Attention make-up wearers: Want a simple solution to preventing breakouts? Keep your makeup & brushes clean. Replace the sponges in your compact on a regular basis. Use a brush cleaner (found at your local health/beauty stores) to clean your brushes. Now and then, toss the whole works (makeup & brushes) and start fresh; the average shelf life for cosmetics is 6 to 12 months. Don’t buy products so expensive that you’ll be heartbroken if you have to throw them away.