How to clean makeup brushes

CLEANING your makeup brushes should be an essential part of your weekly routine.

The caked-on makeup could have a negative effect on your skin and is necessary to keep your brushes in good shape.

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What is the best way to clean makeup brushes?

Makeup brushes can become covered in residue that could cause bacteria-induced breakouts, meaning cleaning your brushes weekly is essential.

The easiest way to clean your makeup brushes is with dish soap, ideally the Dawn brand which works most effectively.

Makeup artist Troy Surratt told Vogue that Dawn “works wonders” against makeup buildup and advised treating the cleaning like you would your hair.

“For optimal application and the truest color payoff, it’s important to use clean brushes,” Surratt told the outlet.

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“If you apply a similar makeup look daily, I recommend washing your brushes thoroughly once a week,” he said, adding, “You may need to wash them more often if you regularly change your colors.”

The dish soap works in a gentle way that won’t damage or destroy the brush.

He advised against using cleansers that contain higher alcohol content of harsh solvents, saying: “They can loosen the glue that holds the brush together, eventually affecting the life of the brush.”

To clean the brush:

  • Put the dish soap or another cleanser such as Clinique’s cleanser or the real technique gel option on a small dish.
  • Wet your brush.
  • Place the top part of the brush into the soap, making sure to only clean the part that comes into contact with the makeup and your skin.
  • Move the brush back and forth in your hand, creating a foamy lather.
  • Rinse the brush under lukewarm water until the soap or cleanser is gone.

How to dry your brushes:

  • After cleaning your brush, shake out the water and use a clean towel to pat the bristles, removing as much moisture as possible
  • Roll up one side of the towel, creating a slope, and place the brush on the towel with the bristles facing down so water doesn’t seep into the handle

If you need your brush to be clean and dry by the following day:

  • Pad a cookie sheet with a Silpat baking mat for a layer of protection.
  • Place the brush on a cookie sheet and place them in a gas oven.
  • Turn on the pilot light – This will add warmth to dry them quickly overnight.

Why is it important to clean your makeup brushes?

Cleaning your makeup brushes and your sponges is important to ensure good hygiene, reduced bacteria and germs, and optimal performance.

Celebrity makeup artist, Wendi Miyake told Vogue: “Cleanliness and maintenance is number one to ensure your brushes are long-lasting and will perform at their highest capability.”

There are dangers to leaving your makeup brushes in a poor state including:

Clogging your pores: If your makeup brushes and sponges are dirty you are spreading the dirt and bacteria from your face to your makeup and then back to your face. This can clog your pores, resulting in breakouts.

Staph Infection: Dr. Debbie Palmer, dermatologist and co-founder of Dermatology Associates of New York, told Good Housekeeping that dirty brushes can result in a staph infection.

“Through daily use, makeup brushes can accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, pollution, and bacteria.

“These include staphylococcus, streptococcus, and e coli, fungus, and viruses.”

Pink Eye: Although it isn’t a deadly or long-term infection, sharing makeup and brushes without washing them can result in pink eye.

Skin Irritation: Dirty brushes can make the bristles stiff, irritating your skin and making you feel the need to use more makeup.

Risk of getting more wrinkles: A dirty makeup brush can create stress in the skin that ultimately causes wrinkles.

“Dirty makeup brushes can expose the skin to oxidative stress from free radicals, which causes a breakdown of collagen and elastin and can result in premature aging,” Dr. Palmer said.

How will you know when to replace your makeup brushes?

Makeup brushes and sponges should be cleaned regularly to maintain good condition but should also be replaced at a minimum every three months depending on the type of tool.

The need to replace your makeup tools is necessary to ensure bacteria doesn’t continue to build up or cause unnecessary harm to your skin.

The timeline to replace your makeup tools vary:

Sponges: Your makeup blenders or sponges should be washed weekly and replaced every three months.

This is because sponges are absorbent and soak up water, dirt, bacteria, oil, and dead skin.

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Brushes: The lifespan of your brush depends on how regularly you clean it and what the brush quality is. The range can be anywhere from one to five years.

You will be able to tell your brush needs to be replaced when the bristles are no longer full and soft, the handle is loose and worn down, and the brush itself is no longer clean.

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