quickly on the applied surface. Such drying could lead to cyst formation and thus ineffective or incomplete disinfection. Alcohol is, at best, only partly effective against most non-enveloped viruses (such as hepatitis A), and is not effective against fungal and bacterial spores
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. Antiseptics are generally distinguished from antibiotics by the latter's ability to be transported through the lymphatic system to destroy bacteria within the body, and from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms found on non-living objects.
Some antiseptics are true germicides, capable of destroying microbes (bacteriocidal), while others are bacteriostatic and only prevent or inhibit their growth.
an example of this is dettol.
Sterilization (or sterilisation) is a term referring to any process that eliminates (removes) or kills all forms of microbial life, including transmissible agents (such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, etc.) present on a surface, contained in a fluid, in medication, or in a compound such as biological culture media. Sterilization can be achieved by applying heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure, and filtration or combinations thereof.
For beauty the only accepted form is using an autoclave for metal implements only.
As many things that can be disposable should be used. High risk items should be thrown away and not reused again. A simple guide is - Makeup Brushes should always be washed directly after use with hot soapy water detergent is fine, baby shampoo for natural fibre hairs and for synthetic brushes even brush cleaner is ok. Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear, for oil based or wax based makeup use a heavy duty detergent. One rinsed, dry thoroughly with paper towels to remove excess moisture, then spray with 70% isopropyl alcohol, Then let air dry on a window seal. This process should be done after using brushes on every single client. No exceptions. - Never double dip product. Use a spatula and scrape out what you need into a mixing palette and double dip from there. Dispose of any left over product from that palette. Powders like blush and shadow are fine to double dip from as bacteria need moisture to grow, spray with beauty so clean or parian spirit after their use. - Always use disposables for high risk areas. Mascara wands are notorious for spreading conjunctivitis and infections to the eye, use disposable wands, there is no safe method of reusing wands. And never use the wand from the tube. If that wand from the tube has been used on someone and has re entered the tube, the whole tube MUST be thrown out. Lip brushes are another area of high risk, the lips are the gateway to the mouth and all the moist bacteria that lives there, Herpes simplex ( cold sores) are easily spread along with other diseases. It is highly recommended to use a disposable lip brush for lipstick application. Never use the lipstick directly then onto others, even wiping or scraping from the lipstick will not guarrantee that lipstick tube free of bacteria. Use a spatula to scrape off what you need onto a palette and work from that. - Makeup sponges, disposable is great, with reusable sponges use detergent in hot soapy water to thoroughly remove all makeup and residue ring out until water runs clean through, spray with 70% isopropyl alcohol and let them air dry after every use. Never use a reusable sponge on skin with open cuts or sores or even active acne skin as it will spread the bacteria and blood borne viruses. In those scenarios always use a disposable. - tweezers and scissors or any metal implement must be thoroughly wiped down then sprayed with alcohol. If they penetrate the skin or touch blood or remove skin cells then they must be sterillized using an autoclave or thrown away. If you do not have an autoclave ask clients to bring their own tweezers to use or have one pair of tweezers for every client (incorporate it into their price). There are babercides out there that can be used for tweezers but you will need to have a beauty therapy or hairdressing qualification to access this through trade suppliers.