*The author generated this text in part with ChatGPT, OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model. The content was reviewed, edited, fact-checked, and revised by our editorial team.
As a makeup lover, you already know the value of having the right tools to create your desired look. Your makeup brushes are an essential part of your application process. But if they’re not clean, they won’t do you any good.
With dirty brushes, you risk contaminating your skin and re-purchasing new tools every few months. Why not save your skin (and bank account) by adequately cleaning your makeup brushes regularly?
Why do your brushes need to be cleaned?
Think about it: Your brushes come into contact with your face, oils, and makeup every day. Over time, it can build up, leading to bacteria growth and irritation. Especially if you have sensitive skin, it can result in breakouts, redness, and even infections. Cleaning your brushes regularly will eliminate these issues to keep your skin looking its best.
Aside from cleaning your makeup brushes for basic hygienic purposes, it can also help with the following:
- Improved makeup application. Dirty brushes can affect the quality of your makeup application, causing streaking or a lack of blending. Clean brushes work better and give a smoother, more even application.
- Brush longevity. Cleaning your brushes helps to remove old makeup and oils that can break down the bristles and shorten the life of the brush.
- Cross-contamination avoidance. Using the same brush for different products can cause cross-contamination and result in an unwanted mix of colors or textures. Cleaning the brushes between uses can prevent this.
A step-by-step guide to properly cleaning your brushes
All you need is a gentle soap, like baby shampoo or brush cleaner, and some lukewarm water. Then, follow these simple steps:
- Wet the bristles and apply a small amount of soap to them. Avoid harsh chemicals, as these can damage the bristles and affect their ability to apply makeup correctly.
- Gently massage the bristles in the palm of your hand to create a lather. Avoid bending the bristles, as this can damage the brush.
- Rinse the bristles thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
- Gently squeeze out the excess water and reshape the brush.
- Lay the brush flat on a clean, dry towel and allow it to air dry. Avoid leaving the brush in a standing position, as this can cause water to seep into the base and damage the glue holding the bristles together.
Storing your makeup brushes the right way
Cleaning your brushes may seem like a chore, but it’s a small task that can have big rewards. Routine cleaning of your brushes at least once a week (or more frequently, depending on how often you use them) means your makeup will look better, last longer, and be less likely to irritate your skin. Plus, you can save money by not having to replace them as often.
Storing your makeup brushes properly can also maintain their effectiveness. Rather than leaving them lying flat, which can alter the shaper of the bristles and lead to bacteria buildup, you’ll want to store them in a brush holder or pouch. The brush holder, made of plastic, silicone, or leather, keeps the brushes upright and separated. If you choose to place them in a pouch, the encasement can keep them protected.
Whatever you decide, it’s important to store them in a clean, dry place to keep them in tip-top condition. Happy cleaning!