Whether you are applying an eye cream, a face moisturiser, concealer, foundation, LIPSTICK, a cleanser, or a BRONZER, you need a brush to help you. However as much as many women are dependent on their makeup brushes for a perfect look, not all of the women clean the brushes afterwards. Even those that clean them do not do it the right way.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes

Some think that a wipe or just a dip in some warm water does the trick. For the brushes to keep functioning properly, you need to clean them regularly. Failure to clean the brushes regularly after using them may lead to skin infections or even damage the brushes. If you cannot wash the brushes after every single use, then you can at least do it once a week. The good thing is it does not cost you much to clean your makeup brushes regularly. You can choose between using DIY methods of cleaning your makeup brushes with ease using readily available products, or use brush cleaners, which you can get from amazon at very affordable prices.

In this article, we will enlighten you on the proper ways to clean your makeup brushes after using them. However, let us first look at the importance of cleaning the makeup brushes.

The importance of cleaning makeup brushes

All makeup tools should be spotless clean for various reasons and one of those tools is your makeup brush. This is because a makeup brush is the one item you most possibly cannot do without if you want to attain a flawless look. Below are some of the reasons you should always clean your makeup brushes after using them.

  • Avoid distribution of bacteria and dead skin

The bristles of makeup brushes collects a lot of bacteria and dead skin from your face as you apply the makeup. If you reuse a makeup brush without cleaning it, it redistributes the dirt and bacteria to the skin, which may leave your skin looking peachy and unhealthy. The bristles also correct excess oil from the skin, which if reapplied, may cause breakouts, acne and black spots. The brushes collect dirt from your face, then transfers the dirt to the makeup you are applying and that goes back to the face. To avoid this, make sure the brushes are as clean as possible at all times.

  • Keeps the bristles soft

Regular use of makeup brushes hardens and dries up the bristles due to a build-up of makeup residue, bacteria, facial oils and dead skin. If you do not clean off all this build-up, the hard and dry bristles may cause skin irritation that in turn leads to skin damage. The damage could come in the form of acne, black spots or breakages.

  • Prolongs the life of the bushes

A build-up of all the dirt and residue from the skin and makeup weighs down the bristles. Putting too much pressure on the bristles may lead them to snap. You need to keep the bristles as light and free from dirt as much as possible in order to increase their ability to serve you longer. Regular cleaning increases your makeup brushes lifespan.

  • Protect your makeup

Your makeup too is not safe if you continue using dirty makeup brushes. If you keep transferring dirt from your skin to the makeup using the brushes, the life of the makeup becomes short. The makeup may be spoilt or look too dirty to apply after some time. This may take a toll on your pockets because you will keep replenishing the makeup. To save you money, make sure the brush you are dipping into your makeup is clean.

  • Better makeup application

A dirty makeup brush will not get a precise application of your makeup. To get your makeup blended evenly on your skin, you need soft clean bristles. You also need a clean brush to know the exact colours of makeup you are applying. If you have a dirty brush and you want to apply different eyeshadows, you may not get the right colour out because of the build-up of different colours and dirt on the bristles.

  • Avoid allergies ad skin reactions

Some people have sensitive skin and just about anything can make them develop a rash. If you are one of the people with sensitive skin, you need to be very careful about how your makeup brushes look and feel. Clean makeup brushes will give you the assurance that your skin will not react to a build-up of dirt and dead skin or oils. If your skin reacts when you use a clean makeup brush, then you will know that you are reacting to the product and not the tool.

  • Avoid pinkeye and herpes

This may sound scary but yes, you can get herpes and pinkeye from using dirty makeup brushes. Dirty brushes may also become moist and herpes love moist environments. Pinkeye is also a common germ that can practically live easily on any surface. To avoid these two, make sure you keep your brushes clean and dry at all times.

  • The alternative is not any better

Some people may think that the hassle of cleaning makeup brushes and sponges is too much and they opt to use their fingertips. The problem is you will use your fingers too for every application and you will be dipping them from one product to the other. You dip the fingers in a moisturiser and without cleaning, you dip them into a foundation then you are in as much trouble as you would be if you were using dirty makeup brushes. Fingers also need to be squeaky clean especially if you are applying makeup that does not come in a tube. You need to wash your hands after every application to avoid transferring dirt to your skin.

How to clean your makeup brushes

The deep cleaning method

How To Clean Makeup Brushes2

This is one of the best and fastest ways to clean you makeup brushes. For this method, you will need the following items

  • Makeup brush cleanser or shampoo
  • Water
  • Clean towel

Method

  • Wet your makeup brush
  • Lather your hands with the makeup cleanser or shampoo
  • Swirl the makeup brush gently on the palm of your hands and coat the bristles fully
  • Using your fingers, rub on the bristles working your way down until you are sure all the build-up is out of the brush
  • Rinse the brush using slightly warm water until the water is clear. Run the brush on cold water for a final rinse
  • Squeeze out all the excess water from the brush and gently rub on a towel to speed up the drying process
  • Reshape the bristle to their original shape before you lay the brush down to dry
  • When you put your brush to dry, make sure the handle is higher than the bristle head to avoid water from seeping into the handle and ferrule of the brush. If this happens, it could damage the brush
  • Repeat this with all the brushes
  • Repeat this cleaning exercise at least once a week to ensure your brushes do not keep build-up that can damage your skin and the brushes.

The ribbed silicone mat method

makeup+mat

For this method, you will still all the items as the ones above but instead of using your fingers to swirl the brush, you will use a ribbed silicone mat. The items are;

  • A ribbed silicone mat
  • Water
  • A brush cleanser or shampoo
  • Clean towel

Method

  • Wet your makeup brush
  • Set the ribbed silicone mat on the sink
  • Lather your ribbed silicone mat with the makeup cleanser or shampoo
  • Swirl the makeup brush gently on the mat and coat the bristles fully
  • Rub on the bristles working your way down until you are sure all the build-up is out of the brush
  • Rinse the brush using slightly warm water until the water is clear. Run the brush on cold water for a final rinse
  • Squeeze out all the excess water from the brush and gently rub on a towel to speed up the drying process
  • Reshape the bristle to their original shape before you lay the brush down to dry
  • When you put your brush to dry, make sure the handle is higher than the bristle head to avoid water from seeping into the handle and ferrule of the brush. If this happens, it could damage the brush
  • Wash the silicone mat and set it out to dry
  • Repeat this with all the brushes
  • Repeat this cleaning exercise at least once a week to ensure your brushes do not keep build-up that can damage your skin and the brushes.

Spot clean the brushes after every use

Spot clean the brushes

This is a quick cleaning method where you can quickly cleanse your makeup brushes after every use, for this you will need;

  • Spirit or makeup remover
  • Cotton pad or ball

Method

  • Apply some spirit or makeup remover to the cotton ball
  • Swirl your makeup brush into the formula

This simple cleaning method, sanitises your brush making it ready for the next application, it also clears whatever build-up is on the brush. However, occasionally, make sure you clean your brushes using other methods besides this one to make sure they stay clean and last longer.

Things to note washing your makeup brushes

Cleaning-Your-Makeup-Brushes-Step-1

The above are the most common ways to wash your makeup brushes. Now we look at how to avoid the most common mistakes that many people make when washing their makeup brushes.

Wash your makeup brushes often enough

The biggest mistake many people make is not washing their makeup brushes regularly. This could be because many people do not know how often they should wash their brushes. Some assume because they do not share their brushes with anyone, then they do not have to wash the brushes regularly. How regularly you wash your brushes will depend on how often you use them and what application you use them for.

Concealer and foundation brushes together with the brushes you use around the eyes are the most commonly used brushes and you should wash them at least once a week. Blush and powder brushes do not exactly need a wash after every week but if you use them often, you should also wash them regularly. If you have any makeup brushes you have not used for a while, you should still give them a quick wash before using them to wash out any dust and dirt. This is so especially if you stored your brushes in the open. To avoid dust and dirt accumulating on the bristles or your sponges, make sure you store them inside a drawer.

Wash your brushes thoroughly

Do not think that because you wash your brushes thoroughly it is enough to keep them squeaky clean. Running them through a faucet and drying them up is not washing them thoroughly. Make sure you take your time to wash out all the build-up and bacteria by using the right items like cleansers, baby shampoo, cleaning mats, spa brushes and any other useful products. Massage the bristles and fluff them back to their original shape after cleaning. You can get the best cleaning mats and cleansers from Amazon at affordable prices.

Always user the right washing products

You can actually, whatever you have to wash your makeup brushes from the soaps to the shampoos and cleansers. However, some of the products may not give you the results you want. Some of the washing cleansers may contain some chemicals that might react with your skin.

Some shampoos too are harsh and might not clean the brushes well or they may contain some chemicals that are not good for the skin. The bristles are also very delicate and they do not need harsh chemicals. Go for bay shampoos with organic or natural ingredients and recommended cleansers that you can get from amazon. Check the ingredients to find out if your skin can tolerate them without causing any irritation.

Try to avoid shampoos and cleansers with fragrances because you will use the brushes on your face and any leftover scent on the brush that did not wash off may irritate the skin causing breakouts.

Do not treat all your makeup brushes equally

Treating all makeup brushes equally is another mistake many people do. It is very important to know the material of the makeup brush. Some of the brushes you use have natural hair bristles while others have synthetic hairs. You cannot clean synthetic the same way you can clean natural hair. If you are not sure of how to do it, check from the internet or ask an expert makeup artist. One good example is using soap on the bristle hairs. Dish soap may wash synthetic hairs just fine butt using it on natural hairs might damage the bristles. For natural bristle hairs, you could use a softening conditioner.

Set out the brushes to dry

Brushes may take a while to dry after washing them. Some people may not have the patience to let them dry completely because they want to use them fast. Some may use other means to dry them fast like a blow drier. While this may dry them quickly, it is not a good way to dry the brushes as the heat may damage the bristles. The best thing to do is to set aside a day when you will not need to use the brushes and probably name it “my makeup cleaning day”.

How you set the brushes out to dry also matters a lot. Before you do that, make sure you squeeze out all the excess water using a dry clean towel. Do not stand the brushes upright to dry because if the water seeps back into the handle, it might dissolve the glue and damage the handle. Lay the brushes flat or hang them upside down instead. This also helps the bristles to maintain their shape and to keep the handle safe from water. You can spread the brushes on a paper towel, washcloth, or on a drying rack to dry.

Do not forget other tools and sponges

Makeup brushes and sponges go hand in hand during makeup application. Some people may be very keen on washing their makeup brushes regularly but forget or ignore to wash the sponges. Sponges collect as much build-up and bacteria as the brushes do. Never leave your sponges or brushes damp because that is when they collect bacteria the most. Wash the sponges as regularly as you wash the brushes and always make sure they are dry.

Store them in a place where they can air out. While you are at it, clean all your other makeup tools like tweezers and eyelash curlers. Do not forget to wash your cleansing mats too after you finish washing your brushes and sponges. With clean tools, if you get any irritation, you will know it came from the product and not the tools of application.

Wrapping it up

We use makeup brushes and sponges to contour, paint and flush our faces every day but more often than not we forget to give these tools the same TLC we give our faces. These tools need cleaning at least one a week to avoid any skin breakups and other damages. Ask yourself today how regularly you are washing your makeup brushes and if the answer is not often enough, then we hope the above methods will help you to change the habit. Also, make sure that you not only wash the brushes but you do it properly.

For more on makeup tools, beauty and eye creams, moisturisers, essential oils, acne treatment and much more, read our previous articles by visiting our website.