If your mom is anything like mine, she yelled at you not to touch your face so your skin stays healthy. You don’t want the oils on your hands to clog your pores and make you break out! While that’s true, she was neglecting something really major. You need to be cleaning your makeup brushes regularly.
How Often Should I Clean my Makeup Brushes?
Makeup artists and dermatologists alike will tell you that, ideally, you want to be cleaning your brushes after every use, especially the ones you use to apply foundation and concealer. Brushes are like a sponge and they absorb everything they come into contact with: liquid foundation, oils on your skin, and other bacteria and debris (dry skin, anyone?) When you re-use a makeup brush that has come into contact with any bacteria, the likelihood of spreading it even further in the next use is that much greater.
If left uncleaned, your brushes can harbor so much bacteria that there is an overgrowth. Repeated use of a dirty brush can irritate and inflame blemishes if you have any and even cause some nasty rashes even on the healthiest of skin.
Then, there’s the issue of application. A dirty brush is so much harder to get a smooth and flawless finish. It isn’t going to do you any favors. And if you’re using one brush to conceal, blush, and contour, you’re mixing colors that don’t belong together.
That alone should make you want to wash your brushes!
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have time to wash every single brush I used each day when I’m also trying to pack lunch, do something to make second-day hair look good, and find my other shoe.
The good news is that you can get away with washing your brushes a little less frequently than that. For healthy skin and an even application, you should be washing your brushes every week. Pick a day, like Sunday to start the week off with clean brushes, and make a date to clean your makeup brushes. Brushes that are used to apply powders can go a bit longer than a week, but you might as well knock it all out at once since you’re doing it!
How to Clean your Makeup Brushes
Cleaning your makeup brushes is a very simple process and doesn’t require anything fancier than a mild soap, though you can use a brush cleaner. Stay away from anything clarifying or harsh as this can dry out your brush’s bristles.
Be sure to keep the bristles pointing downward at all times so you don’t get water in the ferrule. This can cause the glue holding the bristles in place to loosen and the bristles to fall out.
- Thoroughly wet your brush with warm (not hot!) water.
- Squeeze some soap in your palm and swirl the bristles of your makeup brush in the soap.
- Gently work the soap into the bristles. Don’t mash or work it very hard!
- Rinse your brush under running water until the water runs clear. Not clear water = makeup still in the brush.
- Squeeze out as much water as you can with a towel. Try not to bend the bristles.
- Shape the bristles back into place.
- Lay flat to dry. It’s best to hang the brush head over the edge of your sink or counter so there’s air surrounding your brushes. They’ll dry faster and cleaner. Don’t place them on a towel to dry. That’ll hold moisture close to the bristles and can cause mildew, AKA do the exact opposite of clean your brushes!
I also like to use a brush cleaning spray between washings to do some light spot cleaning. It won’t replace giving your brushes a good bath, but it will keep bacteria at bay and is great if you’re switching between colors.
Whatever you do, don’t share makeup brushes with anyone. This is an extreme case, but someone ended up paralyzed by doing that. So, just don’t.