How To Clean Makeup Brushes

The Underrated Hack for Flawless Makeup & Healthier Skin

July 15, 2019




When it comes to beautiful skin, we often overlook one crucial component that plays a big role in the health of our skin. Especially those of us that have sensitive or acne-prone skin, but still like to wear makeup most days.

As it turns out, cleaning your makeup brushes is pretty important. It might seem like a no-brainer but it’s a major beauty blunder that many people slow to pick up on.

Is this a new realisation for you? Could this be the answer to those unexplained breakouts? The reason your foundation isn’t sitting right? Let’s show you how to master the art of brush-cleaning and reclaim radiant skin.

Of course, no conventional cleaner will do the trick. To satisfy your conscious beauty needs, we curated the best natural recipes for squeaky clean brushes - and we’re sharing them with you!

Why clean my brushes?

How To Clean Makeup Brushes woman putting on makeup

1. Acne prevention

At a quick glance, your trusty makeup brushes appear pretty innocent. Right? Wrong. They collect anything and everything - from dead skin cells, dust particles, to sebum oil and dirt. Every time we use an unwashed brush, we’re basically wiping our faces with months of grime (gross, we know) which ends up clogging pores and spurring acne.

2. Bacteria buildup

Beauty with a side of bacteria, anyone? When they go unwashed, your makeup brushes become a natural breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria then sits happily in the bristles, ready to be transferred onto your skin and ruin your good makeup day.

3. Skin irritation

Without the proper love and attention, your makeup bristles can begin to stiffen as weeks’ worth of residue and bacteria accumulate. We end up rubbing harder when applying our makeup and irritating our skin to no end. To help keep your brushes silky soft, washing them regularly is a must - specifically with natural, non-drying ingredients.

4. Flawless makeup

Think back to the first time you used a new brush - glorious, wasn’t it? So silky, so much potential for greatness. Sigh. But as time goes on, we forget just how lush a clean brush feels and the amazing makeup results it can deliver. In comparison, a dirty brush struggles to pick up pigment, blend smoothly and distribute product evenly, thanks to the built-up makeup weighing the brush down.

How often should I clean my brushes?

How To Clean Makeup Brushes hand pouring oil preparation

Surprisingly, how regularly you should clean your brushes is quite a hot topic. The general consensus seems to be about once a week although some advocate for once after every use. This depends on your skin and what’s going on with you.

If you’re having a breakout, rash or even a cold, then washing your brushes after every use is essential to halt the spread of germs. If all is well, then every couple of days is fine for foundation brushes and once a week for other brushes unless you’re swapping and changing eyeshadow colours for instance, then afer every use will give you the best application.

How do I care for my brushes?

For the best, deepest clean, this is our go-to ingredient list:

  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • 2 tsp Dr Bronners soap
  • 1 tsp skin-nourishing oil like jojoba or almond oil (optional)
  • 1 cup distilled water

To whip up a fresh batch, combine all of these ingredients in a jar and mix. Then wet the bristles and squeeze a small amount of cleaner onto the bristles. Lather the bristles in a circular motion against the palm of your hand, then rinse under water and lay to dry.

Bonus tip: Lie your brushes flat on a clean cloth when drying. You shouldn’t ever leave your brushes soaking in the water or let the water settle at the base of the bristles. This only damages the glue, causing the brush to shed and weaken the bonding of the handle.

How do you wash your makeup brushes? Or have you only just caught on to this? Share your recipes and beauty insights in the comment section below!

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