How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes
18 May 2022
To keep your skin looking gorgeous and your makeup application on point, it’s crucial to regularly clean your makeup brushes. While the thought of hand-washing all those teeny tiny bristles may fill you with dread, the truth is that the job is a lot more manageable if you do it little and often. Instead of waiting for those brushes to be screaming out for a deep clean, start good habits and enjoy longer-lasting, better performing brushes and cleaner, clearer skin.
Wash Your Brushes Weekly
Yes, washing your brushes might seem like a chore at first, but it really is an essential task for the sake of your skin. Washing your brushes weekly prevents bacteria buildup, meaning that your brushes stay hygienic and you reduce the risk of any nasty rashes or infections.
Whether you’ve invested in top of the line makeup brushes or something cheap and cheerful, washing them weekly allows your brushes to perform to the best of their capabilities. Left unwashed, product buildup coats your bristles, resulting in a streaky finish and uneven distribution. Brushes that are cared for will last longer too, saving you money in the long run.
Dedicate a little bit of time out of your week to thoroughly clean your brushes. Or, better yet, add the clean into a regular selfcare night! Pop on a face mask, turn up the tunes, light a candle, and have a thorough brush cleaning session. Care for yourself while caring for your brushes.
Choose Your Cleaning Product
There are plenty of different options for cleaning your makeup brushes. And while most fashion gurus will have their own tried and tested method, it’s recommended to try multiple methods to find what works best for you.
Option 1: Liquid dish soap.
Yes, the same kind you use on your dirty dinner plates. It may sound unconventional, but dish soap is a godsend when it comes to degreasing. If it gets out the nastiest of food stains, it can remove makeup residue. Plus, you’re saving money by using a product you already own, freeing up money for that new palette you’ve had your eye on.
Option 2: A trusty bar soap.
Many bar soaps are sulfate-free, fragrance-free, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial, meaning you can rest assured knowing your brushes have met their squeaky-clean match. If it’s good enough for your body, it’s good enough for your brushes.
Option 3: Specialised brush cleanser.
Of course, you can also buy dedicated brush cleansers designed specifically for your beauty tools. They usually have a quick drying time and are antimicrobial for optimum hygiene. However, be wary of using your own facial cleanser as it may have a high alcohol content which can slacken the brush glue, shortening your brush’s life.
Lather Up and Rinse Off
When it comes to technique, cleaning your brushes is all about the lather and rinse. Begin by lathering your chosen detergent in either a small dish or the palm of your hand. Then, with a wet brush, move the bristles of your brush, or your beauty blender, back and forth to work the lather throughout. Finish by rinsing the foam downward off the end of your brush using tepid water, making sure all the soap is removed.
It’s important not to run water against the grain of your bristles into the head of your brush. Not only will this push product deeper into the bristles, but the water can also damage the glue that holds them in place. If bristles in the brush are damaged or begin to fall out, your foundation and other products won’t be applied as smoothly or effectively.
In summary, take care of your brushes, and they’ll take care of you.
Hang Them High And Leave To Dry
How you dry your makeup brushes can also play an important role in their lastability. Take the time to shake out any excess water, then gently pat the bristles dry with a clean paper towel or cloth, getting rid of as much moisture as possible.
To prevent moisture from travelling into the head of the brush, you should aim to dry your brushes on a downward angle, ideally with bristles facing directly down. You can purchase brush drying stands for this purpose or get creative with pegs and blu-tac.
In a pinch, if you really need your brushes ready in a hurry, don’t be tempted to turn on the hairdryer, as, again, this can damage the glue. Instead, place them in a gas stove on a baking sheet, protected from the metal by a silicone sheet or similar. The pilot light alone will create enough warmth for the brushes to dry overnight.
Now that’s a life hack worth knowing.
Makeup Brushes Have A Shelf Life
Like all cosmetics, makeup brushes have a shelf life. Take a close look at your makeup brushes next time you use them, and examine whether or not your brushes shed their bristles a lot, are splayed or are looking worse for wear. If so, it could be time for new ones.
That being said, if you give your brushes the regular cleaning and care discussed in this article, they should last you for many years to come.