The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Take a quick look at your makeup brushes. Are they pristine, or covered in powder from past applications? In all likelihood, you've never bothered to clean them. You're certainly not alone; a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Anisa International revealed that 22 percent of women never clean their brushes or other makeup tools.

It's never too late to improve your makeup routine — and that includes caring for the tools you use to achieve that flawless face. Read on to learn why spotless makeup brushes are so important — and how you can get them squeaky clean in just a few minutes.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Makeup Brushes?

You give your face the TLC it deserves by sticking to a skincare regimen. What about your brushes? They may be all that stands between you and radiant skin.

Dirty brushes are nearly always more abrasive, making them a nightmare for sensitive skin. They're also a breeding ground for the bacteria you work so hard to keep away from your face.

Think about it: every time you swipe a brush on your face, you collect oil, dead skin cells, or whatever else clings to your skin. If you don't clean your brushes, those particles return to your skin after you've put considerable effort into cleansing it.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

First: you need to determine what you'll use to clean your brushes. Some makeup enthusiasts prefer products specifically designed for cleaning brushes. Others happily stick with dish soap. Either method is acceptable.

To begin, place a drop of your selected cleanser in the center of your palm. Wet the brush's bristles before swirling them gently in the cleanser or soap. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out any excess water. Carefully reshape the bristles.

To dry, set the brush on a counter, allowing the bristles to hang off the edge. Don't place brushes on a towel to dry; this can lead to mildew.

While drying, brushes should lie flat. Vertical orientation will cause water retained in the bristles to run straight into the band that attaches them to the handle. This, in turn, could loosen the glue that holds the brush together.

Once dry, store brushes carefully in a closed container. While it's tempting to keep them in a jar or on the counter for easy access, this allows them to collect dust.

How Often Should I Clean My Brushes?

Renowned makeup expert Bobbi Brown recommends thoroughly cleaning eye makeup brushes at least twice per month — and once per month for all other brushes. Other makeup aficionados prefer to maintain a once-a-week cleaning routine. Your mileage may vary based on how often you use various brushes.

When Is It Time to Replace My Brushes?

No amount of cleaning will save a brush in dire need of replacement. Even the best brushes have a limited shelf life. Regular cleaning will extend that shelf life, but eventually, you'll need to invest in a new set. If your brushes begin to shed or become misshapen, it's time to move on.

Clean makeup brushes can deliver the healthy, radiant skin you desire. Immediate improvements in skin quality will be well worth the effort, so devote a little time to cleaning your brushes; you'll thank yourself later.