How (and how often) To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

lots of makeup brushes

We all know we should do it, but ugh, we don’t really want to. Or maybe that’s just me! Time is precious, and there are about 100 things I’d rather be doing than cleaning my makeup brushes. BUT, kind of like taking daily vitamins and exfoliating (both important things!), keeping makeup brushes clean is an essential step in the path to health and beauty. And most of us do not clean our brushes often enough. Sigh. I’m here to try to change that.

With their flushing, contouring, patting, and painting, our makeup brushes go through quite the daily workout. They need their post-workout showers as much as you and I do after a sweaty Pilates session. As brush bristles are porous, they hold on to quite a bit of product buildup, and oil from our face. Not to mention ugly bacteria that can cause breakouts and blemishes. Clean brushes allow for a more even, perfect makeup application that oil and residue can interfere with.

Let’s cut to the point. Aside from, “Do I REALLY need to clean my makeup brushes?” (The answer is obviously a big YES), two questions I often get are:

1. How do I properly clean my makeup brushes?
2. How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

how to clean makeup brushes

Cleaning Your Brushes:

Warm water with a gentle brush cleanser is a fail safe way and easy way to clean makeup brushes. Simply wet the bristles and massage in a small amount of cleanser. Massage, rinse and squeeze out excess water. Reshape the bristles a bit, if needed. Lay your brushes either on the counter (with the bristles hanging off the edge – not flat on a surface or towel), or stand them upright (bristles facing up) in a cup – like you dried your paintbrushes in elementary school. This allows the brushes to better dry in their natural shape.

In between full washes, I spritz my brushes with a brush cleansing spray. I opt for the travel size bottles (Sephora makes a great one), as I can use it at home and on the road. And if I’m being completely honest, I sometimes use baby wipes in between cleanings, or if I need to prolong my brush use in between washes.

How Often:

We should strive to clean our brushes at least once a week, with an emphasis on “at least.” Fortunately, we can cheat a little. The weekly cleaning can be done primarily on our face brushes, such as those used for foundation and blush. Eye shadow brushes can be cleaned every other week. Other types of brushes can typically be washed monthly, unless you notice extra buildup.

What about makeup sponges, like the BeautyBlender? Those need to be washed weekly, as well, and replaced about every three to four months for best results.



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