How — and How Often — Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?


Most of us are guilty of ignoring our makeup brushes, allowing powder and cream formulas to build up on the bristles for weeks and using multiple colours without cleaning in between. However, experts say it’s critical to spend at least a few minutes each week removing crud to prevent bacteria development, acne, and other unpleasant skin concerns.

Brushes are considered the most critical step in getting perfect makeup by many cosmetic professionals, so if you haven’t lathered up your own in a while, it’s time to begin deep-cleaning. Here’s what you should know:

How frequently should I wash my makeup brushes?

“Ideally, you should clean the brushes every time you use them, but that may be difficult for most of us,” explains Sabina Wizemann, senior chemist at the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab. What you can get away with is as follows:

1-2 times per week for brushes used with powders. “Once or twice a week is generally adequate for powder cosmetics brushes like blushes and bronzers,” Wizemann explains.

Daily for brushes used with liquids or creams. Wizemann recommends cleaning liquid foundations, concealers, and eyeshadows “every day since they are more prone to retain bacteria that can potentially cause illnesses.”

Daily for sponges. Wizemann recommends washing your makeup sponge and beautyblender “after every use; they can harbour bacteria much easier than brushes because they are used wet and stay wet for a while after usage.”

How should I clean my makeup brushes?

According to our experts, you have a few options:

“Baby shampoos are extensively used to clean brushes, and they work extremely well,” says Wizemann, who recommends these gentle solutions for cleaning natural fibre brushes in particular.

“Ivory soap removes liquid makeup from brushes fairly effectively,” Wizemann says. It can be used to break down these heavier formulations.

Dawn dish soap is excellent for thoroughly cleaning makeup sponges and beautyblenders and swiftly emulsifying oil-based foundations and concealers.

Makeup brush cleaners are designed specifically for cleaning makeup brushes. EcoTools Makeup Brush Shampoo, Real Techniques Brush Cleaner, and French Nerds Nerdiest Brush Cleanser are among our professional favourites.

Wizemann describes textured washing mats that “fit in the palm of your hand and are simple to use.” “Small mats that come with cleaning soap (like this one from beautyblender) are ideal: they’re large enough to do the job well and don’t require any extra storage.”

While olive oil and vinegar are frequently cited as brush cleaning methods, Wizemann recommends keeping them in the kitchen.

How do I clean my makeup brush?

Now that you have the knowledge and materials to handle the task, here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your makeup brushes:

1. Moisten the bristles.

Rinse the bristles with water. Avoid getting water over the brush’s handle, since this can weaken the glue over time, resulting in shedding bristles and, finally, a destroyed brush.

2. Gently rub in the soap.

Swipe your favourite cleanser across your palm in moderate circular strokes, making sure the entire brush is saturated. At this stage, you can also use a brush cleansing mat.

3. Rinse thoroughly.

After sudsing up the brush, rinse the soap and product out. If the water does not run clean, repeat steps 1-2, making sure the water does not touch the handle of the brush.

4. Squeeze out the excess water.

To expel extra water, gently press your fingertips on the bristles. Do not pull too hard!

5. Allow it to dry.

Overnight, lay the brush or brushes flat on a towel. They’ll be ready to go again in the morning!

When should I replace my makeup brush?

“Fortunately, if brushes are properly washed and dried, they should last a long time (possibly years!) before they need to be replaced,” Wizemann explains. “Don’t leave them crammed in a toiletry bag for an extended amount of time,” Wizemann says. “All you need is a cup to store your everyday brushes.”

However, if the brush’s bristles begin to shed or stray bristles refuse to line with the rest of the brush even after washing and drying, it’s time to replace the brush!

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