Just like your hair, unwashed makeup brushes harbour oils, dust and bacteria that build up over time. So, this means that when you apply your makeup, germs and bacteria will transfer from your brush to your face, which encourages acne, spots and blackheads. Not to mention, your makeup doesn’t apply as well as it could!
The solution? Wash your brushes once a week (especially your foundation brush), with brush tools/ cleansers or choose a formula you have in the house that will respect your synthetic or natural brushes. I find a moisturising soap or a mild shampoo does the trick because let’s face it, you wouldn’t use a stripping shampoo that you knew was going to dry-out or thin your hair, so you shouldn’t with your makeup brushes either!
How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes
1. Wash your brush using lukewarm water, making sure they aren’t submerged and tilted away from water to protect the glue and stop bristles falling out.
2. Dispense a small amount of your chosen brush cleanser or gentle formula (like baby shampoo) onto the palm of your hand.
When I don’t have any tools or a brush cleanser to hand I use what I already have in the house. A mild shampoo and my hand always do the trick. The results? Just take a look at the before and after water from two brushes! 👀 pic.twitter.com/f9993uGIvW
— EscentualKeavy (@EscentualKeavy) May 19, 2020
3. Rub the formula gently into the bristles, spreading them out with your fingers.
4. For a deeper clean, rub it against your hand or use a textured brush palette.
Tip: Work olive oil or baby oil through your bristles to loosen caked-on or greasy makeup on the lip and eye brushes. Wipe off the residue before shampooing.
I discovered the ‘sponge microwave’ cleaning hack on buzzfeed years ago and I’m still suprised that not many people know about it. Do you clean your sponges or buy a new one? #MakeupSponge pic.twitter.com/2dwGiFQ7Vv
— Chelsey (@EscentualChels) May 15, 2020
5. Rinse your brushes until the water runs clean, ensuring there is no formula left on the bristles (no bubbles).
One brush tip I wish someone had told me years ago is to lie brushes flat to dry, with the head just over the edge of the table. It stops water breaking down the handles glue, and helps to keep their shape. Your brushes can thank me later 😘 pic.twitter.com/MTB81wYGaN
— Ceryn (@EscentualCeryn) May 15, 2020
6. Gently squeeze excess water with a towel while taking care to reshape the bristles back into its original shape.
7. Leave your brushes to dry flat overnight or use a brush drying rack and hang them brush head down.
Before and after – brush cleaning is a chore but it’s essential to look after your skin and brushes plus it’s oh-so satisfying! My top tip? Dry them flat to avoid ruining your brushes. pic.twitter.com/sJ0JQu22kp
— Elisabeth at Escentual (@EscentualLis) May 18, 2020
Brush Cleaning FAQs
Can You Clean Your Brushes With Soap?
Of course, a brush cleanser is best. But, in a brush cleaning emergency, you can use what you already have in the house; a good quality washing up liquid or gentle shampoo will work. I wouldn’t advise regular soap or alcohol-based formulas because they can damage the glue in the handle (the ferrule) causing bristle fall-out, and eventually your brush head to fall off.
What Tools Should You Use To Clean Your Brushes?
If you’re looking for a gentle, deep-clean that saves time and is mess-free, a few expert brush tools definitely wouldn’t go a miss! There is a lot to choose from, so I’ve linked a few of my favourites in the routine above to make it easier.