Makeup cushion compacts have made a world of difference to our makeup routines – they’re convenient, easy to use, and are chock-full of skincare benefits.

In fact, South Korean cosmetic company AmorePacific just reported a whopping 50 million cushion compacts from all its brands were sold globally, since it released the first one in 2008. (Brands under the company include Laneige, Innisfree, Etude House and Sulwhasoo.)

It’s now almost instinctive for us to “stamp” the puff onto our faces every morning, and take time out to “shampoo” the dirt out of our puffs every weekend, or tossing it out altogether after a month of use.

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Image: AmorePacific

Whether you wash your cushion puff or not, the idea has always been, that a wet cushion sponge and puff serves as a breeding ground for all sorts of germs and bacteria.

But what we’ve long believed seems to be wrong, ladies. You don’t actually need to wash your cushion compact puff, says Mr Kyung-nam Kim, the lead researcher for all cushion products under AmorePacific.

The reason for this lies behind the formulation of the foundation, BB or CC cream contained within the cushion sponge.

“Usually, fluid-type cosmetic products have an oil-in-water formula, but our [AmorePacific’s] cushion [foundation or BB cream] has a water-in-oil formula, so technically it prevents any bacteria or germs from entering the sponge,” shared Mr Kim, during an AmorePacific Cushion R&D Media Roundtable event.

An oil-in-water formulation, is one where oil droplets are suspended in water. Think of it as milk, where fat forms tiny droplets within the skim milk. In the case of water-in-oil, margarine is a great example – tiny droplets of water are contained in a blend of oils and fat.

Science aside, the formulation used in all of the brand’s cushion compacts is designed to be “very strong against germs and bacteria.” That means, both your cushion sponge and puff are able to last throughout the entire time you’re using the product, without any washing required.

AmorePacific did say however, that you should wash the sponge if it gets contaminated; for example, if you dropped on the floor.

And just in case you’ve got multiple cushion compacts (at this stage, who doesn’t, right?). We did a quick check with two other brands, Lancome and VDL. While Lancome said that its cushion puff does not require any washing throughout the time you’re using it, VDL still recommends cleaning the puff at least once a week to remove any dirt that’s been transferred from your face to the applicator. 

So for some cushion fans, looks like you can now stop feeling guilty for missing out on that weekly wash.

But for kiasu (extra careful and cautious) folks like me, follow this quick guide and watch the video below to find out how you can wash your cushion puffs.