Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes the Right Way & How Often to Do It

How to Clean a Makeup Brush

Creating a one-stop makeup kit is not the end, it’s just the start. Makeup brushes are an integral part of your makeup set. To excel in makeup application techniques, you should master up the brush using skill first. For this, your makeup brushes have to be in good shape always.

Brush cleaning is a vital part of any makeup routine. Clotted bristles or caked up sponges don’t blend makeup products evenly. You need to clean up your brushes regularly in order to get a lovely makeup finish using your makeup products.

Hence, in this blog, we’ll teach you how to clean a makeup brush using a few easy and useful DIY methods.

Why You Should Clean Your Makeup Brush

A dirty brush doesn’t perform the same as a clean and fresh one. Leaving makeup brushes in bad condition means showing disintegrity toward your skin because it may do harm to the skin in many ways.

  • Buildup layers of dead skin cells, oil from skin, makeup pigments and dirt on the makeup brushes accumulate bacteria. They become a perfect breeding ground for so many bacteria such as e-coli, staphylococcus, and streptococcus, fungi as well. If you can balance your skin with their protective natural acid mantle that must be kept intact, most of them don’t remain harmful any longer.
  • Debris on the brushes can clog your pores that will result in congestion, acne or pimple breakouts, skin irritation, rashes called dermatitis, spots or even more skin problems.
  • At worst cases, they can cause gnarly infection too, like folliculitis. It’s extreme, but not unusual.
  • Don’t share your makeup brushes with anyone because they can harbor viruses like conjunctivitis and cold sore virus, which normally live for a long time. Thus, they might act as an excellent medium of virus spreading. This is why professionals clean their makeup brushes every time after they use those.
  • Almost everyone resides with tiny creatures of about one-third millimeter long called mites. They live off our serum and old skin cells at the basement of our nose hairs and eyelashes. They are considered to be harmless but prone to acne.
  • Theoretically, dirt on the makeup brushes contributes to oxidative stress of skin from free radicals, and to elastin and collagen breakdown. This may lead to premature skin ageing by accelerating the ageing process.

How Often You Should Clean Your Makeup Brush

Cleaning and washing are two whole different things. Clean your face brushes weekly (i.e. after six to seven uses), which are used for applying face makeup like concealer, foundation, or powder. Whereas, eye brushes or those brushes that switch color shades are needed to be cleaned in between uses. For example, blush and eye shadow brush.

You can wash the face brushes thoroughly once a month but eye brushes twice at least, such as mascara and eyeliner brush. A sponge also collects as much filth as a brush or even more than that since it is porous. So, wash your sponges more often like every week.

Moreover, Brushes for the application of liquid textures accumulate more microorganisms than your dry powder brushes because fungi and bacteria prefer wet conditions. Given them an extra wash while washing and clean frequently.

The longevity of your makeup bristles will extend if you clean and wash them regularly. Store brushes in their bag, or in a dry and cool place. Avoid damp and warm places because these are the perfect conditions for the growth of bacteria.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brush

1. DIY Method

You can use mild dishwashing liquids, silicone-free baby shampoo, or antibacterial soap for washing your cosmetic brushes. Avoid detergents since they are bad for health and environmentand loosen up the glue, which might result in bristle loss.

Follow the steps to clean your brushes:

  • Dip your brushes individually under lukewarm water to wet the bristles thoroughly.
  • Squeeze a drop of the cleanser of your choice on them.
  • Message the bristles’ tips gently on your palm taking some time.
  • Rinse the brushes off with cold running water.
  • Rub with a clean soft cloth or towel and squeeze the excess water out.
  • Re-form the heads of the brushes back to their actual shape when they are still damp.
  • Lay them flat to air-dry, or use your hair dryer if you are in a hurry.
  • Repeat the process if there is still dirt on the brushes.

2. With Tools

You can also use an electronic brush cleaner, cleansing mat, or cleansing gloves if you don’t want to invest much time in brush cleaning and to avoid additional hassle. They don’t require any kind of soap or water to clean your makeup brushes.

Makeup Brush Cleaning Tips

  • Don’t go overboard when you bathe your brushes. A little grit should be okay since too much clean brushes grab less product. The main target is to make them bacteria free.
  • Use a lint-free cloth, preferably paper towels to rub them so the brushes don’t look dusty later.
  • If you want to air-dry the brushes, lie them flat after you wash. Don’t dry them vertically. The water shouldn’t drain into the wooden handle and remove the glue or rot the wood.

When to Replace Your Brushes

Throw regular makeup sponges away after you use it one time because they are not suitable for repeated use. Only microbial-resistant sponges can be reused safely. Use a sponge brush cleaner to maintain prolonged performance but you have to replace them too every three to four months.

However, you can use your cosmetic brushes as long as they are not severely discolored, smelling bad, or shedding. In case they become too squashed or pinched, they will no longer perform their job properly. So, toss them out if the bristles start to lose their shape, foul odors, keep falling out, and fray.


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