The Perfect Maintenance Guide for Your Makeup Brushes

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December 1, 2020

Makeup brushes tend to see a lot of use every day. They are used for painting, contouring and highlighting faces but in a lot of cases, they are rarely cleaned properly. It is important to clean these brushes regularly and thoroughly in order to prevent the buildup of dirt and – even worse – bacteria.

How frequently should makeup brushes be cleaned?

A lot of people have the completely wrong idea about how frequently they should be cleaning their brushes. Once a month is NOT enough. A majority of dermatologists recommend soaking and cleaning brushes at least once a week as that helps prevent bacteria buildup and reduces the chances of a breakout on your skin.

Since these brushes are used on your face, it is important to keep them clean and the cleaner they are, the better it is for hygiene. Using soap on your brushes does not only keep them clean but also helps to extend the life of the bristles. The same goes for any sponges you may use as they are porous and hold onto all the oils, debris and bacteria after coming into contact with your skin and makeup substances. A dirty brush is also not as efficient at properly applying makeup and leads to spotty makeup on your face.

What products should you clean your brushes with

Cleaning makeup brushes is not difficult. However, you should make sure to do the task correctly otherwise the brushes can get damaged during the process. The best way to clean brushes is with water and a gentle soap. Regular soap should be avoided as harsh soap can damage the bristles, especially if they are made of natural hair. The other option is to use brush cleaners which are specifically made for this purpose. These brush cleaners gently dissolve powders, liquids and wax-based makeup. Using face wash is also acceptable as it provides thorough cleaning without damaging the brush.

How to clean your makeup brushes – the right way.

Cleaning brushes effectively and without damage calls for a step-by-step procedure. To properly clean the brush, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Soak the brushes in lukewarm water until they are thoroughly wet.
  2. Pour just a drop of your preferred cleanser or soap into the palm of your clean hand.
  3. Massage the tips of the bristles into the palm of your hand, gently.
  4. Thoroughly rinse the bristles but do not be overly aggressive as that may damage the brush.
  5. Remove the excess moisture but gently squeeze the brush with a clean towel.
  6. Gently re-form the brush and the bristles into their original shape.
  7. Dry the brushes by letting them hang off the edge of the counter. Using a towel can be detrimental to brushes as the bristles might turn mildew-y.

While cleaning and washing your brushes, make sure that the base (where the bristles connect to the handle) is kept clear of any detergents or cleaners as they can come loose due to the adhesive dissolving.

Is it better to use brush cleaning tools?

Depending on use and personal preference, some people like to use specialized tools for cleaning brushes as these accessories ensure the most thorough cleaning in a safe way. These products are usually from makeup brands and companies. The way they are supposed to be used varies from product to product.

How often should makeup brushes and sponges be replaced?

While careful and regular cleaning of sponges and brushes can increase their lifespan, it does not mean that they will last forever. Some sponges are for single-use only and should be disposed after they have been used once. Other sponges, such as the microbial-resistant kind, can be reused for almost three to four months, depending on how often they are used. However, these sponges should be cleaned frequently and disposed after the recommended usage time.

For brushes, they should be replaced after the user notices a discernable change in how well they apply the makeup. If the brush makeup isn’t applied smoothly, then that is a clear indicator that the brush is at the end of its life and should be replaced.

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