HOW TO: Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

If you're using your makeup brushes or sponges daily, you should be deep cleaning them at least every two weeks. I know what you're thinking… “Why would I need to clean my brushes that often?” The answers to that question are as follows:

  • “Through daily use, makeup brushes can accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, pollution, and bacteria,” says Dr. Debbie Palmer, dermatologist and co-founder of Dermatology Associates of New York. “These includes staphylococcus, streptococcus, and e coli, fungus, and viruses.”
  • If your makeup tools are stored on your bathroom counter, there's a good chance they catch the fallout from oily hairsprays, perfumes, and facial mists used in the area.
  • Dirty makeup brushes & sponges can actually transfer oil, dirt, and bacteria from your face, to your makeup products, then back to your face– causing acne & decreasing the lifetime of your cosmetics.

Never cleaned your brushes? Don't know how? This post is for YOU! Read on for a crash course in cleaning your makeup brushes.

Here's what you'll need:

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap Bar; Target ($4.50)

The Spot Clean

Brushes: Foundation, Powder, Concealer, Eyeliner, Blush

When: Daily or every other day.

What you need:  Paper towels, spray brush cleaner.

Work on one brush at a time. Spray 2-3 pumps of brush cleaner on the brush's bristles, then swirl the brush onto a paper towel until clean. Spray brush cleaners usually contain antibacterial ingredients like alcohol or tea tree oil– so “spot cleaning” your brushes daily with a spray brush cleaner will keep germs at bay until you deep clean your brushes. After you spot clean your brushes, they're ready to use again.

Brush Cleaner Spray

The Deep Clean

Brushes: All brushes & sponges

When: Every 2 weeks

What you need:  Gentle bar soap, a brush cleaning tool, towel.

Work on one brush at a time. Start by rinsing the soap bar and a brush under warm running water. Then, swirl the brush over the soap bar to create a soapy lather. Using your hand, or a ridged brush cleaning tool like the Brushegg, swirl and exfoliate the brush between your fingers. Rinse the brush under warm water– swirling the brush in your hand or over your Brushegg until the brush rinses clean. Squeeze the brush's bristles gently to remove excess water, then lay flat on a towel to dry overnight.



Your brush's bristles are held together with a stong glue inside a ferrule. To prevent weakening the bond between the glue & the ferrule(making your brush “shed” its bristles), keep your brush head facing down while deep cleaning. This will prevent soap & water from getting up inside the ferrule and potentially ruining your brush.

Makeup Brush Diagram

Thanks for reading, beauties! Now get those dirty makeup brushes out, and start lathering up! Your face(and your makeup) will thank you for it. Let us know how it goes!

xoxo The Beauty Brainiacs

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